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Lost dog: Being careful is not always enough

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Last week my ferocious Pomeranian Ivan the Terrible strayed away from my wife when she wasn’t looking.

This is not the first time he has managed to escape. In fact, he will intentionally watch to see if you are paying attention.

He plans his escapes. He will wait until the right moment and then turn and run as fast as his little legs will carry him.

We have always found him across the field, usually visiting with some little girl dog. This time we did not.

When my wife called and said she couldn’t find him I told her to just keep looking.

She did, for six hours. We shut down the office, marshaled the troops and began the search.

Cold weather was on the way and Ivan, as party Pom, only weighs seven pounds.

I did not believe he could survive a night in the cold.

We searched late into the night in an ever increasing circle, searching in back yards, ditches, open fields, and so on. We did not find him. I was devastated.

All the bad things that could have happened to him ran through my mind. I was worried that his big dog attitude and inability to recognize the size of bigger dogs would get him killed.

I knew we had coyotes in the neighborhood, and more than one dog has come up missing.

I was also afraid that someone would have picked him up, either believing him a runaway, or possibly as a Christmas present.

It was if one of the kids had come up missing.

We made posters; contacted the paper; called animal control in every surrounding city; phoned it in to the flea market on 1390; and continued the search every day.

I was fortunate enough to know Deputy Chief Brearly at the Sheriff’s department. When I called Dennis it was all I could do to ask him for help.

Not because it’s difficult talking to Dennis, but because I couldn’t tell him about it without choking up.

Dennis put out an email to the deputies and to animal control...Ivan now had an official BOLO (be on the lookout ) for him.

My family was great. My children’s mother even helped and drove my daughter around passing out flyers while I was at work...and we don’t always get along...or agree on anything...but she knows how much we love Ivan.

I wonder if anyone knows how many dogs we have in our community?

It seems like every house had a dog...or more.

So many houses had inside puppies and many more had outside puppies.

It was apparent I was not the only person who loves his animals.

Everyone we spoke offered to keep a watch for him.

Everyone expressed their hopes we would find Ivan. Some had lost puppies in the past and they expressed their feelings openly.

I received a call from my wife on the third day while my son and I were walking the large fields behind our house trying to make sure he wasn’t lying somewhere injured.

She told me she had found our little boy and he was fine.

There are no words to convey the relief I felt at that moment. I was truly thankful.

Evidently he had found his way into a back yard several blocks over in another neighborhood while crooning some little female.

The family had taken him inside and were looking out for him until they could find his owner. For that I am also thankful.

I cannot remember a time when we did not have a dog.

My family had dogs long before I was born and kept chihuahuas in the house to "help" with my asthma.

My father loved his dogs and they were his lifelong companions.

I follow in his footsteps. They are more than just dogs.

We learned that being careful is not always enough.

I learned that a microchip only helps if someone sees a vet...but more importantly I learned that there are many, many dog lovers out there who care about their pets as much as I do.

I learned that my friends, family and strangers can be counted on when needed...and I realized how much my puppies are a part of my life.

Thanks to everyone for helping.

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Nelson Propane

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