But an American bulldog in Eastern Henrico has the opposite problem – he’s loved and wanted by two different men who both believe he’s their own special dog.
The bulldog will sit and shake hands for both, although one uses Spanish commands.
Both men – who live about five miles apart - have happy photos, vet records and rabies tags.
One calls him Rocky.
The other, Kilo.
Rocky’s owner, James Cullingsworth, says his dog was a stray he met several times while visiting the Eanes Road area last year.
“I was like, man, I can't let anything bad happen to this dog,” said Cullingsworth, an electrician. “And it’s the only dog that I've ever had like a true connection with.”
He said he “put out flyers in the neighborhood. I even called animal control. Nobody claimed the dog.”
He brought Rocky home, getting him shots and treatment for fleas and an infection.
But Kilo’s dad, who did not want to be identified because he works in the bounty hunter field, said he got Kilo as a puppy in 2011 and took loving care of him until he disappeared out of his fenced-in yard last year. He said a neighbor tells him he believes he saw someone take the dog.
He says he put fliers up in the neighborhood and at a corner store and went to Henrico’s animal control center “every day.”
The tale of two dogs converged Tuesday at about 8:50 p.m.
Cullingsworth drove Rocky to the Walgreen’s on S. Laburnum at Williamsburg Road and left him inside with the window down a little while he went inside to shop.
Kilo’s dad arrived a short time later to get a prescription filled and , hearing a dog bark, he looked over and thought he saw his dog sitting in a red car. He went closer and became certain it was Kilo. He said he went inside and asked a young woman if that was her red car with the dog inside, and she reportedly told him she knew whose car it was and went out an reached in to unlock the door so he could get his dog.
Cullingsworth said he doesn’t know that woman.
“I went in Walgreens and came back out and my car door was wide open after being locked,” he said. Rocky was nowhere to be found. Witnesses told me someone took my dog.” He called police. Twice.
A Henrico County police spokesman said an unknown woman reached in the window of the car to unlock the door. He said both men apparently had some proof of ownership of the dog, and since the only one who may have broken any laws was the unknown woman, questions about dog ownership in this case appear to be a civil matter.
Cullingworth said he’s heartbroken and will file a civil suit to get Rocky back.
Kilo’s dad says no way is he giving up his dog again. He added that he has already had a tracking chip implanted in the bulldog and any uninvited visitors to his property would be most unwelcome.
A woman who lives in the neighborhood said she remembers when Cullingsworth first took the dog in. She said Cullingsworth would come clean her gutters and when he first brought Rocky with him, she remembers how badly he looked. “I told him he needed to take the dog to the vet and he said he already had an appointment . . . That dog has come a long way.”
Cullingsworth’s vet records show “Rocky” the dog was treated for fleas and an infection last fall.