Being active on social media I often see posts and flyers about pets that go missing. I used to wonder how on earth can you lose your pet until a few years ago one of my dogs wandered out of my yard and went on a little walkabout. Luckily I noticed right away and found him within minutes but let me tell you it scared the poop out of me!
I had been trying to repair something in my yard and was frustrated and lost my patience and cursed pretty loud. My dog, being the sensitive soul that he is, just wanted to get away from mad, swearing me so he wandered to the back of the yard where my fence was not secured. I know, not good, but that’s a whole other part to this story. Generally my dogs never want to be away from me – they always want attention, bringing me toys to throw or wanting to do something, anything with me so the part of the fence that had fallen down was never a concern. Until my dog wanted to get away from me. He wandered out and I’m sure just followed his nose and kept going, past the back field and along the trail. This is a route I take often with my dogs on walks so I just followed where he knew and sure enough there he was walking along the trail, head down sniffing. I yelled to him and he heard me, looked and came running like as if we had just been out on a walk and I was recalling him. I realized then that THIS was how pets can get lost. They can spook easily, they can respond out of fear or out of sensitivity like mine did, they can get distracted and chase/follow something so far that they don’t know how to get back, they can spook at loud noises – think of how many dogs go missing after a big fireworks display.
In another instance recently I had some of my dogs on a mini hike with a friend and her dog, another friend was meeting us and when he came over a hill towards us ALL the dogs flipped out and reacted barking and running at this person. My friend’s little dog was spooked not only by the person but by the dogs’ reaction to him and he bolted – in the opposite direction! This could have been disastrous but I quickly recognized the barking dogs would soon realize who was approaching as they all knew him well and would settle down so I focused on getting our little friend back in our direction. Thankfully he recalled although quite hesitantly and accepted treats so we could leash him up. Knowing that he was still a bit spooked even after meeting the new person we kept him on leash for the remainder of the hike just to be safe.
This incident just reminded me how easily and innocently our pets can react and bolt and be lost. If this happens to you there are a few good organizations out there that can help. The power of social media in these instances can be incredible! There was a story recently of a dog lost at Mono Cliffs for ten days I believe and was found safely. Your best bet would be to contact one of these search and rescue organizations for help. If you know your dog is spooky, not confident or know what triggers their fear reactions always take caution. For example during fireworks I will wait to take my dogs out for a bathroom break but if I absolutely have to do this during fireworks I will still leash some of them who are scared of those loud booming noises even though my yard is now fully and securely fenced. If you know you have a breach in your containment for your pet fix it as soon as possible or just take them out on a leash. If you know your invisible fence wire has been broken or the battery in the collar is dead, take your dog out on a leash. If you have a visiting pet or a newly adopted pet, be cautious and take them out on a leash.
For organizations look up lost and found pets of (your area) or google search and rescue for pets (in your area). You can also try posting in local community groups in case your pet wanders into or across someone’s yard. Your post may not be directly related to the page but many community members will see your pet and be aware to keep an eye out for them! Important information to take note of would be time & location your pet was last seen, direction they were headed if you saw them bolt, a recent photo would help along with any identifying details like a collar or harness colour, tags or other id.