I have never been lost. In fact, none of us dogs have ever been lost. Mom keeps us inside a fence and the gate is always locked. But many years ago, we did lose a pet. It was before I came to live with Mom, but she has told the story many times - about the day they came home and found the gate open, and Harvey, their beloved Boston terrier, gone.
It was a terrible day for everyone, especially for Jessica, Mom's other child. Harvey actually belonged to her. Mom tells how they searched the neighborhood for hours, called all the animal shelters, put up posters, and placed ads in the paper. But there was no news. It was especially hard because they weren't sure what had happened. Had they accidentally left the gate open? Had someone stolen Harvey when everyone was at work and school? Was he hurt? Was he scared? Was he even still alive? Mom knew that they would probably never find him. But she tried to keep up hope for Jessica's sake.
I am glad I have never been lost. But if something did happen one day, and the gate was left open and I just had to go exploring, I have a much better chance of being found than Harvey did. I have a chip.
"Chip" is actually short for "microchip." Micro means it is small - no bigger than a grain of rice. It doesn't look like much but it is awesome! It carries a number that can be read with a special reader. And that number tells whoever is reading my chip where Mom lives and how to contact her.
It didn't hurt either. I did have to go to the vet. It felt sort of like getting a shot. But I didn't mind because I always get a special treat after a trip to the vet - especially if I have to have shots.
I am seven years old and have had my chip since I was a puppy. It doesn't itch or bother me at all. I don't even remember that I have it most of the time. I only remember when I hear about someone losing a dog or cat. Yes, cats can get chips too!
I don't think it costs a lot of money either. There are nine of us dogs and cats at Oak Valley and we all have chips. Mom isn't rich so it must not cost too much. And it doesn't have to be replaced when it wears out. Can't say that about my collar and tags!
Nope, I don't worry at all about getting lost. No matter where I may roam, a vet or the animal shelter will probably have a chip reader. And Sally, our friend at the shelter, says that they scan all pets for chips now as soon as they come to the shelter, just in case they have lost their Mom.
So please, if you are a pet Mom (or Dad), get them a chip. Then you won't ever have to go through the agony of wondering what happened to a much-loved family member. May is Chip Your Pet Month! What a great way to celebrate - by chipping all of your furry family members!
P.S. The story of Harvey does have a happy ending. A few months after he disappeared, Dad saw him at the home of an elderly gentleman who lived several streets away from them. He said Harvey just showed up at his house one day hungry and scared. He never saw the posters. He did look in the paper but didn't see Mom's ad. So he just let Harvey live with him. Harvey looked happy and healthy and he and the man really seemed to love each other. Dad and Mom talked and decided to let Harvey stay there. Besides, by then Spot, the Chihuahua, had found Jessica - but that is another story!