COLD, ICE, SNOW…AND A LOST DOG!
A true story with a good outcome – and lessons to be learned to help you find your lost dog and get him/her back safely.
One of your worst fears might be losing your dog….What if it’s ….HOW COLD????
Imagine temps in the single digits with wind chills below zero, and your dog’s leash is still attached, making it likely he or she could be stuck somewhere, hidden from view.
Here’s a story with lessons that can be learned – owners and dog walkers alike.
So, yes, we are admitting…WE LOST A DOG……
LESSON #1 – If you have a dog walker/pet sitter, clear your walkway of ice.
A little salt and this could’ve all been prevented.
On a very cold day (if you were paying attention to the above), one of our walkers was returning from a walk with 2 small Chihuahuas. As she was about to enter the house, she fell down on a large patch of ice on the owner’s walkway near their front door. When she hit the ground, the more skittish one pulled and got out of her hands and bolted.
LESSON #2 – Secure any other dogs with you
Adrenaline pumping, she secured the other dog by immediately scooping him up and putting him inside, and shutting the door – and the chase ensued. Now, normally, we teach to not chase….there’s a moment the dog doesn’t know you are not holding the leash, and it’s (most of the time) better for you to get the dogs attention to chase/follow you, rather than the opposite. Kneeling on the ground also helps sometimes. However this dog – wanted no part of us. She is a new client and had zero attachment to us – not only that, but she was a true runner. Our walker, ignoring her own injuries from falling, ran through yards tracking her and her paw prints, when she got to the train station parking lot. Someone tried to help and grab the leash but the little girl (can I say bitch? ;)) took off and she lost sight of her.
LESSON #3 – NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT!
As soon as she could no longer track her, she immediately called me. I headed over and while doing so, called the owners, who left work immediately to come home. While waiting for the owners, we searched by car and foot, and spoke to everyone we saw – mail lady, meter reader, people walking their dogs, and even got 2 police vans to join in the search. OK, now Pay Attention….. next we called 3 veterinarians in the area and reported the dog lost – and gave the owner’s cell numbers.
WE SEARCHED FOR 4 HOURS
We started to feel hopeless. The owners had returned home, searching, crying, and worried about their little girl. Their nephew and his friends joined the search and we continued to canvass the area as well as surrounding neighborhoods. On one of the passes, we saw the nephew who was on foot, give us a Thumbs Up! I said “They found Her?!?!” YES!!!
WHERE WAS SHE?
The little 5 lb girl, with leash in tow, crossed a major road, and ended up on the service road of a highway. A Vet Assistant found her.
CAN YOU GUESS THE FIRST THING SHE DID?
LESSON #4 – Make sure your pet has updated info on the tags and is microchipped.
Although the family had recently moved, the dog had updated info on her collar. But she of course would not let her “finder” get anywhere near her neck. So, she called her local vet office and remember Lesson #3? The vet was in the loop, and gave the girl the number of the owners, who immediately drove to pick up their unharmed, although cold, beloved pet.
So, what did the owners do that helped?
What did the Dog walker/IHPS do that helped?
Hope this story will help other pet owners and dog walkers in a situation that we hope never happens but is quite frequent – what to do if your dog it lost, and some simple steps you can take to ensure the dogs safe return home.