Home > Animal Rescue, Dog Behavior, Pet Safety, Pet Topics > Lost Dogs Found. My Scary Moment.

Lost Dogs Found. My Scary Moment.

Have you ever had that scary moment with your dog(s)? You know the one where you (or they) do something that puts their life in jeopardy? Or something happens and you wonder if you’ve lost them forever?

Tonight, I came home from work only to discover that my garage door was wide open. At first, I was mad. “That damn door!” I thought, “It’s constantly going back up after I drive away from the house!” Usually, I wait around to make sure it is down for good before leaving, but today I must have forgotten.

As I pulled into the garage, it suddenly occurred to me that it was really windy outside today. I looked at the closed kitchen door and breathed a sigh of relief. “Whew!Still closed.” I thought. Although that door is always locked, it often blows open when there is a strong wind and the garage door is open (it only stays closed when the deadbolt is engaged). The fact that it had remained shut was truly a miracle.

Instead of stopping to gather my work bag and purse out of the car, I headed immediately inside to check on Daisy, Jasper, and my cat, Nick. I opened the door but no dogs greeted me. I called their names. Nothing. Panic started to set in as I ran from room to room calling their names, “Daisy! Jasper! Nick!” Finally, Nick made an appearance and promptly voiced his concerns about food. What did he care about missing dogs?

I ran back out into the garage and then to the door that leads to the back yard. I pulled open the door and started to call their names “Daisy! Jasp…” Oh Thank God! And there they were, tails wagging, smiles on their faces, and both of them hopping around with excitement, just like they normally act when I come home. No big deal.

You have no idea the relief I felt!

Daisy was a little skittish, but Jasper seemed fine. “How did they end up there?” I wondered. Obviously, at some point the wind HAD blown the door open and they had escaped. “Where did they go?” I wondered, “How far did they get from home?” “Who made sure they were safe and sound?” “How did they get them into the backyard?”

All these questions are still running through my mind tonight. I have only spoken with two of my neighbors so far, but neither of them had even known that my garage door had been open. Nor had they seen some kind stranger herd Daisy and Jasper into the backyard. No one seemed to know anything. I still have one more neighbor to ask, but tonight I just can’t help but feel really, really lucky and extremely grateful. SO much could have gone wrong. I could have lost them forever and never known what had happened to them.

Oh. Did I mention? Neither Daisy nor Jasper had their collars on today when I left for work. Lucky? Yes. Indeed, I am.

  1. Jan
    August 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    I had that happen a while back when the back gate blew open and I still break into chills thinking about it. But there they all were hanging out in the alley like it was some big deal. They looked like naughty children sneaking a smoke while the adults couldn’t see them.

    There is a strong lock on the gate now.

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM

      Wow Jan. That sounds a lot like what happened to me. The only difference is that you found yours in the alley. I bet you feel as lucky as I do. I am amazed that my dogs only strayed as far as the neighbor’s yard. She said she looked out her back sliding glass door and called to her husband and said “There’s a dog on our back deck.” It was Daisy. Then, they saw Jasper out front and Nick in the bushes.
      That they took the time to make sure everyone got to a safe place is so amazing to me. Awesome people.

  2. August 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    While I have never had dogs escape from the house, I did “lose” Jersey at a craft show. I was a vendor and had a booth set up, complete with Jersey chair. She *never* leaves her chair, but something must have been pretty Irresistible. After 10 minutes of panic, I founder her behind a food truck. It freaker her out, too. She never let me out of her sight for the rest of the weekend!

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:25 PM

      I bet Jersey was so curious she didn’t realize she had wandered so far away. By then, she was probably freaked out and had no idea what to do next. Thank God you found her Karen. She’s so cute I would hate for her to be lost somewhere.

  3. August 25, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    When we just had Fiona and Zappa and they were maybe 6 months old or so, Brut and the two little ones slipped through the fence and were gone for some time before we even knew they were missing. My husband was completely freaking out and for some reason I wasn’t really worried, I just kind of had this feeling they’d come home. Wasn’t too long after our discovery and they all come running back home. We were both grateful, but my husband was so scared he’s never forgotten it. And we always do fence checks now just to be sure.

