your Italian Greyhound
Is it important? Find out by reading this story!
A very happy reunion with her pet owners
Those of us who breed purebred dogs often complain about the myriad of expenses that accompany an ethical, caring, first class breeding program. We often wonder why we do what we do...and why we spend so much of our hard earned money on health testing and other preventive measures. Sometimes an answer is not received until much later.
For example...when Microchipping first became available I was totally against it and thought that it wasn't worth the money. Worse yet I felt the possible negative health-related side effects that the implantation might cause were not yet known. The procedure was in its infancy and I wasn't willing to risk my dogs' health on something so new. But as the years rolled by and the evidence began to accumulate in support of Microchipping ... I began to change my mind. It soon became evident there were no serious health risks and the benefits numerable. I knew that the facts couldn't be ignored. Microchipping saved lives and reunited families with their beloved pets.
Covered in fleas and skinny as a rail, she survived 22 days in scorching record breaking heat.
Over two years ago I started microchipping all my puppies and adults. The security of knowing that should the unthinkable occur...my pups would be recoverable made the lure of microchipping impossible to resist. My years of experience made it crystal clear that almost any dog could suffer the consequences of getting lost, stolen or escaping even from the most secure setting. There are no guarantees that it won’t happen. If it could happen to me, the breeder who is careful about rearing good temperaments and finding terrific homes, it could happen to anyone. In addition most of those who had purchased pets from me in the past were encouraged to microchip as well.
More than 3 million pets are registered with HomeAgain Microchipping. According to the HomeAgain website, more than 308,647 pets have been returned because of their chipping system. And if we count my own relative recent experience...that number can now be increased to 308,648 recovered because of a microchip.
About a year ago a little dog I had bred was returned to me when her former owners found out that their newborn son was allergic to dogs. Mattie was one of those "before microchipping dogs". Mattie's new perfect forever home was soon found ...but before she left I made sure that she was microchipped. Her owners made sure to register her microchip with HomeAgain. How little did I know how fateful that simple procedure would become and how important was that her owners registered the chip. Her new owners were all that any breeder could hope for in a loving, canine committed home. The shared love between Mattie and her new owners was obvious and extremely touching.
A year later, Mattie's owners went on vacation. Being responsible they left Mattie in the care of her co-breeder. The unthinkable happened. A door accidentally popped open and out flew Mattie in a panic. She ran up the driveway and disappeared with her tail shaking in the breeze. For those of you who know the lightning speed of an Italian Greyhound...believe me this happened in a blink of an eye. And she would pick the WORST possible time of the year to go missing - just before the Fourth of July with all the booming firecrackers and canine nerve-wracking fireworks. With each boom of a firecracker and sonic blast of a bottle rocket my heart would dip and my stomach would hit bottom. Somewhere in all the noise and confusion of a long holiday week...she was lost, alone, scared and nervous. She was a little 10 pound dog caught in the confusion of a celebrating nation.
Both her co-breeder and I plus her owners were heartsick. Missing dog signs soon went up. There was door to door canvassing and many people spent literally hundreds of hours searching neighborhoods - and miles and miles of woods. Everything came to nothing. There was no sign of Mattie. As time went by hopes began to plummet and the thought that we'd find her even dead ...were dwindling. At 22 days missing just about all positive thoughts had died. How could such a small, delicate little dog survive? The heat index during this time reached well above 100 degrees with no rain to give relief to the heat. All that was left was one thin ray of hope fastened on the microchip implanted over a year ago.
The love you see in this photo is of a dog so happy to be home and back in the loving arms of her owners.
So it's not a surprise that I had to pinch myself this morning to make sure I wasn't dreaming. When the phone rang I almost didn't answer. I was tired after a long stretch in the working world...and this was my first day off. But I picked up the phone and the excited voice of Jenny saying, "She's been found!" almost didn't register. "Mattie is at the Animal Clinic!! SHE'S BEEN FOUND." I sat up. This just couldn't be real!!!! I flew out to the car and down to the vet clinic to see with my own eyes that she was really there. And THERE SHE WAS ALIVE... and not at death's door! The will of a little Italian Greyhound to survive is incredible. Her co-breeder later made the cute comment of: “She voted everyone else off the island. She’s the survivor!” I cried my eyes out when they brought her out for me to hold her.
The vet clinic was kind enough to fill in some of the blanks of where and what she had been up to. She was almost 5 miles from her point of escape and in an area where none of us had thought to look. She had crossed a very busy highway, gone through miles and miles of woods and several subdivisions before selecting a place where she thought she'd be safe. It was near a home with cats that had a little "doggie door" for the cats. She had been there for a few days before becoming brave enough to enter their home through the doggie door and had allow herself to be picked up. Those kind people then immediately brought Mattie to the animal clinic where she was scanned and her owners called. I was so thrilled to be there for the tearful reunion. Jenny, her owner couldn't believe that one little microchip had literally saved her baby's life and brought her home.
Mattie was covered in fleas. The pads of her feet were worn thin and blistered. She had a couple of sores but other than that... for a dog missing 22 days, she was in remarkably good health. Mattie should recover fully with no outward signs of her ordeal. Only time will tell the toll this experience had on her emotionally. The will to survive of a little Italian Greyhound never ceases to amaze me. I'm just glad she was intelligent enough to find a home compassionate and responsible enough to take her to a vet clinic; that she found the courage to enter their home in the first place and that the vet clinic scanned for a microchip.
Maddie and her cohort Tucker happy to be together again.
For those of you who are breeders and are not microchipping, please learn the lesson of this experience. This procedure is so important that it should not be left to possibly procrastinating owners to implement. Please make sure that the procedure is completed on every dog of your breeding BEFORE the dog is placed with a permanent owner. PLEASE, PLEASE MICROCHIP! For loving pet owners, please take the time to have your pet microchipped if it hasn't been done already. It may become too late for those who just kept putting it off. Register your chips if you have not already done so. . It may be the best money you will ever spend. The costs really are minimal when one considers the safe return of a priceless pet.
THANK YOU HomeAgain Microchipping!!! And THANK YOU to the wonderful people who convinced me the value of a little chip the size of a grain of rice!
Happy endings aren't just in fairy tales
For more information about the HomeAgain Microchipping please visit their website.
Sources of lost pets data were obtained from the HomeAgain website.
Please speak to your vet about having your pet microchipped soon. Don't wait until it's too late.