by Donna Smiley, Kingsbury Harriers
Driving to work yesterday morning, my cell phone rang. It showed an unfamiliar area code, which means I normally let it go to voicemail. But something told me to answer, so I pulled off the road and took the call.
“Is this Kingsbury Harriers?” the caller asked. “Yes”, I replied, “how can I help you?”
His name was Justin and he was a shelter worker at a New Mexico pound. He said he’d just come in to work, saw a new stray in the facility, grabbed a scanner and bingo, the neutered tricolor hound boy was chipped. A call to the chip manufacturer yielded my kennel name and phone number.
Living in California, with all of my own hounds safely accounted for at home, this meant it could only be one of my pet puppies that I’d sold.
I took down the pound’s phone number and the chip number, and assured Justin that as soon as I got home, I would track down the chip and get back to him right away. And that regardless, someone would be claiming him, period! He said that he’d put a “hold” on the boy to be sure nothing bad happened to him.
All day long at work, I puzzled over the riddle…. who could this boy be?? The clock seemed to stop and actually go backwards as I slogged on with my normal work just waiting for the end of the day.
I arrived home and I started pulling out my litter files, scanning each list of chips and puppies to find one that started 142662…. Yes!! It belonged to the puppy we called Dublin, from my August 2005 litter! Who, my records revealed, was sold to a family in Santa Fe!
An answering machine picked up when I phoned them. I left what must have been a rambling message, explaining that I’d gotten a call from the Santa Fe pound, that they had a dog with a microchip that traced back to me, and hence to them, and would you please call me?
Less than an hour later, the phone rang, and it was Dublin’s owners.
The first thing she said was, “oh my goodness, yahoo for microchips!”
Dublin had actually been missing for 3 months! He had gone with them on a family visit over Thanksgiving, and he’d escaped the mother-in-law’s yard! They’d searched and searched, but had no luck finding him. The family had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing him again. So they were stunned – and thrilled – to hear that he’d finally turned up!
I gave them the phone number of the pound, along with Justin’s name and Dublin’s chip number so that they could prove they were his owners.
This afternoon, I called the Santa Fe pound, to ensure that everything had really worked out all right. Justin said that the family had been waiting when they opened this morning to claim their wayward hound. I thanked him again for his efforts on my puppy’s behalf. By his voice I could tell that he was as happy and relieved as I was that long-lost Dublin’s tale had a happy ending.
What better proof do we need as breeders that microchipping all of our puppies is the right thing to do?
Lost or Found pets : http://www.akcreunite.org/lost