    I can’t imagine what you felt coming home to an open garage door and no puppies! That would have to be pretty scary. So glad everyone was safe and sound.

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:24 PM

      Perhaps you were clairvoyant about rut and the pups? Amazing that you remained to calm. I do fence checks too, but now I’ve added garage door checks, locked door checks. etc.
      I found out that everyone was outside, Daisy, Jasper AND Nick! And, my kind neighbors got the all back to where they needed to be! Amazing!

  4. August 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    How scary! I am glad that everything turned out okay.

    Bella’s managed to slip out the door past us a few times. My heart always starts racing and it really is the scariest thing. The first time, she ran out of our apartment door and we caught after she stopped to sniff something. Then she managed to pull the leash out of my roommate’s hand, who had to chase her down the side of the road and caught Bella after she stopped to sniff something. It happened another time at my parents’ house – Bella slipped past my mom and we had to chaser her down the mountain (yup) – we caught her before she made it to the main road after (you guessed it) she stopped to sniff something. Thank goodness she’s easily distracted by her nose.

    When I was a kid, our Chihuahua slipped out the door while we were visiting family in Richmond and was missing for three days. My parents hired Bloodhounds to track her, we put up signs, etc. It was miserable. Luckily a neighbor saw her sneaking cat food and called us.

    just thinking about it stresses me out! Now we are super paranoid – we even have what we call an “airlock.” We enter the house mostly through the garage, which connects to the house through the laundry room. It’s against the rules for two doors to be open at the same time so there’s never an escape route to the outside!

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      I can’t help but laugh at how many times you have caught Bella just because she stopped to sniff something. I’d consider myself lucky to have a dog who’s nose prevented them from running off too far!. So glad she’s never gotten away. I so relate to your paranoia now.

  5. August 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    My friend’s dog Duke once raced out when one of the kid’s friends left the door open a fraction of a second too long. He narrowly escaped death by bus. And when Our Best Friend doesn’t get enough exercise (like right now, restricted due to kennel cough), he’s prone to taking off through the back yard and zooming away. We always, always take him out on a leash now because we don’t want him getting hit by a car! (Or pooping in the neighbours’ yards, something else he’s perfectly capable of doing.)

    A lost pet is a terrible, terrible thing. I GOTTA get that microchipping done!

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:20 PM

      Holy cow Lori! Bus??!! that would scare me enough too.
      I now make sure the garage door stays down and lock the door from the kitchen to the garage.

      I read about Duke’s bout with kennel cough. I sure hope he’s feeling better soon! I know he gave you quite a scare.

  6. August 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Wow, I can only imagine how scary that must have been! There is no worse feeling – I’m so glad that they were safe and sound.

    That is exactly why I always try to catch loose dogs and return them home (or hold them in my garage until I can find their home) – I would want someone to do the same for me 😉

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM

      Even though it probably only lasted seconds Julie, it felt like eons. All I could imagine was they could be anywhere – especially of the door had been open all day. The neighbor said they never ventured farther than their yard and mine. Can you believe it?

      I am also someone who tries to catch the loose dogs and bring them back to their homes (my mom could tel you stories!).
      I saw too many strays at the shelter who clearly came from loving homes and were adopted because no one claimed them in time. I am glad someone was kind enough to return the favor.

  7. August 25, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Oh Mel, I am so glad your pups are ok. I’m sure all pet parents have lived through a moment of panic like that, I known I have. Disaster happens. We can only hope to be prepared (and lucky!) when it does.

  8. August 25, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Oh my gosh, this is the worst nightmare. Thank God they were in the yard. I know that fear and there is almost nothing worse. Hold on to those pups tight.

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      Thanks Foley. I am more than a bit grateful. I just discovered tonight that it was the neighbors on the other side who corralled them into the backyard. It turns out they never ventured farther than their yard and mine. How’s that for miracles?

