We have all three of our dogs micro-chipped. We think it is important. If for any reason they should become separated from us, at least they have a chance of finding their ways home. The story of Daisy was an up close demonstration for me.
A few years ago we were at our cabin. Storm was still a pup at just under a year old. It was a warm night so we had the windows open. We heard a commotion on our front porch. Storm being Storm was on full alert and barking. There are no streetlights so we couldn’t really see what it was. Could it be a bear? We are in the forest so it could be, right? Finally we turned on the outside light and it wasn’t a bear or any other forest creature. It was a dog. Was it Cujo? In the dark it could have been.
Around our cabin a lot of people run hounds. Once in a while one gets away from the pack. They always seem to bee-line to our place. Probably because of our the dogs. Usually the hounds are wearing GPS collars so they are not “lost” long. We couldn’t quite see if this dog had a collar, but in the middle of the night we were hoping it would just move on. We weren’t really in a position to take it in especially since we had a puppy and an intact male.
The dog did not leave. It curled up and slept in front of the door…all night. In the morning it left the porch but stayed in the area around our cabin just watching us. We spoke to a neighbor and found out that the dog had been hanging around for a couple of weeks, but no one could catch her (at daylight we could see it was a female). Now that they mentioned it, we had seen her a week earlier hanging by the side of the road as we were leaving. According to our neighbor the dog was getting thinner and more exhausted every day. There are coyotes in the area so who knows how long she would last. We could not keep her and we were leaving that afternoon. I did not want to take her out of the area just in case someone was looking for her. What to do? The neighbor told us that if we could catch her, he would take her to a local no-kill shelter so at least she would be safe.
Well OK, a challenge. I decided to use Storm as a sort of bait. We went out and sat on our porch. Just Storm and I. The dog was curious about Storm (who was not barking for once…lol). Eventually the dog came close enough for me to slip a lead around her head. I put her in a crate and gave her water and a bit of kibble. She was exhausted and extremely thin, but she was friendly and you could tell she was well-bred.
We turned her over to our neighbor with the understanding that they would have her scanned to see if she was chipped. Well they did not do that (and this is the part of the story that still bothers me). They had planned to keep her in their garage overnight until they could contact the shelter in the morning. Well the dog never spent a night in the garage because they moved her right into their house. She also never made it to the shelter. One of their friends came over and saw the dog and fell in love with her. He was an experienced hound owner so he took her home and named her Daisy. The dog slept in the guy’s bed, and did hound things like tracking and hunting. From stray to house dog and hunting companion. A happy ending. Not quite.
About a year passed. Daisy’s new human had her in town and a woman spotted the dog. Daisy’s owner and the woman started to talk. The woman thought she looked very much like a puppy that was stolen, along with another pup, from her yard a couple of years earlier. The woman happened to be a Bloodhound breeder and she had her pups chipped. She asked whether Daisy’s owner would allow Daisy to be scanned. No problem. Sure enough, “Daisy” was her dog. The woman was quite relieved because she finally knew what happened to one of the dogs stolen from her yard and that she had a happy home. The man had never had Daisy “fixed” (don’t ask, it is a rural area and good hunting hounds are prized). I do not know all of the details, but they worked out a deal that if the woman could pick the stud, they would breed Daisy and she would keep a pup for herself. Daisy would remain with the guy. Unfortunately our neighbor moved away so we don’t get further updates on Daisy, but the last I heard she was living the life.
It didn’t happen as quickly as I had hoped, but the chip eventually did its job.