Friday, I lost one of my dogs, Yoda, a shar-pei mix, for about six hours, and through little short of a miracle, found her several miles from where I thought she went missing. All of this happened nearly 20 miles away from home (on the Upper East Side) in unfamiliar neighborhoods: Coconut Grove and east Coral Gables. The short version is that I had apparently neglected to hit the "child lock'' feature on the rear windows of my car, and Yoda decided to have an adventure. So she apparently pushed the window down and out she went - choke collar, leash and all. (I have an improvised barrier made of garden lattice between the back and front seats so they don't leap all over me when I'm driving).
Well, as you can imagine, I was insane with panic, frantically driving up and down the streets yelling her name, retracing the route for miles. This went on for nearly five hours, during which time a friend at the office posted to Petfinder and Craig's List for me (I'm a primitive and don't have an I-anything). Finally I decided it would be more productive to post fliers, which a wonderful young man named David helped me do at the new UPS store on Biscayne Blvd. and 68th Street. The photo I had wasn't ideal for a flier, but it was all I had.
I was posting fliers along Grand Avenue just east of US 1 when out of nowhere, here comes Yoda, bounding toward me, trailing her leash. I didn't believe my eyes until she jumped into my arms. Yes, she has a county tag, a personal ID tag and is microchipped, but it was a lot more likely that she'd be hit by a car than lost and not found by SOMEONE. (Curious: in six hours on the loose, apparently no one grabbed her leash).
Soooo- the lessons. I'm going to take "mug shot'' photos of all my critters, face and full body, and compose a single "lost dog'' flier for each, with name, weight, description, leaving room to write in specifics of the situation. That way it's ready to go, and can be scanned and duplicated in minutes.
And NO MORE even partly opened back windows. They'll have to be satisfied with whatever smells reach them from the front windows.
Thanks to everyone on the email lists who fowarded the info-- and sympathized. I'm still waiting for Yoda to tell me where she was........