  9. August 25, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Wow! I’m so glad your family is all fine. We had a moment like that once. Rod and I headed down the block to get brunch, and our front door must not have closed tightly. As we were waiting for a table, I looked out the window and saw a dog heading for the restaurant. It took a split second to realize it was Ty – on his own, crossing the street! I must have said, “OMG, it’s Ty!” because Rod went running out the door and scooped him up from the middle of the street. We carried him home, but brunch was out of the question. Neither of was able to eat.

    • Mel
      August 25, 2011 at 10:13 PM

      Oh my God Amy! How frightening. I don’t think I would have been able to eat either. In fact, when I ran on an errand later that evening, I took the dogs with me. I was too upset to leave them behind.

  10. August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    I’m so glad all is okay, Mel. I once thought I lost Frankie because I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was terrified — and mystified. I couldn’t figure out how he had gotten out. Turns out he was sitting quietly in a room that I don’t usually use but had opened the door and peered into for some reason; I guess he slipped by me without my noticing it and I just closed the door again. Where’s that bark when you need it??

    • Mel
      August 26, 2011 at 8:53 PM

      Thanks Edie. I am too.
      I didn’t know that Frankie once gave you a scare. I can completely relate to being terrified and looking all over the house. So glad Frankie was okay! With his diabetes, being gone for long could be fatal. How frightening.

  11. Janice in GA
    August 26, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Oh wow, how scary! I came home once and Sasha and Ivan came bounding out of the bushes to meet the car. This was Not Okay, because they were supposed to have been INSIDE the fenced-in yard, not OUTSIDE it.

    I inferred that they’d found a loose board in the privacy fence and sneaked out. Here’s the weird part: I went to Sasha (best & smartest Australian Shepherd EVAR) and asked her to show me where they got out. We walked around the yard for a few minutes. Then Sasha headed over to one particular spot at the back of the yard and nosed a board. The board moved. That was where they had gotten out, and where I took hammer and nails a few minutes later. No more escaping!

    • Mel
      August 26, 2011 at 8:46 PM

      Wow Janice! I can’t believe your Aussie showed you where the gap was and how they had gotten out. I imagine you can relate to my fear and surprise that they never took off.
      I once had a Sheltie who did the same thing with our wood fence. She was so smart she actually would check the kitchen window to see if anyone was watching before she would go over to the loose board in the fence, push it aside, and make her escape. My family still teases me about yelling “Get down! She can see you!” as we stood by the kitchen window, watching to see how she was getting out, but she was THAT smart. Obviously, you have a smart one too!

  12. August 26, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I am so glad this story has a happy ending! Have you found out how your dogs ended up back in the yard yet? I am so glad someone caught them and were able to put them back in your yard. I totally would have panicked as well! My childhood dog used to run away all the time. Somehow we always got her back but it was a nightmare every time.

    • Mel
      August 26, 2011 at 8:43 PM

      Thank you Kristine. Me too! I did find out what happened. My neighbor on the other side of my house said she saw Daisy sitting on her deck and said to her husband “There’s a dog out on our deck!”. Then she looked out front and said “There’s a dog out front too! It looks like Mel’s dog!” Apparently, my dogs never strayed farther than her yard and mine. Can you believe it? The cat was in their front bushes too!
      God knows how long they were out. I found several toys out in the front yard, so I know Daisy came in and out of the house a few times. Yet, they never ran away! I am so lucky!
      The neighbor’s husband opened the back gate and my dogs ran right in. They put my at in the house and shut the door. I think they would have put both the dogs in too, but Jasper was barking and growling at the guy. Don’t blame him for just putting in the backyard at all. Unbelievable.

  13. August 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Everyone has one (or more) of those scary stories. I’m so glad yours had such a happy ending.

    My last dog Shadow pulled her leash out of my hand 12 hours after I brought her home from the SPCA. She just started trotting down the street and I broke into tears saying, “I’ll never get her back, she doesn’t even know me yet, and now the SPCA will never let me adopt a dog ever again.”

