I had a very scary experience with a brand new dog, now my up and coming agility dog. This is a post I wrote at the time about the importance of keeping ID on your dog.
I was working at the store about noon when my son called from home to say that our new, young, dog had been spooked by something and run away dragging his leash. I’d only had Cooper three weeks – he is a black tri-color Sheltie just over a year old at the time. Two weeks before he came to live with me, he had been spooked at his breeder’s house in the middle of the night. He ran, and was out on walkabout for a few days, parts unknown, until she was able to find him.
I rushed home from Animal Fair, and started walking around and calling. Happy voices calling, Belle barking for cookies, we walked up and down the street. After about ten minutes of this, I hear him crashing through the woods down the hill to the driveway.
Well. it wasn’t quite that simple. He was frightened out of his mind, took one look at us, and bolted down the neighboring driveway and vanished.
More walking. More calling. Hoping for a little Hansel and Gretel action I left small chunks of microwaved hot dogs around the yard and driveway. Belle snatched a whole hot dog (Accidentally. No dinner for her!) Back walking up and down the street and my cell phone rang. A landscaper 3/4 mile away had grabbed the trailing leash, found the tag on the collar and called my cell.
He’s home safe, but still scared out of his mind.
The day I brought Cooper home, I’d stopped at Animal Fair and had a collar tag made for him. If you want something a little fancier, look for stainless steel tags that can be mailed to you in just a few days. There’s a wide range of sizes, colors and styles. They cost a little more but make a very nice accessory for your dog’s collar. One more option for identifying your dog is an embroidered collar. Any of those tags or collars will improve the chances of getting your dog back quickly.
If Cooper hadn’t been wearing his ID tag, I wouldn’t have him back yet. If ever. Lesson for today – keep a collar and ID on your dog at all times. Microchips are great and the collar tag doesn’t replace a chip — but microchips need to be read at the vet or shelter. Anyone who can read can see the information on a dog tag and call you.