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BEACON Senior News

Make a promise to your pets on “Valentags” Day

Jan 25, 2022 10:26AM ● By Marti Benson

I think of Happy often. 

Her (or his) collar is pink and still clasped shut. Had the phone numbers on the tag been legible, I would have called. Instead, I picked up the empty ring of fabric and put it in my pocket. I continued my walk with Sherlock along the nearby trail. But for the rest of that day, I worried about Happy. 

During a recent epic windstorm, my schedule was packed. As a pet sitter/dog walker, normally I would have spent the day exploring trails and playing with my furry friends. Instead, I spent each visit securing objects in yards and texting worried owners, reassuring them that their pets were safe.

Each of the dogs reacted differently to the destruction happening around them. Obie and Lonzo gleefully chased tumbling branches as I wrangled up patio furniture. Meeker and Maisel peered nervously out the door while I inspected the mangled remnants of their backyard fence, grateful they did not have a doggy door. And Bo, whose world revolves around balls and squirrels, wound himself tightly around my feet and shuddered with every monstrous gust. 

If you are on social media sites such as Nextdoor.com or Facebook, you already know how many frantic owners look for lost pets during and after a storm. My heart broke with each plea for help. I fervently hoped the loose pets had some form of legible identification on them. And I thought about Happy.

Because our pets are our hearts, I have an idea. On February 14—Valentine’s Day—let’s double-check our dogs’ tags. Are the phone number and address current? Can you read the information, or has it worn away? 

If it’s time for a new tag, you can get them on the spot at Petco or PetSmart, or pretty much anywhere that sells pet food. As an extra measure of caution, I added “has seizures” engraved on each of my dogs’ tags. If—heaven forbid—either one of them went missing during a disaster, I want whoever finds them to know they have a health condition. 

If you’re considering having Ralph microchipped, make that appointment today with your veterinarian. If he’s already chipped, ensure the info in his database is up to date. 

If Minnie doesn’t have a collar, how about getting one now? There are so many fun styles available! She’ll also need an identification tag to add some (important) bling. While a new squeaky toy or a favorite treat is good, let’s show our pooches some real love. Let’s give them that extra layer of security and a better chance to be reunited with us should something unforeseen happen. 

Remember Happy.