January 28, 2008 Lost and Found Dogs

Lost and Found Dogs

It never ceases to amaze me how many dogs are found by caring people that have no means of identification, no tag, no collar and no microchip. The caring people end up calling and visiting local vets and groomers to see if they may know who the dog belongs to and getting the dog scanned to see if it has a microchip. They scour the town putting up flyers to find the home of the dogs, yet they don’t see any flyers posted from anyone who has lost the dog.
What on earth do people do when their dog goes missing? Do they just sit back and wait for Fido to come home when he’s good and ready? Do they assume he was ran over and forget about it? What goes through their minds?
Once my dogs had decided to take off one day, aided by a gate latch left open and after I had scoured the neighborhood streets and alleys and alerted strangers I saw, I made a phone call to the police describing them and told them they were friendly and to call me if they were found. I had to leave that night to go to Lafayette, and when I pulled into the drive my dogs weren’t’ in the driveway as I had hoped they would return on their own. My heart sank. I opened up the door to my house and there were my dogs, safely inside. An Attica police officer had found them and was so kind he even brought them home! You have no idea how much I love the Attica police for doing such a kind thing. I know it’s not in their job description to take home lost dogs. A larger city I’m sure wouldn’t have cared so much. We are blessed to have such caring people in our town. My dogs were found near highway 28 and could’ve been killed. Where else in the world would the police bring home your lost pet?
Lately there has been a rash of found dogs that caring people have found. Sadly I don’t recognize them as clients of mine; otherwise it would be easy for me to find their homes. One thing in common with many lost dogs is the fact that they are “intact” or not neutered or spayed, and that is the number ONE reason dogs leave home! Spaying and neutering your pets may not prevent your dog from wandering off, but it will give him a one more reason NOT to leave home. Male dogs can smell a female dog in heat 2 miles away. Ina 2 mile radius at any given time, there are numerous females in heat. Whenever there seems to be many calls about found dogs, it’s usually because there is a female in season in the general vicinity. Hormones win against obedience. Spay or neuter your dog.
The other very important thing to do is to microchip your dog. Your vet can do this very simple and painless procedure that will make it so much easier to reunite your dog with you should he become lost. Call up your vet and ask about it.
The other thing that astounds me is the number of dogs that are dumped off to fend for themselves in the country. What goes through these idiots minds? Do they think that some caring schmuck will take the dg in and care for it without another thought? Do they assume the dog will “hunt” for its food and thereby be fine? Do they think their dumped pregnant dog will deliver her litter safely without a home and food and water? Don’t these people have a brain? They apparently don’t have a heart.
I recently groomed an emergency found dog that came in looking like a much larger breed except that it wasn’t the dog I feeling , it was matted hair. The pelt came off in one gnarled piece that was filled with burrs and all sorts of debris. When I removed the dog’s hair there was no dog underneath. There was a mass of skin and bones. This dog hadn’t eaten in a very long time. The person that found it made sure it was fed and found a home for it, vowing never to give it back to whomever it belonged to or dumped it off. I can’t blame them. The dog had been neglected for a vey long time by the looks of it. Obviously, they don’t care for the dog properly, so why would anyone give it back?
What scares me most is that many humane societies are now shutting the door on owner surrenders. They can’t care for the ones they have and can’t take in any more. Rescues are constantly full and have no more room yet the people just keep on letting the dogs breed and dump them. Rescues in other counties can’t take any animals from anyone but their own counties because they are so overloaded.
How can we change things? First, let’s take personal responsibility for our own pets by having them spayed or neutered so we don’t bring in anymore sweet lives to give away that somebody will dump down the road. Trust me, even when you think you have good homes for the babies, something may happen and they give the dog away to a not so good home. Do you really want that on your conscience?
Second, please put some identification on your pets. It’s very hard to reunite people with their pets if we don’t know who they belong to.
Third, get the word out the second your dog is missing. Someone may have picked your dogs up, and they don’t see flyers posted, the police haven’t received calls about a missing dog, how do you plan to get the dog back if nobody knows they are lost?
Fourth, if you can’t care for your dog, find a good home for it. I know how hard that is, but you have to do it. You acquired this dog, it is your responsibility. Dumping the dog in the country isn’t an option. Free to good home ads do not cost you anything. Putting up flyers is easy. Calling a rescue, pound, or veterinarian is worth a shot.
Fifth, if you can’t afford to vet it, don’t get it. Resist the urge to get a dog if you cannot afford to get it properly cared for with vaccinations and spaying and neutering and grooming and feeding. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Wait until your life is on track financially before you commit to an animal for life. Animals are not disposable.

