The elderly gentleman sitting on a seat beside the road in the town looked decidedly distressed and the reason was obvious. In his hand was a dog lead and a collar attached. It is something I have seen too often. The dog had slipped his or her collar and run off. The sad fact is that owners fit the collar too loose around the neck and it just needs a sharp noise or another dog to intrude and off your dog goes.
The owner confirmed that this was true. “I had just taken him for a long walk and I am so tired I could not go after him. He is a tiny Yorkie and I thought he would be worn out but he ran off like lightening.”
I looked around the street and found the little chap and took him into my custody so he was soon reunited with the owner who was very happy indeed.
There are several lessons to be learned here. Collars must be very snugly fitted so even the most determined attempt to escape fails. A talk with this well intentioned owner revealed that he only put the collar on when the dog went for a walk. This is a big mistake. Emergencies such as fire, flood or other disaster give no warning and very often occur at night and dogs panic. You, the owner, must take full control of your pets. No time to seek the collar and put it on. It is a myth that the collar disturbs the dog's fur when sleeping. Our dog Digger always has his collar on with a large easily read telephone number. This owner had not had the dog microchipped: “I planned to get it done when we next go to the vet.”
It turned out that the owner had not had a dog before and had bought Tiger because he was so small and would not need long walks. This is a real fallacy. Very large dogs like Great Danes and Saint Bernards are happy to flop around and not walk far but the little chaps are extremely active. I once walked a Fox Terrier over an extensive moor so I was totally exhausted but he was ready for another route march after ten minutes.
The Yorkie that this elderly man had chosen was two years of age and the owner had bought him for company as he lived alone. Had he made provision for the dog if he predeceased the dog? A tricky subject but one which must be faced.
However a crisis was solved and owner and dog are together for Christmas and we hope they have a good time.
Erny and I wish all our readers and their pets a very Happy Christmas. Don't forget them. They give us so much joy and wonderful company. What would we do without them?