This week, one of the scariest things happened to our family. Our two dogs dug a hole under the fence and ran away. I don’t want to ramble on about the pure hell and terror that went on for the three days they were gone, but I will say that it almost sent me to the breaking point. I still can’t believe that I found them, together, on my own. Here’s how it went down:
The day they ran away was chaos. One – they didn’t have their collars on nor are they microchipped. Two- .we just moved to this area of town and they aren’t familiar with it at all. Three- there is a MAJOR highway very near our house. We looked for them all day and talked to Animal Control and all the shelters and vets in the area with no luck. There were a few sightings but they had already disappeared by the time we got there. The next day we looked, put up a TON of posters and signs, visited the shelters, and contacted dog rescue facilities. There was a very nice lady at one of the rescues that started a facebook page for them and sent out a mass email to all of her friends/clients/etc and within a few hours I was getting calls and tips and inspirational stories (and even a few people yelling at me about having loose dogs.) I got a call from animal control that they were spotted on the highway way out on the other side of town and of course they weren’t there when we arrived. On the third day we woke up at 5am to start looking, put up EVEN MORE posters, and had more phone calls from caring strangers. By this point I was running out of hope and sure that I would never see my dogs again when I got a call from a lady that had seen their facebook page and wanted to come help me make posters. I was at home when she called waiting on Little J to wake up from his nap. She only had an hour free, so I woke up the baby (which I never do), and headed to staples to make more fliers. The toner was out in the self server copier so I had to wait in line for someone to help me out (which took a lot longer.) Finally I was on my way.
Less that a minute after I pulled out I looked ahead at the sidewalk and THERE WERE MY DOGS! They were thankfully still together, walking really slowly side by side. I couldn’t believe it and immediately pulled over and scooped them up into the car. I truly believe that this kind stranger put me in that place at the exact right time and saved my dogs. They were starving and scared, but finally safe.
I had to take one of them to the vet because she was having a really hard time walking and had spots of raw skin, and they told me she probably got hit by a car. She will have about a two month recovery, and I am so very thankful that she is still alive.
Please if anyone reads this always have collars on your dogs and get them microchipped. In my case it wouldn’t have mattered but that was probably extremely rare. Dogs can travel great distances in a short amount of time and if they are found with no identification of any kind it is a hundred times harder to locate them, especially if they were picked up far from home. There is an organization called Home Again that is an excellent resource for microchipped pets. You can register, and if your pet ever gets lost there are mass emails, phone trees, and notifications instantly sent to shelters in a 60 mile radius. There is also a 24 hour emergency line, and lots of other features. Microchipping only costs $10 at most vets, and that is a small price to pay for your best friends. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went through, and I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been where I was at the right moment.