It was Monday, October 13, 2008. The scene was the People’s Building Center parking lot in Dayton, Texas. The SNAP mobile clinic was full of dogs and cats 22 of them to be spayed or neutered. Dr. Johnson had arrived, and Chris and Michele were prepping a dog for surgery.

There was a lot of barking coming from outside. The crew looked out the window and saw a little brown five-pound Chihuahua barking at a dark blue Jeep Liberty. This dog literally would NOT let this car move. The driver started edging forward very slowly, but the Chihuahua got right in front of the front wheel. The little fellow kept barking and wouldn’t budge. Soon a crowd gathered in the parking lot. One of the onlookers suggested the driver back up. When she tried, the Chihuahua quickly ran around to the back of the car and wouldn’t let the driver go backwards either.

A few moments later a Dayton policeman arrived. Everyone thought that the problem would quickly be solved because the dog had a collar and tag. The Chihuahua wouldn’t let the officer or anyone else come near enough to read it though.

The standoff went on for 45 minutes or so. The lady kept saying she needed to be somewhere. The SNAP team offered ideas on how to secure the pup and even supplied food to be used to bribe him away from the Jeep. The Chihuahua would have none of it.

Finally the parking lot group decided on a plan. The lady in the dark blue Jeep Liberty started driving ahead very slowly with the passenger door open very slowly as in one mile per hour. The Chihuahua ran along the passenger side of the car. The Dayton Police car followed, and behind him were two other cars. They led the Chihuahua in this way to a fenced area behind the People’s Building Center supermarket. There they were finally able to catch the Chihuahua and read the tag on his collar.

Imagine everyone’s surprise when the Chihuahua’s guardian turned out to be the owner of a dark green Jeep Liberty! They had driven to a Walgreens drug store near the People’s Building Center a day or so earlier. There, unbeknownst to the guardian, the Chihuahua had jumped out of the car. The guardian had discovered the dog was missing after returning home and had returned to the drug store several times to try to find him but without success.

Once the whole story was known, everyone realized just how smart the little Chihuahua had been. He recognized that the Jeep matched his guardian’s car. (The color was off a bit, but dogs can’t distinguish most colors.) He also recognized that the person in the car was the wrong person. He thus decided that the best approach was to keep the car there until the right person came along. It was his intelligence that ultimately enabled the smart little guy to find his way home. He taught us how smart a dog can be in the process.