Lost for words…”it’s only a dog” – check your chips!

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Has anyone ever tried to minimise your feelings about your dog? The day after my father’s funeral a dog sitter inexplicably left our double security gates open and Poppy one of our beloved, elderly Bearded Collies went outside on her own for the first time.

The dog sitter hung around until I got there with my mum, but uttered the words I will never forget, “Everyone makes mistakes, it’s only a dog…”

I know how it felt searching for Poppy for those five long days and nights – and that was in the days before microchips and DogLost. I was already mourning my father, who had died after a very short illness. The shock of that loss was already overwhelming and then to have to imagine another family member in peril. It was a lot.

How I had any tears left to shed, I really don’t know. But I walked the streets of Knowsley Village like a mad woman with tears spilling down my face because stopping and giving up was just not an option.

Please, can you help me explain to others why when the dog goes missing you’ll probably lose your mind, too!

After five days I got Poppy back thanks to leafleting everyone in the area with clear instructions to phone night or day and not approach the now terrified dog, Each day more and more people heard about Poppy and by the final day we had 200 plus people searching – many travelling huge distances. By day five the Liverpool Echo was running the story, sadly it was how many people found out that my lovely dad had died and they’d missed the funeral.

At 4am I got a call, Poppy had been spotted by a security guard on an industrial estate. My eyes get moist when I remember how the whole factory walked off their night shift to help me corral our terrified and disorientated old dog who no longer recognised me.

I will NEVER forget holding her in my arms that night and hearing her sigh. She was skinny, scratched, filthy and knotty – but I felt her relax as I carried her to the car.

Those lovely people who didn’t know us were cheering and crying, too.

So whenever I hear of a lost dog I totally empathise. I want more people to get that closure, for more beloved dogs (and cats) to get home. For dogs and cats to stay safe. To check everything that should work now so you can get them back if it did.

Please take part in our survey.

Check The Chip Day is August 15 this year. Dogs Today recently reported that 1 in 3 dogs’ details are blank when you check on the microchip databases. In those cases an emergency vet wouldn’t be able to reach you. The pound would either rehome your dog or even PTS.

Busy people on the front line have started to lose faith in chips, so often the hours it takes to contact one of the 18 databases results in zero helpful information. People just have never given their dog’s chip a second thought. The vet may run a scanner over your dog every now and again and check there’s a beep. But that’s just like swiping a barcode at the till in the supermarket. You need to check those digits are matched to your contact details and not someone else’s or even no details at all.

Let’s get some statistics to show the public that no matter how careful you are, pets can and do still go missing. You need to keep an eye on your dog and cat’s data should the worst happen.

The time to make sure your dog has full ID is NOW – not after they go missing.

If you have the number you can type it in here and check it – and with another click move to a database that never charges you to keep that data up to date and reminds you to do it and helps and supports you if the worst happens by working closely with DogLost and pinging your email if your pet’s chip number is typed into a Check-A-Chip website.

Help us encourage everyone to urgently thoroughly check their chips.

Beverley Cuddy, Editor Dogs Today

Click here to link to the survey – thank you – please do complete and share it if you can!

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