Lost dog... found!

What a heart-rending weekend…

After work on Friday I took Queen, our German-Shepherd-with-a-bit-of-Husky, for our customary walk to get the mail, then to the park at the end of the street. The plan, as usual, to walk once around the park then home.

The park is at the end of our quiet, dead end street where everyone knows everyone. Queen is well behaved and I seldom use a leash for this little jaunt. (I know, I know - or at least I know better now).

This time, however, a thunderstorm developed just as we were on our way back home. Queen is a fierce looking dog with an intimidating bark (all for show - she’s really a love bundle). For all of her tough appearance, she’s transforms into a puddle of fear in response to thunder. During storms we find her tucked behind the couch or some cubby hole in the basement. This is the first time she’s been outside during a crack of thunder.

With no couch or cubby hole in sight, she bolted. The park is fenced but there is an ungated opening in the back. There were times Queen has chased a rabbit through that opening, but she always returned when I called her. Not this time. She kept running and running, crossed the train tracks, entered the backyard in the next neighbourhood, got onto the street (she’s now officially the furthest she’s been from home on her own) and kept running.

When I emerged onto that street, having long lost sight of Queen, I overheard a couple of kids delivering flyers say to each other words to the effect of “Was that a coyote? Wow was it fast!” When they saw me all three of them pointed in unison along the street, “Your dog turned left up ahead.”

After talking to a few others who saw her, it was raining quite hard by now. I ran home to get the car and continue the search. After a fruitless search, I returned home hoping she’d find her way home. We stayed up until 4am before exhaustion won.

Next day (Saturday) we plastered both our neighbourhood and the one where she was last seen with posters, as well as convenience store and grocery store bulletin boards. As an afterthought later in the day we put one up at Blockbuster. Phone calls, searches, hand-wringing and nightmares.

All day Sunday we just couldn’t function. Everytime the phone rang (heart racing run down the hall) was a well meaning friend asking if we’d found her yet.

Finally, though, 6:30 Sunday evening (after over 48 hours!) we received the call. Someone had picked up their own dog at a kennel Sunday morning. Later that evening they went to Blockbuster, saw our poster. “Hey, didn’t we see that dog at the kennel?”

Fortunately, when we called the kennel, the owner was still there and sure enough he’d found Queen the night before (miles from where we were looking)! In a daze of relief and emotion, Mrs. Call and I bounced into each other as we fumbled to find the keys, the leash, etc. found the kennel and were reunited with our dog!

Queen’s now resting happily at home. After work today I’ll take her to the vet. Her pads are damaged, one foot quite badly (it’s now iodined, gauzed, and bootied) but she’s otherwise just fine.

We’re still… what’s the word, shaken? not, but certainly affected.

Glad you found Queen in one piece. If you have not already done so, may I suggest you microchip her. Better safe than sorry.

Queen wouldn’t come when you called? And your name is Nature’s Call?

Never heard of a dog who wouldn’t answer Nature’s Call when frightened.

Glad you got her back though. :slight_smile:


Poor you! I’m so glad you found her. I second the microchipping - it’s not that expensive and is literally just an injection in the back of their neck. My dog is both chipped and has a collar with his name and phone number on it. I’m a little paranoid because when he gets off leash he’s gone and never comes when he’s called. (He’s a rescue dog and has “issues.”) I’m glad your dog is home - smooches to the pooch!

Both of our dogs have microchips and municipal tags. I discovered during this ordeal, to no surprise, that animal control and the various shelters as well as the Humane Society all know each other. What did surprise me, though: Mrs. Call was speaking with one of the shelters who told her they were about to publish a newspaper article on how badly managed one of the other agencies is (I forget which). Not what I want to hear while depending for the first time on this network that an exposé is imminent!

The chip comes with a tag that alerts any finder to the presence of the chip. We lost this little tag some time ago, but I thought, “I’m sure they scan as a matter of course.” During that conversation it was revealed that no one really scans for the chip! I find this incredible. It seems more likely this one person has some axe to grind - but I will ask the Humane Society what the practice is.

When one person asked us, “Does she have your phone number on the tag?” The external view my reply sounded like this, “No, I hadn’t thought of that.” The internal view: “Oh my god! Why didn’t I think of that! How could I have been so Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! If only… if only…”

Man, if I go nuts like this for my dogs – heaven help me if something happens to one of the kids!

:smiley: Actually, that would be Lady, our other dog. She’s a stimulus-response machine where ANY stimulus produces liquid response.

Yes, Queen and Lady. No, we chose neither name. We adopted both dogs from the pound a couple months from each other. In each case we selected the dog before we knew the name. I guess now we’ll have to find a cat named “Duke”

Check out Pettags.com Link. You can get collars with Queen’s and Lady’s name right on them along with your phone number. They’re cheap, durable and come in a variety of sizes.

I, too, have heard that rumor about most places not bothering to wand strays. For my own peace of mind, I choose not to believe it.

I am so glad your story has a happy ending!

I used to work at a no kill shelter that would get many of their dogs from municipal shelters. One time, just before loading a new batch of dogs into the van to come to our shelter, dogs who had been in the municipal shelter long enough to have been considered unclaimed and had been behaviorally tested to join our shelter, a municipal employee said, “let’s just scan them to ‘double check.’” THREE of the seven dogs were microchipped. Close call. I wonder how many microchipped dogs are euthanised every year unchecked?
Our local greyhound rescue group puts out lost dog e-mails and a phone tree when a dog goes missing–the last time one happened their were ten different cars out looking and the dog was found within two hours.

Wow, what a story! Could not be happier she was found.

Another lesson: never ever let a pet out on or around Independance Day; firercrackers and fireworks frequently scare the heck out of them too.

