Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Avoiding a Lost Yard Dog

Apologies in advance to my neighbour if this post offends them. Last week, while walking with my dog Buddy and 3 year old son, we heard a loud "screeeeach" and saw a large Golden retriever quickly jump out of the way of a moving car.

We walked over to the poor golden and I thanked my lucky stars that my 10 years as a dog walker quickly earned his trust. I gathered up the dog's martingale collar in my hand and thought to myself "how am I going to get these 2 dogs and a 3 year old to the school and go inside to get my Kindergartener?". I decided to practice what I teach in Pet First Aid class and
looked around me for help. 

A male cyclist was coming by and I shouted “Hello!” and he stopped.  I told the cyclist (named Steve) our predicament and he agreed to help.  We looked for tags on the dog but only found his City of Vancouver dog licence.  Phew, that was a start. 
Steve kindly walked his bike and the Golden up to the school with us and en route I called the City of Vancouver to report that I’d found the dog.  We sent another parent in to collect my daughter and said “bye” to Steve and set out for home.  The City Pound staff would be there shortly to collect the pooch.
On the way home, a lady was outside her home unloading her car and happened to know which house the dog lived in.  “Woohoo” we exclaimed and off we went to return the pooch home – a mere ½ block from where we had originally found him. 
When we knocked on the door the owner of the dog was shocked to see his dog with us – he had no idea that his beloved Golden had escaped from the back yard!   Fortunately, it was a happy ending but we hope this story and the following tips will give you some ideas to avoid an event like this from happening again.
* Tag your pets.  The City would not give me the pooch’s owner’s information, nor would they contact the owner until the dog was in their possession.  A simple tag would have reunited pooch with his family much quicker
* Secure your yard.  This pooch simply walked out the back gate that was unlatched.  Ensure your fence is high enough, there is no way to dig under it, and that all gates are secured tightly.  Add a sign saying “keep gate closed” if needed
* Hang out with your pets.  Pets like to be with their people and it’s easiest to keep tabs on them when they are with you.
* If you are faced with any animal emergency, don’t be afraid to ask for help!  Steve was a great help to me in this situation, as was the parent who went in the school to collect my daughter.  Even if someone doesn’t like animals, they can still help you in some way.
* Train in Pet First Aid.  Our dear Golden friend was nearly creamed by a car on his neighbourhood stroll.  It’s better to be safe then sorry!
Pictured: Levi learns how to walk the dog to pickup his big sister.

To learn more about Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid, please visit our web site at www.walksnwags.com or visit us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Walks-N-Wags-Pet-First-Aid/142710559130541?ref=tn_tnmn  

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