Fourth of July, U.S. Independence Day… Our guest this afternoon has been a frisky and friendly German Shepherd, who arrived in our yard trailing a broken leash. Given that the leash was attached to a choke collar with metal prongs, he must have really wanted to get away. We figured it had been a frightened-by-fireworks affair.
As it turns out, this day of the year when pets are most likely to freak-and-flee is a day when it’s pretty near impossible to reconnect a runaway with its People.
We checked his tags for a phone number, but only came up with the veterinarian’s number from the Rabies tag. I called, but of course the vet’s office is closed for the holiday. I called the Humane Society to pick him up (figuring that’s where his People would call looking for him), but of course they’re closed for the holiday. I called police dispatch to see if anyone had reported a missing dog; she tried to forward me to Animal Control, but of course they’re closed for the holiday. I called the State Park right by our house (figuring he might have fled from park-picnickers) but of course the Rangers are too busy wrangling revelers to be answering the phone.
If you are the Person of a Pet, please remember how traumatic firecrackers can be, and keep your fuzzy loved one safe and untroubled. The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a great list of pet tips for Fourth of July—definitely worth a glance.
I’m thinking of the story my Ex-Husband used to tell, about the time he lost his childhood dog. He grew up on a small island in Micronesia, and eventually retrieved his lost Retriever… who was tied up beside a barbecue pit that was being prepared for him. Happily, a lost dog here is unlikely to meet that particular challenge, but losing him can be traumatic for the whole family, two-legged as well as four-legged members.
I’m happy to report a happy ending today: our guest got reunited with his People, who came searching for him on foot. On that note, here’s wishing everyone a safe and celebratory Fourth!