Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Dog's Life

Welcome to this week's guest, EPIC Award nominee, Teri Wilson.

I lost my friend’s dog this week.

Not just any dog. Madeline is a Champion Toy Fox Terrier. She’s less than a year old and already boasts many fancy ribbons and has her own blog.

And I’m not just any pet sitter. I have my own dogs, who I adore and show in conformation and obedience dog shows as well. One of my dogs is a therapy dog and visits sick children at the local children’s hospital. If anyone can appreciate the love a good dog, it’s me.

I went over to my friend’s house while she was out of town to feed little Maddie and let her out to potty. When I opened the back door, she darted outside like she meant to chase something. And I guess she did. Because in a matter of seconds, she was gone.

Fence? What fence? It appeared as though she jumped over it!

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At first, I was in disbelief. She couldn’t be gone. Not GONE, GONE. I am the world’s most responsible dog owner. My tagline as an author is Romancing the pet lover’s soul, for goodness sake.

This was not happening!

But it was. For four excruciating hours, I had no idea where Madeline was. I ransacked the backyard, my stilettos sinking in the mud. I traipsed all over the neighborhood calling her name and shaking a box of doggy biscuits. I had finally given up searching and was making fliers to post all over the area when my friend called and told me Maddie had been found.

Someone found her crouching under a parked car and took her to the vet. They scanned her microchip and – viola – everything was OK.

Thank heavens she had been microchipped. Most show dogs don’t wear collars. Maddie doesn’t. My own don’t. It can leave a permanent dent in their coat. Of course, my older dog is microchipped, but my newest puppy doesn’t have a chip yet. Bliss is her name. She’s a 5-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and is – this is, of course a totally objective opinion – the cutest thing on earth.

Today we had a big dog show in Hutto, Texas. My friend was there with Madeline and had a wonderful time. She’s not upset with me at all. Technically I didn’t do anything wrong. The tiny dog somehow escaped out of the yard. That, however, was little consolation while she was missing. It didn’t matter if I did everything right if the poor dog never came home.

But she was there today and did marvelously. She won an enormous ribbon (called a rosette in dog show lingo). I joked with her that Bliss had rosette-envy. Then, five minutes later, Bliss won Best In Show in the special puppy show. She has her own giant ribbon. It was truly a great day.

And Monday morning, she’s getting microchipped!

Teri’s newest book, Cup of Joe (White Rose Publishing) features an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Almost as adorable as Bliss! For more about Teri, visit her website at www.teriwilson.net

Lots of news and updates tomorrow. Please come by.


P.L. Parker said...

Gosh, as a dog lover, I am so glad the dog was found. I love my doggies, every one. Once, when I left for vacation, a friend offered to care for my poodle. The day I left, the dog ran away. For a week they searched for her. Finally, a man called and said there was this little black dog living in his wood pile. She went over there and it was my Shannie. All this happened and I never knew cuz if I had known, I'd have gone home and started looking.

Jess said...

My dog is chipped and has his own insurance. Helps with emergency vet bills! And he's got tags on his collar. He's a runner, so isn't let off leash outside. At all.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great post, Teri. It's terrifying to know your pet is missing. Several years ago we had a Great Dane named Mr. Big Stuff who would leap out the front door if we weren't careful. We had a 3-foot fence in back he could've stepped over but never did. Anyway, one day my husband returned from work and Big Stuff was in the front yard. He brought him inside . . . only to find the REAL Big Stuff on the sofa. He looked down at the other Dane who gave him the "So?" look. Turns out the dog he brought inside was a female who lived two streets over. Not all stories have happy endings, but microchipping helps.

Maeve Greyson said...

I loved this post! I'm so glad there was a happy ending. I'd be lost without my Jasper.

Elena said...

Thank goodness for the happy ending. That four hours must have felt like four years. How wonderful she was a well socialized little girl making her easy to rescue.

I once had two Golden's and lived on a very busy street. Apparently my across the street neighbors knew about my dogs because I came home one day to find two beautiful adult Golden's snoozing on my screen porch. Got them reunited with their owner (tags), and then found out the man across the street had found them in his yard, and put them in the back of his pick up to get safely across the street.
What made it extra interesting is that he had lost his driver's license due to poor vision. That was quite a day for all of us.

Lynne Roberts said...

I'm so glad the dog was found. You are right about your puppy. Adorable!

Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

Hey everyone! Yes, the entire thing was terrifying. Even after living through it, I still don't know which would be worse...losing my dog or one of my friends'. Blech. I hope I never find out which is the less of two evils firsthand!

Carol - OMG. Mr. Big Stuff! I love the name and the story. I may have to borrow that. LOL

JoAnn said...

Guess I'm really far behind on the times. :) Our dog has a collar with several "Charms" attached which includes her rabies shot info, license info, name and phone number.
Microchip--wow--sounds sci-fi to this old fashoned gal. Where do they place it?

Kara Lynn Russell said...

I have never lost a pet, but once my youngest daughter, who has Down syndrome, decided to explore the world on her own. Fortunately someone saw her and called the police. When we picked her up at the station she announced proudly "I ran away." Thankfully, that's the only time.

And Teri, Bliss really is the cutest thing! She could be a cover model just like the dog on "Cup of Joe."

Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

ey JoAnn! A microchip is injected with a (big) hypodermic needle into the area between the dog's shoulder blades. Then you register your chip #. So, if something happens to your dog, any one who finds the dog can take it to the vet or animal shelter, where they run a scanner over the dog and read the chip info.

My English Cocker Spaniel, Angel, really hated getting the chip. I made my friend Harold hold her while they did it, so she wouldn't be mad at me. When they went to chip Harold's dog, she freaked out and the chip guy accidentally shot himself in the hand!

P.S. Didn't mean to cause a mystery with the deleted comment...it was this one. But I had some typos so I re-posted it.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

We love those microchips at our house, too.

What a thing to have happen! It's got to be Murphy's Law--when it's someone else's pet and it has NEVER happened before...

I'm glad she was okay. And you must have been SO relieved!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mary Ricksen said...

You musta been having heart failure, I could just picture it.
I hope they figured out how the dog escaped. So it don't happen again. In any case I am just glad the dog was found, it woulda killed you if it wasn't.
I do have to wonder why some dogs have been microchipped and are missing for years still, and some were reunited with owners many years later!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm so glad Madeline was found. It must have been so scary (for both of you).

Jana Richards said...

Thank goodness the dog was found! I don't have my dog microchipped either, at least I don't think so. We got her when she was a year and a half, so I'm not certain. She does have a tattoo however. Now I'm wondering if that's enough. My dog isn't exactly speedy, but you just never know.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Teri,
How traumatic for you, glad you found the little doggie. Congratulations on making the finals, too. wonderful effort.

Donna B said...

Wow I can't imagine your heartache at thinking the dog was lost and it was your fault. My sympathy goes out to you, but like any good story it was worth it for the HEA.

And congratulations Bliss on your win!