Lance’s Little Adventure

By Stephanie Challand
The end of a long cold winter brings a relief and the start of many more outdoor activities such as yard work, extra walks and just relaxing outside with your dog. All of which are great fun for both of you, but can also lead to trouble should your dog find his or her way out of your yard.

One day in late April, I was outside working in the yard. All three dogs were outside with me securely inside the fence. I was on the north side of our house, outside the fence, pulling weeds and going in and out of the gate occasionally. At one point, I came back through the gate to go inside for a minute to check on dinner, which was cooking in the crock pot. Lacey and Logan followed me in the house but Lance who loves it outside stayed in the yard, inside the fence, or so I thought.

About 15 minutes later, I went back outside and left Lacey and Logan in the house. I didn’t even get off the first step before realizing something was not right. I noticed the gate was standing wide open and Lance was nowhere to be seen. I went out the open gate and around the side of the house to the front where the garage was open. Lance LOVES to go for car rides so I thought he might be in the garage by the car waiting for me to take him for a ride. No such luck. I walked back around the house the way I came from, yelling ‘Lance Here’.

By this time, I was starting to get quite worried. The whole time I was walking, I was thinking what am I going to do? I decided to go back into the house, grab the whistle I used when starting to teach Lance his recall, Lacey his favorite little doggie buddy and my car keys to go looking for him. As I came around the side of the house to the open gate, I saw Lance on the other side of the fence by the second gate, which was closed. He was standing there all wiggly and happy. I am not sure whether he was happy to see me or because he came back when called, or for some other reason and really didn’t care. I was just so happy to see him!!

I walked over and opened the gate to let him in. He walked back into the yard happy as could be. I rewarded him with all of the treats I had left in my pocket, petted and hugged him and threw his Frisbee for him for a few minutes. Jackpot city!!! I wanted to make sure he knew he was the BEST DOG EVER for coming back when called!!!

I will never know for sure where he went on his little adventure but it could have ended much worse. We have a really busy highway not too far away and I dread to think what could have happened had he wandered that way. Lance and I practice his recall quite often and he has always been really great at coming back when on a 50 or 100 foot leash, but for him to come back when he got out on his own was AWESOME!! Moral of the story having a way to get your dog back home could save THEIR LIFE!

Should your dog ever get loose and not come back so quickly there are many things you can do to help get them home safely. Making sure your dog has proper identification on at all times is a must. An id tag and microchip are two of the best forms of identification your dog can have. Have a list of the local shelter numbers you can call to report your dog missing in case someone should bring him or her there. If your dog is known to be an escape artist have a stack of flyers ready to go so you can start handing them out immediately. Enlist the help of friends and family to help you search. Bring along your dog’s favorite toy or doggie buddy to help with the search. Teach your dog a good recall and ‘Chase me’ before it is needed in a real-life situation. For more great ideas and tips see: Lost Dog: What to do if your dog goes missing by Amy Wence.