'Prevention' is better, but if it happens .. don’t despair .. and don’t give up!
It’s a popular misconception that dogs run away - as if making some sort of “dash for freedom”.
I find it difficult to believe that a dog would leave a warm and loving cosy home - and food - for the “unknown”.
It’s far more likely that they just gently “wander off” - following an interesting smell of a child, rabbit, fox or even just another dog - totally oblivious to the distress they’re about to cause their “loved ones”.
Take heart from a true story.
Some time ago, a woman was driving south from York in the north of England.
She pulled off the motorway for a snack, and whilst parking the car, noticed two rather slim and bedraggled dogs. With cars everywhere, she decided - for their own safety - to load them into her car.
She began making enquiries as to who might own them - but to no avail.
Her problem now was what to do with them.
Assuming that they’d been “abandoned” - she adopted them and took them to her home - all the way to London. Three months later - considerably fatter - having sired a litter or two (and been castrated) - two previously fit hunting hounds were reunited with their kennel mates - and rather bemused owners .....
.......... and here’s another .........
Over 95% of lost dogs with “microchips” are reunited with their owners.
To help avoid losing your dog ...... think like a dog.
Broken fences and open gates arouse a dogs curiosity - secure them.
When out walking, imagine its your best friend’s child - watch it at all times.
If you have to use a dog walker, find a reliable one - with references.
Be seen out with your dog - most people will remember it as yours.
“Show me the way to go home.......(hic)...”
How many times in your life have you been totally convinced that you’re “very near” to that place that you’re looking for - but can’t quite find the way for that last few hundred yards?
So - when returning from your walks - return from different directions.
It helps build up a little “map” in your dog’s head, of landmarks within a 1 mile radius, and how to get home from them - just like you did when you last moved into a new area.
Many dogs are found wandering within a few hundred yards of where they live, simply because they’ve never been shown.....“the way home”.
To help prepare for it happening.
1. Microchip your dog - it’s simple, painless - and done by any Vet.
It’s the most important step you can take - do it now!
2. Collar + ID disc - must be worn when out - even in the garden.
3. Mobile ‘phone - consider buying one - a very useful “second” contact.
4. Photos of your dog - keep them clear - and recent.
5. Design a poster - using “Microsoft Word” - insert a picture.
6. Save it - in “My Documents” - ready to print and circulate.
7. How many copies? You’ll need 50 - if not more.
8. Decide who could be helpful if it happens - note their ‘phone number on
your .. "LOST DOG CHECKLIST "
9. Do you have a friend? - who could man your home ‘phone whilst you’re out looking - armed with your mobile
10. Try to imagine a simple description of your dog - colour, coat, size and sex.
Some people may not know about your breed - or confuse it with another.
11. Where would you start looking? - work out a draft “plan of campaign”.
Would it be the local park / woods / schoolyard / fields / farm - or a house down the road?
12. Being prepared - and facing up to the possibility - is half the battle.
You’ll talk much more clearly and concisely to the very people who you need to help you.
Take a look at - download and save - "LOST DOG CHECKLIST" - print it - and keep it handy.