And a sad commentary on humans: never let a cat, especially a black one, out on Halloween.

I bought mine at Petland. They had a stainless-steel one shaped like a little bone. Both sides of the tag are engraved with our full address, our telephone number and my grandma’s telephone number.

I asked my vet about it, and he told me that none of our local shelters or vets’ offices have scanners. He recommended that I have the dogs’ ears tattooed instead which is readily identifiable by anyone.

The only drawback is that a dog has to be under anaesthesia for this and most vets won’t put them under for just a tattoo. So the best time to do it is when you have your dog spayed or neutered.

Congrats on finding your pretty dog. Life isn’t the same without that little part of your family.

I’m so happy you found Queen!

FYI - If your dogs spend any appreciable amount of time outside the Pettags collars won’t hold up. We ordered them for our dogs and put our telephone number rather than their name on them. Within six months the black ink the # was written in was gone, leaving just the red collar.

Hmm, I, too, have the red collar with the black writing but my dog’s name and my phone number are embroidered on the collar. It’s held up fine for the past year and a half and Ramush is out in the yard most of the day (I have a doggie door). I also have a black collar with red writing (also embroidered and looks much cooler than the red with black!) for when I take him stateside. Perhaps they’ve changed their collars since you’ve ordered. His US collar is only 4 months old - I don’t know when you ordered yours.

Therein lies the difference … The collars we had weren’t embroidered. The letters/numbers were screenprinted on. Same company and I thought the same product but I could certainly be mistaken. The embroidered product would last much longer.

We went back to the kennel last night - the one owned by the guy who found Queen - to bring him a gift/thank you card. He told us the details of how he picked up Queen.

He was visiting a friend’s house when, I guess through the window, he spotted a muddied, clearly lost dog. She looked fatigued and was resting in some tall grass to get out of the heat. Not knowing what he was getting into he brought a bowl of water out.

Queen is friendly but skittish around strangers. She didn’t approach the water until he went back in the house. He watched from the window as Queen hobbled up to the bowl - favouring her back right leg (which, we later learned, had its pads badly damaged). She drank the water, but not acting as if having recently crossed the desert.

Then she actually came up to the door apparently looking for him. When he saw she was injured he decided to coax her into his car to bring her to his kennel. He stepped out of the house and Queen dashed back to the grass. He walked up to her and she retreated further, but when he turned around she came up to him. He told us she obviously wanted to be saved, but had to overcome her mistrust. I’m not one to anthropomorphize but… ah, who am I kidding - yes I am. I believe every word.

He and she continued this advance and retreat dance until they were close to the car. He opened the door and she jumped in. But when he started to close the door she jumped out again. After a couple rounds of this, he just left the door open and sat on the porch. She hopped in again.

Eventually she relaxed and lay down in the car. He closed the door and hopped in himself. All was well for the ride to the kennel, except one brief moment when his turned in what he later found out to be the opposite direction to our house. Queen became a bit agitated. He reached his arm back to calm her and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

The whole episode took over an hour! I can’t imagine how things would have turned out if someone less patient had spotted her.

Oh, I’m glad you found your dog. I just get heartsick when I see posters of lost animals. :frowning:

What info would you have the ears tattooed with? I’ve always wondered this. I have retired racing greyhounds, who have a litter number tattooed in one ear and their birth month and year tattooed in the other, and unless someone who found the dog knew what those are and who to call to get the owner’s info, they are pretty useless. I’d be clueless about who to call if I found another breed of dog with a tattoo unless it was the owner’s phone number or something, which is obviously not very practical. :slight_smile:

I’m also wondering about the method of tattooing - greyhound pups are not anesthetized for their tattooes. The breeders use a special clamp that imprints the entire thing in each ear at once. It’s a little ouchy - kind of like getting a piercing - but it’s over quick and minutes later they’ve forgotten all about it.

He told me that there’s some sort of nation-wide registry. IIRC (and this has been a while ago, so don’t take it for gospel) he said that he calls the registry and the dog is assigned a number. That number and a 1-800 number are tattooed into the ear, and the dog also has both of them on a tag on his collar.

He said that the method of tattooing the ear was virtually the same as if you went in to get your arm tattooed. They use a tattoo gun.

Man, ain’t that the truth. So many people would have said, “Aw, screw it” when they couldn’t get the dog to come to them quickly.

My mom once found a Great Dane. The poor thing was attempting to hide in the bushes beseide the road (and was apparently under the illusion that if he managed to cram his massive head and one paw into the bush, that he was completely hidden.) She stopped the car and checked him out. Seeing that he was gentle, and well-groomed, she knew he had to be a lost pet. She lured him into the backseat of her hatchback with the cheeseburgers she was bringing home for dinner.

She says she wished to God that someone had had a camera to record the hilarious image of this massive animal crammed into the tiny car. He hung over the driver’s seat, she says, laying his huge head on her shoulder and generally making a nuisance of himself. He was frightened and wanted assurance. He also wanted the rest of the cheeseburgers, and mom was a little hesitant to try to stop him when he grabbed the bag and returned to the backseat to eat them. (“You never know if he might bite,” she said later. “Well, Christ,” replied my stepfather. “You didn’t consider that possibility before you put him in the car?”)

He had no tags. She turned him loose in her fenced backyard and lacking a digital camera (which hadn’t even been invented yet at the time of our story) she simply tooks some typing paper and wrote: “FOUND: Massive black Great Dane. Likes Cheeseburgers.”

Within hours of putting the signs up, she got a call from the owner who hastened over to her house. She says the man wept when he saw the dog was fine, and he was knocked over by 150 lbs.+ of joyful canine. The owner returned a couple of hours later to drop off a bag of cheeseburgers.