Bad, Bad Dog Owner!

Before I begin, I want to thank everyone for their awesome advice on Tuesday’s post. Wowzers! I didn’t expect such an overwhelming response! Obviously this is something that affects us all. Stray dogs are a personal issue for any animal lover. We can all imagine what it would be like to be the owner. After all, a lot of us have been there. I checked out my city’s website to see if there is a recommended course of action for citizens who come across dogs who are loose on their own. There is and it is pretty similar to what you all suggested. Good to know!

I have put the number of the local animal control in my cell phone. Stashing some extra yummy treats in my coat is probably also a good idea. Apparently kibble isn’t enough for the pickier dogs out there. Is my dog the only one who eats her normal boring food like it is a special treat? 

Oh, and I will always wear a belt! That idea was so creative. Those of you that say you always carry an extra leash get an extra hat-tip from me. I find I am already over-loaded with stuff when I take Shiva outside. Cell phone, poop bags, keys, kibble, mitts… And then they say I should carry some sort of citronella spray, an extra leash, extra bags to clean up other dogs’ poop, a snack for me, extra mitts, extra socks, beer, special treats for those dicey moments, a whistle, some form of ID, a portable stereo, a photograph of my mom… It is getting a little out on control. I have to put my foot down somewhere. Since I refuse to leave without the beer, the extra leash is not a priority. 

Belt it is!

 Yesterday I read a post on Dogs Deserve Freedom with a link to a pretty cool database. It’s called Helping Lost Pets and from what I can tell it is a type of online network that connects people who have found dogs with the people who lost them. For now, the postings are primarily in North America but it seems this is only because not enough people know about it. It looks like such a fantastic resource, if only people started using it. As it is now, there is no single database everyone knows to check when they have found or lost a pet. But I think this HELP network could be it. If you have a second, you should check it out.

Now I have a confession to make. This is hard to admit, especially after all the writing I have done on the subject but here goes:

 Shiva doesn’t have a tag with her name and phone number on it.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. It is terrible. In my defense, which I admit is weak, she is never outside alone. Since she can’t exactly escape from the house without me noticing, I haven’t made a point of getting her one. But I really, really should. She does spend time off leash after all and anything can happen. Just because it hasn’t yet is no excuse for my laziness. She has a micro-chip and her license and rabies tags but I know the one with a phone number is by far the simplest way for someone to help return her home.

I promise I am going to remedy this. As I type I am logged in to Etsy, looking for something cute, stylish, and practical. Of course, that means I will probably spend the rest of my day trying to decide which one I want.

There is the Harley. 

Or the Mustache. 

Or the Gracie.

Or the Emma...


35 thoughts on “Bad, Bad Dog Owner!

  1. Oh that’s tough. Daph is so skittish that I don’t think anyone could get close enough to check her tag (and be safe about it). I do like the collars that have the name and phone number embroidered on them; tags can fall off, but if there’s a collar with that info on it, you’re pretty good to go. And, at least for Daph, phone number is more important that the name, since she wouldn’t respond to a stranger saying her name.


  2. I was told to never put your dogs name on their tag. If someone found your dog, and they decided they wanted to keep your dog, it’s much easier when they have it’s name.


  3. I don’t have a tag for Tibby either, but I have her name and my # written on the outside of all her collars. Tibby has like 8 different collars and harnesses and I hate the hassle of changing a tag every time we go outside. Also, she doesn’t wear a collar in the house, because she has started to blow her puppy coat – serious matts, bad matts if anything rubs against her hair.
    If I were going to get a tag – I would get this one
    I think it is so cute!! And it holds a lot of info.


  4. I never put my dogs’ names on their tags. That would make someone a great instant pet. I put my last name, address, and two phone numbers. I love the sliders made by Boomerang tags. They don’t clink and unless the collar is removed, they won’t be torn off, yet for collar changes they come off and on easy enough. They look like a nice silver buckle, also. Here’s a picture to one of my Dobies wearing one. Good luck with your decision.


