Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Again!

Bradley & Brodie
We had been here three weeks when it happened. You know what I'm talking about. IT. My big fear. My babies went missing. At about 9:30 this morning they went out the doggie door to the backyard. The usually run in and out to play. After about 20 minutes I realized they had not come back in and I knew immediately that they were gone. Since Rob was still home I told him to check the front gate and I went out the back door to call for them, once. When they did not come after one call I grabbed my phone and keys and went to the car. Rob was coming to tell me that the gate was open, getting his keys to head off to look as well. He headed into the neighborhood. I headed out of the neighborhood because to me that was where the most danger lie. Our house is situated fairly close to the entrance of the neighborhood and our main street is just off the interstate. So of course I went that way, hoping they had gone the way Rob went. I also immediately called HomeAgain the pet recovery agency. Both of our dogs are microchipped. When I place that call they immediately send out alerts to all the vets, shelters, pounds and other clients in the area with a bulletin that has our boys' information. When we moved here I had just updated their information with their latest photos, and info that included their weight and identifying marks, what color their new collars were and what tags were on them. I had gotten new tags with our phone numbers. They had new city license tags. Then I remembered that this weekend, while I was garage saling, a lady had told me that their two labs had been stolen out of their backyard. They lived in the neighborhood across from us. The lady from HomeAgain said to call the police. Knowing that the police couldn't do anything immediately I kept driving around. I would have to go home to find a number since although this was an emergency for me I wasn't sure the 911 operator would feel the same. After driving around our neighborhood and the neighborhood across the main road, while calling my mom and screaming and wailing, I came home to call the police. The police receptionist asked me the normal info like our address. If they were registered with the city. Yes, I was the one who was just there this past week for almost two hours but wouldn't leave until I had tags for them. Why did I think they had been stolen? I told her the story of the lady from this weekend. Then all of the sudden they both came running in the doggie door huffing and puffing and greeting me like they had stories to tell from their great adventure.

So here's what I learned about moving to a new city/state with dogs, really just owning dogs:
  • Get them microchipped. It really could bring them Home Again.
  • When moving, update your info on your microchip website immediately, it will save so much time if and when you have to make the dreaded call
  • Get new tags for their collars with your new phone number as soon as you can
  • Get them registered with the city as soon as you can, not only will this be another way to trace them back to you, but it will prevent you from being fined and them from being adopted out or euthanized.
  • If they get out, leave the gate to the backyard open while they are gone. If they come home and the gate is closed they may keep wondering. If it's open it'll at least give them a place to go and hide from the view of the street and feel safe. Or come back in the house like ours did.
  • Put a lock on your gate. Even if someone isn't going to steal your dogs, you never know when someone may just leave your gate open or a kid walking by unlatches it. 
  • And lastly, never scold them for coming home. They didn't know they were doing anything wrong. It's natural for dogs to roam. Coming home should always be a good experience.

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