Dog Reconnaissance

I had a run-in this week that reminded me of just how important it is for your dog to have ID on him at all times.  Walking Gwynn towards a park, we found a dog running loose through the street (the busy, busy street), foot-loose, fancy (and collar) free, nary an owner in sight.

almost... but more ... cookies and cream-ey

It figures, of course, that I didn’t have my phone on this walk.  It’s too bad, because this dog was GORGEOUS.  A
wirecoat Jack Russell Terrier or Jack Russell mix, he was white with faint black specks under the surface – he looked like a cookies and cream bar.

Not only pretty, but very friendly.  Many sites providing information about lost dogs warn that they are likely to be nervous of you and unwilling to approach – not this guy.  He was springy and delighted to find a new person and dog to hang out with for a while.  I knocked on doors, and he followed happily, answering when I called him away from the road, and jumping around like he was built on springs.

The man who finally answered his door (apparently, 5ish is not the time to go door-to-door in my neighbourhood) got a surprise, as Jumpy (I am an original namer of dogs, as you can see) raced between his legs and up the stairs into the house.  Luckily, he was a dog owner, and not overly upset at the invasion.

What I did acquire there, though, was a leash to loop around his neck – that made it much easier to keep him off the
road and out of traffic.  It also meant that I could take him to the vet.

"So, you turn left at the next stopsign and just keep going until you see Timmy stapling "Lost Dog" posters... yeah, he does that every time I go on an adventure, dumb kid."

I wasn’t sure if this was a case of “brief escape from my yard”, or “I’ve been missing for three days, and am now 50 km from my home”.  He wasn’t exactly helpful in answering questions – then again, Lassie never got lost, so how can I expect this guy to bark out a street name when he probably can’t even tell me if Timmy fell down the well?

I also wasn’t sure if he had a chip identifier, but I was hopeful, so I headed up to the vet’s office a few blocks  from where I’d found him.  If nothing else, I could pass on my information and bring him home until his owner could
retrieve him.

I’ll admit – I fantasized a bit about this sweet, smart, and well-trained dog being my guest for a few days… weeks…
months.  Maybe his owners had set him loose on purpose and didn’t want him anymore! Don’t judge me!  You didn’t see how sweet and pretty and well behaved he was!

The vet, of course, was closed – the only day of the week they weren’t open until 7pm. As we’d been walking there, I asked everyone I ran into the same thing, though:

“Do you recognise this dog from around here?  If you see someone looking for a dog, please tell them I’m taking him to the vet to get his chip checked.”

And it worked quite well – on my way back to the neighbourhood to knock on some more doors, a woman leapt from her car, pyjama-clad, and sprinted towards me.  She’d found out where I was going, and drove to the vet.

“THAT’S MY DOG!” she yelled, a few times.  Briefly, I thought she was accusing me of stealing him, but no, she was just very very anxious.  And who wouldn’t be, in that situation?

A happy ending all-around.  It turns out this guy was a National Champion Racing dog, with the unfortunate tendency to just RUN if he ever gets loose.  I don’t think she was looking for him too long, though even the half-hour or so that I had him with me must have been a nightmare.

Gwynn was kind of disappointed, though – I think he was hoping that I was getting him his own dog, like Stinky got in Dharma and Greg.

Gwynn... Jumpy is your responsibility, now. That means that you're going to have to figure out how to pick up his poop, y'hear?



  1. Why wouldn’t you have some type of COLLAR on your NATIONAL CHAMPION RACING DOG???? OMG how dumb are people?

    Sampson and Delilah have indoor and outdoor collars, at the very least they wouldn’t be called ‘chocolate and peanutbutter’ (Just picking up on your tendency to have original names.;-)

    Delilah I don’t worry about so much, I’m pretty sure anyone that found HER would immideatly try and find her owner.

    Sampson though, he’s another story. I worry that someone would try to keep him. 😦

    • Oops, should have clarified – she told me he wriggled out of his collar while on leash. Though how that connects to her being in her PJ’s at 6ish pm, I don’t know.
      I know the concern you have about Sampson, though – Gwynn gets a lot of compliments from random people, which is great, but also makes me unwilling to leave him somewhere someone could easily grab him. He’s friendly and timid enough that he could easily be bullied into leaving the place I left him, or just plain picked up and shoved into a car. If I do errands with him, I go with someone else, so that one of us can wait outside with him. The most I’ve ever left him is outside the coffee shop with a Giant window while I go in, order and pay, and watch him like a very very paranoid hawk.

  2. Christmas Eve 2009, I was driving by our local reservoir, when I saw two beautiful yellow labs running….dragging their leashes. Stop. Coax dogs to car. Check tags. Call number listed on tags. Long story short, the lady walking them decided to drop their leashes and let them run. They ran away from her. I passed her frantically struggling to get up to where the dogs were (now safely with her husband who answered my phone call) and shouted to her they were ok. Her saving grace? Yes the tag with the dog’s name and her telephone number on it. 🙂

    • Sometimes, I think, it’s hard to tell how your dogs will react to being let off-leash. But no, she should never have let them off if they weren’t likely to respond to a recall command. At least you caught them quickly, especially if they were close to a road!

  3. In was going to say…no ID?……I have seen dogs wriggle out of their collars. Gretel even did it once. That is one reason I use a harness. However, some anumals are just Houdini’s. I kew a horse once that coudl wriggle out of it’s saddle…..with you on it!

    • Wow, the saddled horse – that would be impressive and terrifying when you were on his back! I rode a horse once who would hold his breath while you were tightening the girth – so that, if you werent’ careful (like i was… once), partwy through the ride, he could give a shake and cause the saddle to roll sideways, launching you off his back and into the dirt. NOT a fun break in a riding lesson!
      I have definitely seen enough dogs wriggle loose of their collars. And cats can even get out of harnesses

  4. Now that’s a trick Jess!!!

  5. I will admit that our dogs rarely were collars if they are at home. But they are chipped and they wear collars with tags when they are not at home.

    You did a very good deed for that owner and that little dog. I doubt most people would have taken the time. Great job!

    • I was glad to hear from the owner that the dog did have a chip – if she hadn’t caught up with me right after the closed vet-office, I’d at least have been able to get her contact information from my own vet, or any other clinic that was still open that evening. Gwynn’s got a chip, but I hope it never becomes necessary!
      Also, thanks 🙂

  6. How wonderful that you happened along and took all that time and care with this dog. You’ve earned your wings for doggie-heaven, should you wish to go there (eventually)!

    • Haha, as long as my ‘job’ in doggy heaven isn’t poop-duty 🙂
      I’d like to think that, if Gwynn gets away from me, someone will do the same for me. This isn’t the first dog I’ve found wandering loose, though it is the first one I couldn’t find an owner for, just by knocking on doors. The last time, a neighbour recognised him, and when we established his owners weren’t home, she took him in, to keep in her own back-yard until they got home.

  1. Dog Reconnaissance (via Gone for a Walk) | Time To Train Your Dog
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