Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Panic began to set in as I realized he was gone and someone must have stolen him. Zippy, my 6-year-old yellow Lab, was nowhere to be found. He had gone outside with the other two dogs to play in my fenced-in backyard. The others went in and out as I busied myself eating lunch, changing clothes, and putting another load in the washer and dryer.
I thought maybe he had come in and gone to bed, but he wasn’t on my bed-or under it. He wasn’t in the bathroom-the living room-the kitchen-or any other room. I went outside calling his name, but no answer. The gates were closed. Someone must have opened a gate and taken Zippy. He has a microchip. Should I call Animal Control?
Like many pet parents, I have plenty of pictures that could be used for a Missing Dog flyer, but I hoped it didn’t come to that. My neighborhood has a Facebook group, and I posted there, pleading for help.
In a panic, I called my neighbor. The 14-year-old has been Zippy’s “girlfriend” since his puppyhood. She rushed right over and knocked on my front door.
That’s when we heard the familiar barking coming from upstairs.
We ran up the stairs to the master bedroom and I flung open the closet door. Somehow Zippy had snuck into the closet when I changed my clothes! He walked out as if to say, “What’s all the fuss about?” I was so happy to see him, I couldn’t really be angry. We sometimes play “hide and seek” and I guess he forgot to tell me I was “it."
It’s important to have your dog micro chipped in case he’s lost or stolen. Zippy’s Avid tag is on his collar. That could deter a would-be thief, knowing that while he could just remove the collar and throw it away, someone somewhere might check for a microchip and find out Zippy wasn’t registered to him.
And be sure to have pictures handy that you can use for flyers. Digital files can be copied and upload to Facebook and other social media platforms.
Hopefully your dog will never be lost or stolen, but it’s not too early to be prepared.