Just wanted to say thanks to Harford County Animal Control Chief Pam Arney who picked up the stray dog who’d decided to settle on my front porch yesterday. Apparently, my initial call to Animal Control placed seven hours earlier didn’t get passed on. The woman who answered the phone told me to hold onto the dog and wait at home until someone from Animal Control came by. After the chocolate labrador, which my son decided to call “Charlie,” spent the afternoon and evening chained rather contentedly to the railing on my front porch, it became clear no one was coming. By the time I called back, the Animal Control office was closed (they close at 4 p.m.). I left a message on their machine, then pondered how long my responsibility for this dog should go on. If I let him go, I thought he might find his way home. Or, he might wander into traffic and get hurt or hurt someone or their pet. Luckily, he had his Harford County registration tag and his rabies vaccination tag. Unfortunately, there was no way for me to reach his owner by looking at those tags. A neighbor suggested I call the Sheriff’s Office. I explained my situation to their switchboard operator who said she would page Animal Control. Arney called me within the half hour on her way to snag a dog who bit two people in Abingdon. Apparently, lots of dogs jump their fences on July 4 when the fireworks frighten them straight out of their yards. She showed up around 8:30 p.m. and “Charlie” went easily along with her. When she opened her van door, the biter gave us a surly look and growled menacingly. Luckily, he and “Charlie” were separated by the bars of their metal cages. Since “Charlie” had his registration number on his collar, Arney said she’d likely be able to get him to his rightful owner by morning. “Charlie” was my second stray of the season. My first was a little rambunctious and frightened my son – who is not comfortable around dogs (read “sheer terror”). I had to extract my son from a tree while my neighbor held onto the dog for Animal Control. That day they came within the hour to fetch the stray. I’m getting the sense loose dogs seem to love the stay-at-home mom thing. We’re usually outside, with children, and we probably remind them of the person who feeds them. I’d be happy to ignore them until they ran away. But unfortunately, I usually need to distract them in order to give my son an escape route into the house. By that time, it seems, we establish this doggy/stay-at-home-mommy relationship.