“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.”
― Stanley Coren
I saved my neighbor’s dog this morning. Well, that may be a little overstated. Whatever you want to call it, I feel like I did a good thing today.
Our neighborhood is very quiet. We know the few people close to us, but we don’t know everyone. There is a young couple who lives a block from us. They have a toddler and a young herding-type dog. I’ve noticed the last few days on our walks that the dog was not in the backyard. All the family cars were gone so I assumed they were gone for a few days and had taken the dog.
This morning on our walk, I mentioned not seeing the dog to Michael. No sooner had I finished that statement, he saw this little dog ahead of us on the road. As we continued our walk, we watched for him. On the final leg of our walk, turning towards our driveway, I spotted the dog sitting in his front yard. Great! Maybe I can get him back into the fenced backyard.
He was not happy to see me walk his way. The closer I walked to him, the faster he raced away from me. I had some treats stashed in my pocket but even using the “treat” word made no difference in our game of tag.
I checked out the gates to see if he had gotten the latch undone. Both gates were closed and latched shut. I walked around the backyard to see if he had food and water. Both bowls were full of clean food and fresh water. At a loss for what else to do, I decided to leave the gates ajar in hopes he would go inside to rest, eat and drink.
I walked home to write a note to leave on their door, telling the young couple I’d seen their dog running in the neighborhood and had left both gates open so he could get back in the yard. Because of their toddler and not knowing when they’d be home, I didn’t want them to come home in the dark to an unsecured backyard. With my note taped to my hand, I strolled back to the neighbors. Walking up to the porch, I saw their little dog looking out at me from behind the fence. Success!
I closed and latched both gates, hung a postscript to my original note, and headed home.
I am so thankful we saw him and were able to get him safely back in his yard. I feel like I’ve accomplished something today–it cost me nothing but a little time and perseverance.
This little adventure made me think of people traveling with or without their pets this holiday season. If you have not updated your pet’s ID tag lately, do a quick review of the following:
- Are the pet’s name and your contact information legible?
- Is your contact information current? You might want to have your cell phone number on the tags in case you are traveling with the dog. For back-up, have two contact phone numbers instead of a home address.
- Check to make sure your pet’s collar is in good condition and all tags are attached securely. One of our dogs likes to play by grabbing onto our other dog’s collars. Over time, this type of play resulted in separating one of the rings attached to the chip ID information. By the time I realized this was happening, the chip ID had fallen off and the other tags barely hanging on.
- If you are leaving your pet at home, consider letting your neighbors know in case your pet gets out as your pet sitter comes into the house or yard. If your pet is not used to being left alone, he or she may get anxious in your absence and find a way to escape and set out to find you.
“I like dogs
I like dogs
A dog that is barking over the hill
A dog that is dreaming very still
A dog that is running wherever he will
I like dogs.”
― Margaret Wise Brown, The Friendly Book
Love to all my two and four-legged friends.