  5. Personally, i like the tags at RedDingo better. I got them for my 2 here as well. I know people who don’t actually put their dog’s REAL name on their tags for reasons of being afraid of them being stolen. so not having a tag is not the end of the world, especially if she’s chipped. but if she weren’t chipped, i would say “shame on you!” 😉

    ya, loose dogs… drives everyone nuts. but sometimes it’s just an accident.


  6. We like the Gracie tag. I was cracking up when I read about all the things you’re supposed to carry with you…a picture of your mom…etc. Too funny!

    Oh, and don’t worry…Riley thinks her boring old kibble is a big exciting treat too!

    Elyse and Riley


  7. I love Boomerang Tags I get the collar tags that can slide on my adjustable collars. I put “If alone, I’m lost,” then my home, cell and vet’s numbers on the tag. As long as they don’t lose the collar, the tag is guaranteed for life. My small Dachshund, Danny Quinn, still wears his original collar and tag from 6 years ago – it has saved his life 5 times so far, the little booger. As a rescue, for the larger tags, I put “Silverwalk Hounds, Cape G., MO” as well. Hounds can travel far. @Brooke, I like the Together Tag plan – though they have no tags available but the info could be put on a Boomerang tag. @Catalina, I really like that tag, too. I do transports of dogs, so am always looking for means to easily identify dogs I don’t know. My vet used to send out plastic cards with a mini card for your key ring. When I went to send my beloved foster Lady Bird on the Last Chance Highway bus (then known as the Puppy Bus), I put the mini card on her collar with the same photo in her see-through information packet so those transporting her from TN to ME could easily ID her. One more thing to keep handy is They will make calls within a certain distance/number of calls for a price – but are a great resource and got me back a dog twice so far.
    Margie has her Boomerang tag as well as a “Diva” charm :). And Justus has a bright green collar made of a recycled woman’s belt with his Boomerang collar on it. You can see it on my Facebook at Bobbie Beach. I microchip my personal dogs but not yet my adoptable dogs – only due to cost. My fav of your selections, Kristine, are the Emma and the Gracie; I would always back them up with their license and rabies tags.


  8. OH – I am not done! For the car and getting a dog to come – try keeping a can of cat food – it smells more than dog or dry kibble, which can be more enticing. The belt is a great idea but I don’t wear one so I do keep an extra leash in the car as well as a crate. Course, I am only one person – my car, though an SUV, is now really set up for one human and multiple dogs. HA. LOVE your description of carrying all that stuff – is that why cargo pants are in vogue? Ok, I am done – I think :).


  9. The other thing that kind of frightens me is that I don’t think the average person knows about microchipping; I feel if people see a dog without tags they just assume it’s a stray. I think it’s good to get this awareness out there. I like the Emma, or the mustache.


  10. Whew! I thought for a tiny second there that you were gonna say you were gonna leave the beer at home. What a relief!

    Hmmmm…I think I like the Emma. It’s real easy to read and I think that’s pretty impawtant. You don’t want somebuddy to have to spend a lot of time bending over Shiva to try to figure out what her phone number is. Cuz that can be pretty skeery for a dog — specially one that’s lost.

    Wiggles & Wags,


  11. Glad you’re adding some “Safety Jewelry” to Shiva’s wardrobe. All it takes is one pair of Jehovah’s witnesses coming to your door just as aliens from a distant planet who smell like cheeseburgers are walking by and Shiva could be gone like a shot. You just never know!

    Anyway, I liked all the tags. But I thought the Harley reminded me most of Shiva as you’ve described her–pretty but with a little bit of a funky edge. It would probably look best with Christmas lights.

    My second choice for her would be mustache but then people would probably think she’s a boy.

    Emma was just a little too cool for school and Gracie looked too pretty and dainty for such an athletic girl.

    Man, I’ll have an opinion about anything, won’t I? Hope you share your choice.


