Cuddled close to his sister, the little red puppy glanced at us sideways, battling curiosity with apprehension. The last puppies from a litter of many, they had been through this before. It was as though they knew that one of them would be left behind. Feeling guilty, I contemplated taking them both.
“Which one?” asked my husband Bob.
“The red one”, I answered, “but I also like his sister”. She was very much the poodle version of labradoodle. Soft creamy fur, tightly curled with rare green Labrador eyes. He, on the other hand, looked very much like a Labrador with straighter hair, the copper penny colour we loved.
We almost weren’t allowed to adopt him. The breeder would not return my calls or emails. I learned later that she had been concerned when we asked her to keep him for an extra week until we returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. She eventually picked up the phone when I called from my office number. Once I explained what kind of family he was going to, with acres of land to run, an older “sister” Labrador who would be a constant companion, and luxury dog boarding when we did travel, which was not regularly, she relented. We felt like we won the lottery when we picked Brodie up!
You know that you have a special dog when dog boarders ask if he can be a companion to depressed dogs missing their owners, or when dog groomers want to keep your dog for the entire day, and when anxious children who are afraid of dogs relax. Even our cat Oz had been found sleeping against the softness of his belly, and Oz doesn’t like anyone (human or not) very much.
Bob and I made plans to live closer to my aging parents, which necessitated staying with my daughter in the city after we sold our acreage. Brodie adapted to this with his usual good manners, but our cat Oz did not.
When the weather could not have been more brutal, he snuck out the door into minus 35 degree Celsius. I was devastated to find him missing, and I still am. Not knowing what happened to him is a terrible feeling. The most upsetting part is that Oz was declawed and had spent his entire life indoors. He had never tried to sneak outside in the dead of winter. I have since heard that a dog is attached to his owners, but a cat is attached to his home. Moving Oz was more disturbing than I realized.
We were still living with my daughter the day Brodie snuck out of the back yard. When we lived on our acreage, a certain whistle call would bring him running, but this time he did not respond. Having lost Oz, my fear of losing another pet was overwhelming. In a panic, I got into my car and drove around the neighbourhood, whistling and calling, but Brodie was gone!
With a heavy heart, I pulled out my cell phone to call my husband about our missing dog, but I needed time to think about how to deliver the bad news. I decided to check my email first. There was an email from PetHub that someone had scanned Brodie’s tag.
The next email provided the name, address and telephone number of the neighbor who had Brodie. She was only a few houses away. What a tremendous relief!
I could hear laughter as I knocked on the door. A woman with a smiling face introduced herself as Kim. I could see Brodie in the kitchen playing with two children and another dog. Seeing me, the children groaned and said in unison, “We wanted to keep him, mommy.” Kim smiled, “I know, but Brodie has his own family”. She turned to me, “He is a very nice dog”. I was so grateful that I wanted to kiss her. Instead, I thanked her profusely.
It was an online coupon deal that introduced me to PetHub, and is, without question, one of my better decisions. Finding Brodie that quickly and easily, brought renewed appreciation for the concept behind PetHub. It makes perfect sense that everyone who has a smart phone can, and hopefully will, scan a tag.
Finding Brodie with the help of PetHub, made me realize too late, that I should have bought a second PetHub tag for Oz. I never considered it because he was an indoor cat. If Brodie’s story has a message, it is that we should use the same identification on all of our pets, indoors or not. Peace of mind is as priceless as our faithful companions.
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