Lost Dog Awareness Day + Ollie's Story
April 23, 2018
Many of you may not know my Ollie's story. The Ollie behind our #TravelsWithOllie group hikes was once a lost dog. In fact, 4 years ago to this day, I found him running down the middle of a rural road in North Carolina on my way back to DC. How ironic that today is also National Lost Dog Awareness Day?
My experience with dog rescue helped me tremendously that day. One thing I learned early on was to always have a small bag of treats and an extra leash in the car. Sure enough, I've had to use them more times than I'd like to count. With Ollie, I didn't need anything special to lure him to me. I simply stopped the car, slowly got out and sat on the ground. He stopped and ran into my lap. He was dirty, thirsty and limping slightly. All he had on him was a red collar with no tags.
My friend and I walked the area to see if he was running loose near his home with no luck. So once I had him safely in my car, I immediately called the Boston Terrier Rescue operating in that region. Within an hour, I had visited the local vet, checked for the microchip (none) and set up a foster nearby for him to stay with until his family was found. I wasn't comfortable with leaving him at a local shelter and he seemed perfectly comfortable going on an adventure with me through the mountains.
I said a tearful goodbye (what is wrong with me?) to him in Asheville and continued my drive home. The rescue managed the "found" listings and outreach to area shelters and authorities. After 3 weeks with no response, they asked me if I wanted him. How could I say no? So David and I drove back to Asheville and brought him home. His foster mom had treated him well and was so kind:
The Originals (Annie + Murray) warmed up to the idea of a younger brother in about a month.
So what do you do if you find a dog running loose? First – Do not chase it. It is probably scared. Try calmly sitting on the ground, coaxing it with food and make a note of its exact location. If they come to you, follow the steps on the Lost Dogs of America website, don't just assume they were dumped. If you aren't able to catch them, search the Lost Dog listings in your area. If you find a match, contact the number on the flyer with the dog's last location.
Ollie's story ended well but so many don't. Even if you don't own a dog, educate yourself on what to do if one comes running into your life unexpectedly.