I apoligize for not posting in the last week but we had a long, sorrowful week. We lost a dog last Sunday afternoon and my concerns were elsewhere.
Moose hunting season is September 1st until the 15th. There are many hunters who think Two Rivers is an unpopulated hunting paradise. These people don't realize that there are actually quite a few homes and cabins tucked back in the woods. So, these hunters will drive trucks and 4 wheelers all around our neighborhood like it is the back country - especially on a nice Sunday afternoon.
One of our dogs was walking with my mom, when my mom stepped into the little cabin on the driveway to change her shoes. The dog was playing in the field and probably ventured out the driveway. We think that perhaps one of these people picked up our dog at the end of our driveway because mom heard repetitive "honking" from a vehicle then ..... no dog. All of this happened in less than 5 minutes.
The next few days were filled with sorrow and heart ache - everyone felt to blame. Her collar with ID tag was laying right where I had taken it off earlier that day. Allen had driven past a truck leaving the neighborhood with dog kennels, but hadn't looked in the kennels. Mom just couldn't believe it all happened so fast.
Needles to say, we scoured the area and told EVERYONE. We made many huge signs (with bright orange paint) and posted them the night that she went missing. The next day we made more signs and placed them in and round Fairbanks. I, like most people, have friends with many different connections. I used every connection that I knew to get the word out. The "lost dog" information was soon on the local radio and TV stations.
On Tuesday evening, I got a phone call from a woman who said "Aliy, I am sure that I have your dog." She and her husband had been fishing about 25 miles from our house. When they started back to their truck they saw a frightened dog in the ditch. It wouldn't come to them, so she took out her dog and some food and coaxed it to come. She thought it looked like it had jumped out of a vehicle and was lost. So, she took it home. She had heard about our lost dog on the radio and called. Thank goodness..... it was our dog!
So, I am writing this post to talk about what we did wrong and what we did right. Perhaps we can all learn from it.
What we did wrong:
- always monitor a loose dog
- always keep a collar (with ID) on your dogs
- get a micro chip in every dog (not just race dogs)
- keep track of holidays or times when more people will be around (hunting season, 4th of July, long weekends)
What we did right:
- immediately tell everyone that you lost a dog - neighbors, post office, local stores
- contact animal control and the local Vet offices
- put an ad in the Newspaper "Lost & Found"
- put up large readable signs and posters
- get the info on the radio and tv as soon as possible
- put a large reward to get people's attention
So.... now life is back to the normal chaos!
You gotta love those dogs! (You can't help it.)
Collar with ID