My doorbell rang a few nights ago at 11:30. It was a neighbor, from a few streets over. She saw that my living room light was still on. She asked if I had a German Shepherd or knew of someone nearby who has one, because there was one huddled under a parked car at the end of the street. I didn't, but I wanted to help. It was very cold out (around 12 degrees and falling).
My neighbors DeJean, Michael, Joan and I all tried to get the dog to come to one of us. We wanted to take him into one of our warm houses for the night. But he wouldn't come to any of us. And his bark had a distinct "come no further" sound to it. At one point we used dog biscuits as bait to get him to follow us. It worked to only a certain distance; he would always return to the area of the parked car.
So we brought him blankets, food and water for the night.
The next morning, he was still there. He was cuddled up on the blankets. The water in his bowl was frozen solid.
He seemed happy to see us, but continued to keep his distance. Finally, though, DeJean & I coaxed him into the back seat of her car using dog treats. That's where he is in the accompanying photo, finally warm and presumably content -- during the 10-minute drive to the animal shelter, we think he actually fell asleep!
The person at the shelter was a lot braver handling him than we were, and it turns out the dog is a softie! He was just scared. We think he may have been dumped in our neighborhood, probably right where the parked car was, wanting to stay near the parked car so that when his family would return for him, he'd be there for him.
DeJean & I have put "Found German Shepherd" posters around the neighborhood, just in case he is someone's dog who got out and got lost.
But we're not expecting to hear from anyone missing him...