Ah, vacation! Who doesn’t love a weekend away? No work, bills, home repairs, or everyday hassles. What could be better? For humans, this is true, but did you ever stop to think what this might mean for a dog?
In the case of Midge, her owners were going up north for the weekend, and dogs weren’t allowed where they were staying. Midge’s owner wasn’t sure how she would tell her oldest daughter that her best friend Midge wasn’t coming on the trip, but at the same time, it was only for three days. What could go wrong?
Knowing Midge was scared of strangers, Midge’s owner decided to leave her with her niece, who lived farther away, but had met Midge several times. Her niece worked at the Humane Society and was very good with dogs so she was certain this was the perfect fit. When the time came to drop Midge off, Midge jumped out of the car, eager to investigate new territory. It wasn’t until after Midge’s family left that she started to get scared. Where was she? Where did her family go? Not knowing what to make of the situation, Midge saw the door open and took the first opportunity she could to run outside and head back home.
Distraught that Midge had slipped away, the owner’s niece called Lost Dogs of Wisconsin immediately and began distributing flyers. She also talked to neighbors, contacted the police, and set a humane trap outside. With friends and family, she scoured the neighborhood, looking for any signs of Midge. She found none. Frustrated that she might not be doing enough, she began grilling some food, hoping that the scent would bring the dog back to the house. It didn’t. Lost Dogs continued to reassure both Midge’s owner and her niece not to give up hope. They had posted Midge’s profile and were spreading the word by social media.
Weeks passed, Midge’s owner’s vacation had long since ended, and there was still no sign of Midge. The owner’s niece was still searching for Midge daily and continued to spread the word. Trying to think of new ways to find the dog, Midge’s owner had her friend bring a dog that Midge had played with out on one of the searches hoping that maybe Midge would recognize the dog’s sound or scent. Still, nothing.
Then, on the 28th day of Midge’s disappearance, a neighbor spotted her! Midge’s owner’s husband hopped in the car immediately. When he got to his niece’s house, Midge was nowhere to be found. As they’d been instructed, the neighbors had not chased Midge because she was a shy dog and they didn’t want to scare her. Unfortunately, in the time it had taken Midge’s owner to arrive, they’d lost sight of her. Midge’s owner called her name but was not able to get her to come. Just as quickly as the excitement of finding her had set in, disappointment began to take hold. He decided to go talk to the policeman that was there. As he walked toward him, the officer pointed and said, “Is that your dog there?” Midge’s owner turned around, and before he knew it, Midge was in his arms!
Once home, Midge was showered with hugs and kisses. A quick bath and trip to the vet confirmed that Midge had no injuries or health issues.
WELCOME HOME, MIDGE!
Looking back on this story, what did Midge’s owner do wrong? Nothing. She did what most dog owners would do — she found a relative she trusted to watch her dog, and the choice she made was a good one, because Midge may not have been found had her niece not taken quick and thorough action. In the case of Midge, spreading the word brought her home.
Is there a moral to this story? Maybe. It might be to really think about your dog’s personality and behaviors. Anticipate anything that could go wrong based on those behaviors and come up with a plan to either prevent them from happening, or hatch a recovery plan in case they do happen.
By Jami Radant, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin volunteer