Loving our dogs the way that we do, having to say goodbye to them someday is devastating but we know the day will come sooner or later. We know that everything born will die. The normal lifespan of a German Shepherd Dog is 8 – 13 years. The oldest dog that I had was the black faced male that you see pictured at the top of my blog with his half sister. That was “Rajah” who lived to be 14 ½ years old. So saying goodbye to our beloved dogs can be gut wrenching, but what about those dogs that get lost. You know you’ve heard about the few dogs that may have been boarded that escaped or the rare few that get lost at an airport. There are even those dogs that have escaped while being in a professional dog handlers care. How about those that dig a hole under a fence and escape, or those that scale a fence? What a nightmare for the owner of one of these escape artists!
When I was a little girl, my mother found a German Shepherd roaming the streets. We took him in and we called him “Spike.” I loved that dog. He was big and beautiful and had a great temperament. But “Spike” had the “vagabond blues” and he longed to stray and look for his real owners. One day he got loose and ran away. My little heart was broken. I began looking for him and tracking his paw prints in the dirt. I mean I followed what I believed to be “Spikes” paw prints for many blocks. Then the paw prints disappeared because they were met by a major street that was loaded with traffic coming both ways. I was so upset. I crossed this major road to the other side. The other side led me to a smaller street that ran along side of a little canal. I picked up his tracks once again in the sand but then they went into an overgrown brush and weeds and I lost tract of them…….and of ever seeing my “Spike” again. Back in those days they didn’t have micro-chips for dogs.
We have all read about the horror stories of dogs being stolen at dog shows and even taken from someone’s backyard. Most of the time this happens right out in broad daylight! Your dog is a valuable part of your family. Watch over him just as you would your own child!
All of my dogs are micro-chipped. Many breeders will micro-chip their puppies before they sell them. I think this is an excellent idea so that if they do get lost that the breeder will be notified and she can contact the owner.
So what else do you do if your dog is lost besides the micro-chip? Naturally one of the first things that you should do is call the animal shelters in your area to see if anyone has turned in a dog that looks like yours. Contact the veterinarians in your area as well in case someone has found the dog and brings his into the office. Make posters with the dog’s picture on it and put it all over town. Put them up in your grocery store, your feed store and any other place that will allow you to do it. Knock on your neighbors doors and ask for their help in locating your animal. You’d be surprised how your neighbors may rally around you to help find your beloved pet. Ask the kids in the neighborhood to keep an eye out for him.
Here are some other things that you can do to help find your dog. Go online and read and post on animal forums such as the Center for Lost Pets – thecenterforlostpets.com. Also many local newspapers will let you place a classified ad in their paper for free. Besides calling the shelters, make visits to them frequently because many times a dog that has been lost for any amount of time is not in the best condition when he is found. His coat can be dirty and matted and he could have lost a lot of weight so the dog that you call up about may no longer look like the one that the shelter has just got. Go take a look for yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t automatically think all gloom and doom. According to Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk Program at the Humane Society, pets are more resilient than we give them credit for.
Here are some best lost pet websites to check out if your pet is lost.
thecenterforlostpets.com – created by a team of vets, shelter managers, and natural disaster and safety experts, this site is simple to use.
togethertag.com – reports your missing pet to local shelters, create missing animal flyers and alert other animal owners nearby.
fidofinder.com – this is the world’s largest public database of lost and found dogs.
Also on the Animal Planet’s show that I watch every week, called “Pit Boss” there was a dog that was lost and they suggested that you look by ponds, lakes, streams……anywhere there is water because the dog will get thirsty and look for a place that he can get a drink.
Don’t give up hope of ever seeing your beloved dog again. Miracles do happen and let’s hope if your dog ever finds himself in that position that he gets his miracle too! Speaking of miracles, take a look at the review on this book.
From the book: "Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings" - "There is an aura of happy innocence--a kind of euphoria-- pervading this book....Elder shows us humanity in its best light and we are uplifted."
—The New York Times
“It’s about hope, it’s about fear, it’s about triumph … I guarantee you, you’ll feel better about everything after you read this.” – David Letterman
"This story takes place in the most familiar places – a doctor’s office, a family’s kitchen, a suburban high school, and the woods out back. It’s a modern-day myth that happened to be true. It’s a story in which wonderful things occurred because people believed in themselves and in each other. It’s a story about the power of love to change our world."
"A story of how healing the love of a pet can be and of faith that good things can still happen when people pull together – a true, feel-good read"
—Patricia Cornwell, author of the Scarpetta series and dog lover
"Huck is the Dewey of the canine world. The dog is a delight-- even my cat Norton would have been charmed (after a hiss or two) -- and the book itself is lovely and inspiring. I rate it 5 barks."
—Peter Gethers, author of The Cat Who Went to Paris and The Cat Who'll Live Forever
"Janet Elder's wonderful story of Huck reminds us that the best stories about dogs are really about people or, in this case, community. Few things in America these days can bring people together more than a shared love of dogs. Dogs enter our lives for all kinds of reasons, and Huck entered Janet Elder's life for one of the most important. This is a wonderful story, gripping and heartwarming. And I can't say I've ever read a dog story with a more meaningful or uplifting ending. You are likely to cry some happy tears."
—Jon Katz, author of Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm
"This dog story made me feel good about people, families, and New Jersey."
—Roy Blount Jr.
"Puppies have always been better than people. Now comes a book where a puppy makes people better people. Pet it, feed it, even read it. You'll love it---and become a better person."
—Dan Jenkins, sportswriter/novelist
My rating: micro-chipping dogs: (4), safe keeping our dogs: (4)