Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Visitors

Now that summer's here, we keep having visitors stop by our house. No, they're not out-of-town guests or family. These visitors have four legs and wander into our yard panting and looking distraught. The first couple came into the yard a month and a half ago; a Husky and his little buddy, a Pug. Then, week before last, when we were gladly finishing our mulching project one Saturday, here came a Black Labrador Retriever and his companion, a little Jack Russell mixed breed.

You know that I'm a dog lover, but I get very frustrated with dog owners who irresponsibly let their pets roam the neighborhood! This was not the case with either set of our little visitors. Anyone could tell that they had gotten out of a fence or off their leashes. The dogs were panting and hunting shade and they just "looked lost". If you've been around dogs much, you can tell when they are frustrated or anxious. In the one case, the Husky kept going to our back fence and walking back and forth, as if trying to figure out how to get back to where he came from. It was very sad to watch.

We put out bowls of water near a shady spot, and once we gained the dogs' trust, looked for ID tags. In both cases, we were successful. The Husky had a rabies tag with a Veterinarian's name on it and in the other case, there was a collar with the owner's name and phone number. When we finally were able to contact the owners, they were so glad to have their family members back safely. In the first incident, a woman came to the door and said, "Oh, I'm the "Grandma" and my adult daughter's on vacation while I was taking care of them. I just talked with her on the phone and she's been crying all day!" In the second case, a little boy jumped out of an SUV and gave them a big hug. His buddies promptly jumped into the vehicle after him with his mother thanking us, again and again.

None of these dogs had wandered far, and both sets were from our large subdivision. But, in 100 degree temperatures, it doesn't take long for a scared and anxious pet, who is continually walking and searching, to become dehydrated or suffer heat stroke. If you have any "summer visitors", please give them shade and some water. Then, look for any type of ID tags that will help you trace the dog's owners. You'd want someone to do the same for you if your dog "got out" and was wandering around in the summer heat.

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