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Keeping Track of Your Canine Companion

The importance of microchipping.

Happy Spring all! I know it isn’t technically Spring but judging by the weather and the behavior of my canine customers – Spring is certainly afoot.

As you may have , Trigger was reunited with his soldier in Washington. We at Hounds Town – PJ were all sorry to see him go but what an . Learning about the soldier and everything he did for our country as well as everything he did for his dog was truly inspiring and humbling. We are so so so honored to have been a part of Trigger’s life.

In other news, I’ve been noticing a marked increase in the number of lost dogs. Generally speaking, any extreme changes in weather will cause your pooch to behave a little erratically.Dogs who normally don’t try to run out of a playroom, will. Dogs who normally never bark, will (A LOT). This also applies at home. Within two days your normally placid couch potato will make it his life’s work to get out your front door to explore the neighborhood. I have no idea what the science is behind this but I do know we all see it every year.

To that end, consider this my heartfelt public plea to get your dogs micro-chipped. It really is the fastest and easiest way to track down your dog if it gets lost. Collars and tags are fine but if you have a very determined or adventurous pup, it’ll be off in no time. I understand many people in live “nice” quiet neighborhoods so if the dog gets out, it’ll be corralled and brought home by a neighbor (“I had a visitor in my yard today, haha” or easily captured by it’s irritated owner (who is usually in pajamas, muttering “I’m gonna be late for work...”)

However, whether anyone wants to think about this or not, let’s be honest about what goes Out There.

Cars. I don’t care how quiet your cul de sac is, people have to get in and out somehow – I’m making the educated guess it’s via car. If it’s dark and you have a black or brown dog, the chances of getting hit by a car are significant. And there are some not so nice people out there who will hit your pet and leave it to die. Sorry to be so harsh but that is a fact.

Speaking of not so nice so people, there is also dog fighting, right here on Long Island. Again, whether anyone wants to think about this horror, it is out there and it’s not as far away as you might think. If you have a friendly dog that goes up to a stranger, there’s a chance said stranger will take your dog and use it as a bait dog. It happens time and time again. Have you ever wondered why some rescue groups are so strict about adoptees having a fenced in yard? It’s because they are the ones who have to go in and rescue the animals who have fallen into the wrong hands. They know all too well about Out There.

Obviously things happen and dogs get out of their protected area. My Springer loves few things more than darting out the front door and doing a lap up and down the block, greeting his canine neighbors and snarfling through the garbage. However, he always comes back (he knows where the food and his bed are; he’s no fool). In the event your adventurer doesn’t, there are a few tricks people use to retrieve their dogs that you may consider useful:

If you saw the dog get away and can track it, bring along food, a leash and
a tennis ball. For your garden variety runner any one of those things will bring
it back. And 9 times out of 10 all you have to do is open your car door and the
dog will jump in. Like my Ringo, they’re just out there for joy of it, not because they really want to go anywhere.

For those who have a dog that snuck out and time has passed before anyone realized, it’s more of a challenge. I am a firm believer in enlisting helpers. Call your friends and neighbors and get everyone out there looking. Also use social networking. A picture of your pup can be blasted out to hundreds of people in no time.

There are many instances when the dog stopped running for the fun of it and just got plain old lost. In those cases I’ve seen the dog flop into a car as if to say, “Thank God you showed up, I had no idea where I was!” If it’s a Good Samaritan who grabbed your pooch, he or she will most likely bring it to a shelter or a vet who will scan it for a chip. You’ll get called and all will be well.

Additionally, I also think it’s a good idea to walk your dog regularly so it doesn’t get lost by accidentally straying too far from home. If he or she knows where they are, there’s a higher chance of meandering back home safely or being picked up by a neighbor. Plus then you’ll know all the interesting spots so if the dog does get out, you know where to go first.

And it’s Spring! I love when my three just stand with their noses in the air, taking in all the fresh green smells. We should all be out walking and stopping to smell the flowers with our canine companions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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