By: Joel Allen
Years ago when I worked at the Huntsville Corn Maze, I used to take one of my Danes. This particular time I took Brock, who was a big behemoth brindle Great Dane. At the maze, I locked him in the office so I could walk the maze and check it over. While I had been doing this for not even ten minutes, I get a call. Brock had been accidentally let out, and in that moment when he could not find me, he panicked, running away. Myself and a few other people who had seen the direction he went in headed to another field that he miraculously made it to by crossing Highway 72. It took at least thirty minutes of calling his name before he came back to me. Talk about heartsick. I thought I lost had him. Once he came back I just loved him and took him with me around the maze. We didn’t chance locking him in the office again.
Let me add that I want to share with everyone a warning. There are whispers and rumors in our area of dog fighting and dog thefts. Don’t believe all that is told, but use some common sense. What I have done to take preventive measures in the event someone tries to take one of my dogs is keep the “crazy” in me locked up behind glass that says, “In case of emergency break glass.” That is one measure of precaution. Another is all my fences have locks and chains. Some thieves like to leave the gate open as if your dog accidentally figured out how to open the gate and get out. I have known a few dogs with the ability to do so, but this also is a classic tactic of a dog thief or fighter. These people will take your dog and either use them for bait to train their fighting dogs or for other horrible things I won’t care to mention. A good measure of precaution I have learned is microchip your dog. I am still learning the ins and outs of this, but I am starting to incorporate this as a must. Some chips have the ability to not just identify your dogs but track them through GPS. Before doing any of the above, do your homework and know what is needed and wanted.
Let us say your dog is missing and the gate is wide open. Common sense tells us to call our dog back and keep yelling as loud as possible just in case they are in earshot. With each call of your voice, your heart gets heavier and heavier because your dog has not returned. Now, let us look at what to do in the event the dog does not return. If possible place fliers at places that get a lot of traffic. Most stores have a billboard to post community stuff on. If Facebook is an option for finding your dog, then I would post pictures and the location of where I lost my dog. Then, I would ask everyone to share my post. Let me throw a tidbit of common sense into the mix on this suggestion. Location means street, city, state (if needed), and very importantly, your county. I am surprised at how many people don’t do this, and I hope they realize we cannot help if we have no idea where to look. Another action I have been known to take is going to my neighbors, knocking on doors, and showing a picture of the missing dog. I have seen some success with this.
Keep in mind that if the city or county picks up your dogs, they are going to “Doggie Jail” in most cases, and everyone should remember to go up to the local shelter and see with your own eyes whether your canine family member is in the shelter on stray hold. Never just telephone the shelter and ask if your dog is there because they are overwhelmed as it stands and cannot possibly remember every dog that comes in on stray hold status. Always have your dog’s identification tags on their collars and ensure that they remain up to date. With all that is going on in our world, I hope these suggestions help.
Let me also place a “Public Service Announcement” out for all of those who read my articles. Recently the FDA put out a warning about dog foods that may be linked to heart disease in our canines. Be warned; there are many on the list that I could not believe they are suspect with as much as we pay for them. Also keep in mind those that manufacture these brands. There are some manufacturers that make more than one of these dog foods listed. Here is the list per FDA.gov:
-Taste of the Wild
-Rachael Ray Nutrish
Please be aware and investigate for yourselves the foods that are fed to our canine family members. And with saying all that folks, I hope y’all have a wonderful August.
By: Joel Allen