We all love our pets and keeping them healthy, happy and safe is so important to us. Naturally getting them annual checkups, buying good food and not over feeding is usually priority on our list for their needs. But how many of us think about the tags that are on the collar of our dog or cat once they are attached. The topic for this article came about because of a scary incident that happened to our little five pound Pomeranian, Trinka, a few weeks ago when we were visiting my mother. We had our daughter’s dog with us when I went to visit my mother, who lives by a beach resort area.
My husband went out to the yard to do trim some bushes and I went downstairs to the basement to put some laundry in the machine. The set up at my mom’s house requires that one goes outside, down the deck steps and around to the back of the house to enter the basement. When one of us left the house to go outside, Trinka must have exited right behind us without us even noticing her. Instead of following us to the back yard she must have continued walking to the front yard and down the street, unseen by us. About a half an hour later, I walked to my car in the driveway to put something in my trunk and a couple walking by stopped to talk to me. They asked me, “Are you looking for your dog?” I smiled and replied, “No, I’m just putting something inside my car, why?” The woman replied that there are three young people that just found a little beige colored dog and are trying to call its owner from the numbers on the tag.” Since my mom lives two blocks from the beach, there are always people walking to and from the beach to their homes, especially during the summer. I asked the woman, just out of curiosity, “What kind of dog is it?” She replied, “A cute little Pomeranian”. After hearing that my heart literally skipped a beat, even though I thought surely it is not our Trinka. Quickly I rushed into the house and called “Trinka, want a cookie?” which always brings her instantly to me. No Trinka appeared and my heart sank. I went out to the deck and called my husband from his lawn work and told him what happened, adding for him to get the car keys and we’ll drive around to look for these people.
After driving for ten minutes we came back to the house and then I knew I had to call my daughter, who was at a friend’s house for lunch. Just then the phone rang and it was my other daughter calling. As I picked up the phone she asked me in a stern voice, “DO YOU HAVE TRINKA?” and I knew she already was aware of the answer. Quickly I told her no and about the couple that said someone had her and was trying to call. Then my daughter told me what happened with the call to locate Trinka’s family. Apparently Trinka’s tag had a very old set of cell telephone numbers on it. One was my daughter’s number and the other was a roommate that had now moved to California. The woman that had Trinka tried to call my daughter, but her phone was off, so she called the second number. This friend in California called my other daughter to relay the message about Trinka being found and who had Trinka and their address. The family lived four blocks from my mother and had picked up Trinka walking down the street from my mother’s house. She is so small a car could have hit her if she darted out into the road. Luckily it is a fairly quiet neighborhood, but in the summer traffic is busier. My daughter gave us the address and we drove right over. As we pulled into the driveway a young woman, twenty-something, came out of the house holding Trinka wrapped in a little blanket. Trinka looked quite content and very cozy to be carried and snuggled, which she absolutely loves. Practically out of breath from being so nervous, I introduced myself to the young woman, who I learned was named Mackenzie. I thanked her heartily for finding Trinka and making the calls to locate her family. Later my daughter said her biggest fear that someone that might find Trinka would keep her because she is absolutely adorable, and she is. It was a blessing it was Mackenzie and her friends that noticed and protected our wandering Trinka.
What is the moral of this story? Always make sure the information on your dog’s identification tag is up to date. If you change your cell phone number order a new tag. By the way, we don’t put our home phone number on the tag in case we are away from home and the dog gets lost, which is what happened that day. Our Trinka is a rescue dog from ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) and also has an “ARF” tag on her collar, so she could be reconnected through them if the phone numbers failed. It goes without saying that within days of this incident my daughter had an updated I.D. tag made with all current phone numbers, including our cell, too. That was such a scary incident I’d never want to have repeated and from now on, we’ll watch Trinka extra closely since she never did that in all her six years with our family.