By Matt Lindner
3:49 PM CDT, June 26, 2012
A Rogers Park woman is trying to reunite the lost pooch she found playing in traffic on Lake Shore Drive late last week with its owners.
Jillian Conley was driving with her boyfriend on Thursday evening when they spotted the black and white Shih-Tzu/poodle mix darting across traffic. Conley says they pulled over hoping to save the pup from getting run over.
"As I was stopping, my boyfriend jumped out of the car," Conley said. "Another woman stopped and threw my boyfriend a leash. He asked if it was her dog and she said, 'No, good luck!'"
The dog then proceeded to lead the couple on a Monty Python-esque chase all the way, evading them all the way until they got to Foster Beach as they followed close behind trying to get her to stop.
"Finally, (my boyfriend) had her on some rocks by the water and figured she was cornered, but she decided to jump in the lake," Conley said. "He jumped in after her and we brought her home."
There's only one problem--the dog doesn't have any identification tags or a microchip, so they don't know who she belongs to. Conley has since taken in the dog herself for the time being, letting her play with the two dogs she already owns as she embarks on an ambitious social media campaign to try find the pooch's owners.
She has been repeatedly been tweeting pictures of the dog, which is white with black patches, weighs about five pounds, 10 ounces, and is estimated to be between 2-4 years old. She's hoping that someone knows something about where exactly home is for her.
"She is such a sweet dog that I thought I'd try to find the dog's owner on my own," Conley said. "If anything ever happened to (my two dogs), I know I would want someone to help me find them."
Conley said the pooch was a little worse for wear when they first picked her up, showing signs of dehydration and being underfed. A quick trip to the vet showed that beyond a little dehydration and some weight loss likely caused by not having eaten in awhile, she was in good shape.
"Local shelters have been great helping me share her info and pictures," she said.
And while Conley's dedication to finding the pooch's owners is admirable, Anti-Cruelty Society President Dr. Robyn Barbiers said the odds are stacked against her. Even with identification, Barbiers pegs the return-to-owner rate for dogs at around ten percent.
"Unfortunately, animals without identification are rarely united with their owners," Barbiers said. "Often the people who find the pet will keep the pet, post photos in the neighborhood and if no owner comes forward, will re-home the pet. Those are the luckier ones."
This particular dog can consider itself among the lucky. Conley said she and her boyfriend have decided that while they are dedicated to finding their new friend's true home, if they're unsuccessful, they'll adopt her as their own.
If you have any information about the dog's owners, you are asked to reach out to Jillian via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jillianconley.
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