Based on a True Story
By: George Barulli
Tanner is our 1-year-old Golden Retriever. We have had him since he was just 3 months old. He is everything you would expect a puppy to be and more. He is handsome, playful and he has graduated from three obedience courses and he needed every one of those classes – trust me. At first, as with any young puppy, Tanner liked to chew shoes, socks, chairs, paper and anything he could get his mouth on, especially my wife’s dish towels! Outside it was grass, sticks, pine cones, plastic, cigarette butts – well you get the picture. So when it was time to train him it wasn’t easy to say the least. Days, weeks and months as we would walk him and he would put one of those things in his mouth we would command “leave it” and when he would obey we would reward him. Finally as he is now a year old he has gotten it. Whenever he puts something in his mouth the command is “leave it” and he drops it.
The other day as I was walking Tanner I noticed that he had something in his mouth. I made the command “leave it” and he dropped it and it was a Lone Car key with a key chain of a Koala bear. Realizing someone may be looking for it I started to ask around. I knew several people that walk their dogs and children in the neighborhood so I would ask but nobody had lost a key. What a mystery! Well about a week goes by and again I was walking Tanner when I noticed this elderly man looking down at the ground as he was walking. I wondered if something was bothering him but when he saw Tanner he began to smile and started petting him- he loves Tanner. I went on my way to complete my walk and on the way back that same elderly gentleman was still looking down. He noticed me on the other side of the street and shouted, “I lost my hearing aid.” Crossing the street to meet him I asked him, “Where do you think you lost it?” He said, “It must have been when I bent down to pet the dog”. Tanner and I began to search for his hearing aid but it was nowhere to be found. He told me his name was Mr. Samson and that if I found it that he lived on that street over there and he pointed. He decided to put a lost and found notice on our HOA website where ironically we put that missing key too. A week went by and the hearing aid had not been found.
On Super bowl Sunday, right before the game, I was walking Tanner and I noticed that there was something in his mouth. You guessed it – the hearing aid. Well I was pretty excited that I could help this gentleman but I didn’t bother to ask him exactly where he lived. Later I would check the aforementioned website and find his phone number but by that time my wife Olga and my 8 year old granddaughter, Sophia, had tracked him down and told him that Tanner had found his hearing aid. His son had mentioned that this was the 3rd time he’d lost it and one time it was at St. Luke’s Eye Institute where I work. St. Luke’s found it later and sent it to him by mail.
The Wednesday after the Super Bowl, I was walking into the office at work when Jim, one of the other transportation drivers I work with, who also happen to be a neighbor of mine, told me to tell another co-worker, David, a story about Tanner’s finding. David is also interested in hearing stories about Tanner because David loves dogs. So I asked Jim, “What story?” He answered, “I ran into Mr. Samson who was at St. Luke’s yesterday and he told me about Tanner finding his hearing aid.” So as I was telling David the story and was concluding I said that Tanner had also found a key but nobody had claimed it yet to which Jim said jokingly, “Well maybe he can find my key.” I asked, “What kind of key is it?” He responded, “It’s a car key and we’ve looked all over the house but could not find it”. I asked, “What does it look like?” and he said, “It’s just a spare key with a Koala bear key chain. I immediately accused him of putting me on. I said, “I told you about this and now you’re mocking me.” He said, “No!” “I’m you telling I lost a key.” I asked him, “What does the key say on it?” Now when we posted it to the lost and found we did not put a full description of the key because we didn’t want someone claiming the key if it wasn’t theirs, but on the koala bear it had Australia written on it. He answered, “Australia,” to which I said, “Are you telling me that the key I have had in my possession for 2 weeks is yours, and I’ve asked just about everybody in the neighborhood and all this time it was yours – the guy who sits right next to me in the office?” I showed him a picture of the key and he confirmed it was his. “Unbelievable!” I shouted, and Jim couldn’t get over it either. Tanner had found the key that belonged to Jim, but we would have never known who the owner was if Mr. Samson hadn’t told Jim the story of Tanner finding his hearing aid, WOW! That Tanner sure is some kind of a Wonder Dog.
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