    Luckily a person walking her dog down the street saw what was doing on and put her arms out to coral Shadow for me. I’ve never loved someone so much as I did that unknown person.

    And my close calls have made me committed to helping every dog I find roaming around the neighborhood. I just want to pay it forward.

    • Mel
      August 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

      Oh Pamela! How frightening. That lady was so kind to do that. I love people like that. in one moment she saved the day. I can’t imagine the relief you felt.

      I had something similar with my last dog, Aspen, only I didn’t drop the leash. I let her out the un-fenced backyard because I figured a 9 year old dog wouldn’t take off. Au contraire! I drove around looking for her before returning home in tears only to find her back in my backyard. It was her first night in our new home and she found her way back! I’ll never know how she did it, but I was SO relieved. Just as I was when I discovered Daisy and Jasper in the backyard.

  14. August 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Very Scary! I would have totally freaked out if that happened to me 🙂 Especially because they didn’t have collars on…You have such good pups they just hung around and waited for mom to get home!

    • Mel
      August 29, 2011 at 10:09 PM

      Thanks Sarah! I so agree that my pups are good, but I think I was luky too. Thank God the neighbors were home, saw them and got them back into the yard. I have no idea what might have happened otherwise.

  15. August 29, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Oh my gosh! I’ve been there, and it’s the worst feeling in the world. I’m so glad your babies were safe, and there was a happy ending. Ours have had a couple of brief escapes, and one of them involved a very windy day too, and our fence being blown open. We take steps to make them more secure, and hope for the best. Again, I’m so glad your found them in the back yard. What a relief!!!

  16. August 30, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Rivalled by that feeling when you realise your dogs are safe, and you had no idea they were in imminent danger.

    I have 3 dogs… I had one, Clover, bark at the door. I answered the door and my other two dogs greeted me. What the?! What I think must’ve happened is that I had pushed the button on the garage automatic door remote, that was in my pocket, and the other two had a quick victory dash before coming to the front door. Lucky indeed!

  17. Edd
    October 4, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    I’m happy there was a pleasant ending to the story.
    I have one myself. Ill set the scene. I live in a large conurbation around 15miles southeast of London, I live with my partner who is in the Royal Navy and my sisters boyfriend, I have recently left the Navy and am about to start a new job in London. I woke up this morning at around 0720 as usual to find that Frank (my 9month old black lab) was not on my bed as usual, I went into the bathroom to see if was in there, I went downstairs still no sign, and to my complete horror I notice the front door wide open, I call him with no response, I start panicking, I call the local council and the non emergency police but I got no information, I call my vet and get the micro chip details and call them, the American lady on the phone was ever so helpful and rather charming. Still no sign I walk and drive for 5 hours and I can’t find him anywhere I call my sisters boyfriend and, bless him, he leaves work and drives all the way from Essex to help look, it transpired that he had unknowingly left the door open when leaving for work, at this point I’m going crazy, I get home to charge my phone and low and behold there’s a not from the council stating my dog was in a kennels 10miles away and that I just need to go pick him up after paying a small admin charge (which I didn’t have to pay, as my sisters boyfriend payed it) I got him back and he went crazy when he saw me, he was picked up at the park where I take him for a walk. I suppose the lesson learnt is that if you are to lose a pet, it’s important to get the word out quickly and tell as many people as possible ask everyone, I told the council, the police, micro chip company, and my vets, I also told my neighbours and family, half the street were out looking for him and all the authorities had him registered missing so it was inevitable he would be found, but I was massively lucky he wasn’t injured as he went at morning rush hour and had to pass a very busy road to get to where he was found.

    • Mel
      October 5, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      Holy cow Edd! That is some story! I am so very, very glad you found your pup. I know the fear you described. I imagine the reunion was just as heartwarming and sweet and precious. You did all the right things and thankfully you have your Frank back.

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