We called him Buddy.
Turned out, his name was Frankie.
We took Bella for an evening walk about a month ago, strolling around our Spokane Valley neighborhood, when I saw a loose dog. He seemed friendly, but he was a bit scared. And he had an open wound on his left forepaw.
He had no collar and, hence, no tags.
I have a thing for stray dogs. I don’t want to see any dog hurt or harmed and, if Bella got loose, I would want a neighbor to show her kindness.
We knocked on a few doors. It was cresting 9 p.m. and no one was answering the doorbell. The few folks we found didn’t recognize Buddy at all.
So, we corralled Buddy and got him to our backyard, just a couple blocks away. Buddy was playful with Bella and quite affectionate with me. To ensure husband got a good night’s sleep, I stayed downstairs with the dogs for the night, planning to keep them from causing a stir.
Off to the vet
I scoured the SCRAPS and Craigslist lost dog sections before drifting off to sleep with Buddy on my stomach — much to Bella’s consternation.
Then the next morning, I made a poster I was going to place on the local mailboxes. (Hubby’s idea.)
But first … what if he’s microchipped? Isn’t that the easiest route?
Yes, it sure is, said MaryAnn, one of my favorite people around here and the patient care coordinator at Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center.
Hooray! We jumped in the care and rushed off to Pet Vet.
Sure enough, Buddy has a microchip and, although his information wasn’t updated, MaryAnn tracked down his owner, who was thrilled to learn Frankie was safe and sound.
Worth the time and money
The breeder through whom we found Bella had all the puppies in her litter microchipped. I don’t know how much the installation costs, but registering Bella’s chip with AKC Reunite cost $17.50.
It’s a small price to pay for the security of knowing your fur baby can be found. And if there’s anything I’ve learned by teaching Bella to be off-leash, it’s that anything can happen!
Why do I tell you this story?
The American Veterinary Medical Association has designated today, August 15, as National Check the Chip Day.
It’s a gentle reminder for all pet owners to get their fur babies microchipped, be they canine, feline or anything else (can you microchip a snake? ew …)
Because according to the American Kennel Club, one in three pets go missing in its lifetime. Since many of them aren’t microchipped or licensed and tagged, they don’t find their way home.
Accidents can happen. Gate hinges come loose, holes get dug under fences, and some dogs — like Frankie — are bred to jump.
Pet parents aren’t perfect.