January 14, 2008 E.S.P.

January 14, 2008


How many of you have lost a loved pet and found that you can occasionally “hear” them, sense their presence, or feel them? This has become a topic of discussion on one of my online groomer groups and while some may think I’m crazy, I have had those same things happen to me after losing a dear pet.
For the record, I want you all to know that “I” do not think you are crazy for having these feelings. Some people seem to be more “in tune” with psychic feelings than others are. While I’m far from being psychic, I have had over my lifetime sensations, or visions that can’t be explained by any other means. For instance, when I was 14 years old, I had a horse. I raised him from a 3 month old colt to an obnoxious 2 yr. old gelding that was a holy terror, but that’s another long story. (Note to those wanting horses, do NOT buy a baby horse thinking you can raise it if you have NO experience. They are not puppies. They require someone with handling experience not a novice!)
One day while riding home on the school bus as I was daydreaming out the window I had a “vision” of my horse running in circles in the field we were passing by that was next to our house. I could “see” him running like the wind! As the bus stopped at my house, I shook off that vision and went inside only to hear my mom tell me, “your horse got out today, he was just running circles in that field, you should have seen him! But your dad got him back in his pasture”.
I can’t explain how I envisioned that before knowing anything about it.
Then there was the time a few weeks after I lost my cat “Fuzz”. He died unexpectedly at the vet before they received any of his blood work back. I was in shock. I couldn’t stand to be “catless” in my house. It just wasn’t the same. I adopted another cat from a rescue nearby to help me with my feelings of loss. One night I felt a cat walking on my bed. I could feel the cat walking up my body and could feel the pressure of weight lying against my side. I reached down thinking it was my new cat Dixie, but there was nothing there. I decided I must have been dreaming because Dixie was in my son’s room lying with him and my doors were closed. I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep but then I felt it again. This time I opened my eyes and I could see the indentations in the covers as the “feet” walked up my body. Suddenly I sat up, I woke up my husband and told him, “Oh, Tim, Fuzz has come back!” He was not happy being woke up, and decided I was hallucinating, but I was adamant. It’s Fuzz! I smiled and lay down content to feel the weight of Fuzz lying against me to say goodbye. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him when I rushed him to the vet. I never expected him to die in the night either while nobody was around. I have felt Fuzz maybe once or twice since then. But I feel he came back to say goodbye to me, and went on. For me, it was comforting to be able to say goodbye to him and feel him again.
Many people have expressed to me that once their pet has passed away they can still hear them, or sense that they are there. They talk to them and eventually it stops and I truly feel that it’s to help us with our grieving and know that they have gone on to a better place but didn’t want to go without saying goodbye and taking care of our feelings of unfinished business.
There are so many times that I wish I have those feelings about some other pets that I’ve lost. I so want to feel the cold wet nose poke my hand for a pet one more time. I want to hear the sighs, feel the bodies brush against me one last time. But it hasn’t happened. I don’t know if it’s because those pets didn’t pass away without me being mentally ready for it. Those deaths were expected. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t felt them around me. It doesn’t make me miss them any less. I still long for them and wish they were here. Maybe it’s God sending back my pets that were such a shock to lose to help me deal with the loss. That’s what I choose to believe anyway. I’ve had dreams about people that I’ve lost and loved that have come to me in dreams and left me with the feelings of being hugged and feeling the weight and pressure of arms around me. That comforted me.
Why I have these feelings is a mystery to me. I prefer to think of it as a blessing that I am able to feel this, and not be afraid of it. I know there are many others who have similar and perhaps more intense feelings and connections with those that they have lost. They are blessed.
If you’ve never had these feelings, it’s okay too. Know that your pets loved you deeply and they will always be in your heart. Love doesn’t stop when someone dies. You will always feel love for someone or a beloved pet. It may get easier as the years wear on to deal with the pain of loss, but love never dies. It’s right there in your heart where it began.