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Animal Photos
197. Dog and Sheep

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Dog and sheep are characters in an unlikely love story

By Dennis McCarthy, Columnist

04/16/2008

So there's this guy who owns a pizza joint in Sylmar driving to work Tuesday morning when he sees a dog and sheep walking down the street together.

No, it's not the start of a bad joke. It's a real love story.

And the dog and the sheep are now sharing a kennel at the animal shelter in Chatsworth waiting for their owner to come and claim them.

"We tried separating them, but the sheep started bleating and got all nervous," said kennel supervisor Christine Carr.

The tale of the errant pair started when John Caruso dropped off his son at school.

"As I'm driving away, I see this dog and sheep starting to cross the street at San Fernando Mission and Hayvenhurst heading for the freeway off-ramp," said the owner of Caruso's Pizza in Sylmar.

"I couldn't believe it. People were blowing their horns, trying to stop them from walking up the off-ramp and onto the freeway."

So Caruso jumped out of his car and collared the German shepherd and put him in the back seat of his car.

He didn't even have to go back to get the sheep - she jumped in the car right after the dog.

"It was like wherever the dog was going, she was going, too," Caruso said.

At this point, though, Caruso - like most people - wasn't sure what to do with a dog and a sheep in his car.

And he needed to get to work.

So he headed to his grandmother's house in Granada Hills and dropped the animal duo off for safekeeping until he could figure out what to do.

"We put them on the side of the house where there's a gate," he said. "She was so excited. She lives alone.

"After school, my son and all his cousins came over and played with the dog and sheep. Wherever the dog went in the yard, the sheep followed him. You could tell they'd been together a long time.

"When I tried to pet the sheep, the dog let out a low growl, so I backed off," he said. "It was like it was OK for the kids to touch her, but not an adult.

"They spent the night together in the corner of my grandmother's yard."

On Wednesday morning, Caruso had a plan. And he packed the pair up - back into his car - and drove to the local animal shelter in Chatsworth.

"I walked in and told them I had a lost dog and sheep out in my car," Caruso said. "They thought it was a joke."

No, it wasn't a joke, the pizza man told the animal-control officers. All the shelter workers walked out to see.

"As far as I know, it's the first dog-and-sheep duo we've had," Carr said. "Very unusual. You can tell they're really bonded."

The shelter had one call Monday from someone wanting to know whether they had a dog and sheep in custody, Carr said.

"But he didn't leave any information so we couldn't call him back," she said. "We're hoping whoever owns these two sees your story and comes (to) get them."

So if you're missing a dog and a sheep with serious separation-anxiety issues, they're waiting for you at the animal shelter at 20655 Plummer St. in Chatsworth.

Go pick them up. Then give me a call so I can tell people how this love story began.

Dennis McCarthy's column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com , 818-713-3749


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