  12. I would vote for the Harley. I think it would suit Shiva’s personality too.

    I don’t go off the lead, but I still have a tag on my ‘grab collar’ just in case I ever got away through some bizarre situation.

    The Retired Greyhound Trust kennel that I came from engraved their telephone number on one side and my family’s telephone number is on the other side.

    We have a really good website in the UK called that is great at re-uniting dogs and their owners.

    Love and licks, Winnie


  13. That is a ton of good info. above. If you don’t want to put her name on it you can always put something like Good Dog, Wild Thing, Best Friend, instead. I like the Gracie tag but it is girly, The Harely might suit her better, you can have your phone #, etc. engraved on the back of the tag.
    We got Ryker’s from Esty. I recently had to change the jump ring because I noticed it was getting very thin after one year. It was copper and wore down fast. I changed it to a sturdy multi-loop like for key rings but smaller.
    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


  14. Just wanted to say- I don’t have issue with owners not having a tag with a name and phone number on it, just *some* kind of identifying info is what I hope for. My dogs don’t either, but they have their license tags, they’re microchipped, they have their microchip tags, plus Kayloo has her blanketID tag. If there is a phone number I’d call it, but the other info is just a great too- that way when I call into Animal Control they can look up the pooch and we’re good to go!

    That said I like Harley… although my dogs would chomp the little bead off whoever was wearing it 🙂


  15. Emma and mustache!

    And here’s something I only thought about, AFTER I made Georgia’s first tag. Put your MOBILE PHONE contact rather than house phone because if you’re out walking her and she runs away and someone finds her in the next 15 minutes before you get home….enough said :p I’ve since changed all 3 of her tags.

    Or maybe I’m the only stoopid one who did that in the first place! 🙂 xox


  16. OMG Kristine! All of these tags are nice! I like the Gracie the best for me, but all of them are awesome and cute. I had to laugh at the beer comment. LOL!

    BTW – The one dog that I was able to rescue after it almost got hit on the highway? She had her name and phone numbers on her tag. I was soooo grateful for that!


  17. I missed Tuesday’s post due to being out in the stix and limited air/data time. Someone told me, rather than put their name on the tag to put “reward.” I can’t remember what their reasoning for not uswing the pet'[s name, but I know it made sense to me, at the time.

    I carry the small, smelly, flip top cans of catfood. It’s always worked, except with Alf.


  18. Just as a side note, I don’t put tags on my dogs because my dogs don’t wear collars. I am very fearful of collars getting snagged on things and leading to strangulation. As such, if your dog does wear a collar constantly, I suggest an investment of a ‘break away’ collar that will snap apart before strangulation occurs.

    Here’s a link to one provider:—small-size/


  19. They are so pretty but I prefer Emma. I just feel that the colour suits Shiva’s black coat.
    Eva has a tag with her name and our contact numbers, I’m not sure it is good for her to have it or not but I just feel that if she gets lost and someone finds her, hopefully we can be contacted in a fastest way.


  20. I tend to favour the “Gracie” one myself, but it could be because it at least pictures food. My human bought me one at Bosley’s that is a soft kind of material. It doesn’t clang on my supper dish and scare me.


  21. Y’know I have to second the suggestion. I use the collar tags and swear by them. I let their personalities shine through on their collars… to me their tags need to be 100% reliable in terms of readability and functionality. My collars have the dogs name (neither of them would GO w/ someone who just knew their name and frankly, after a24 hrs no one would WANT them LOL!), my name, my phone, my cell phone, and one collar has “REWARD IF RETURNED!!!” the other says “HELP ME GET HOME!!!”. I also have collars that “collar tags” wont fit, so the collars are embroidered with their name and my cell phone number–i like these for Shayne especially because she is more skittish and you can see the number from a distance.

    With two dogs who are off-leash and who travel as much as my two kids do, functionality is important…. I used to have some of the “artsy” tags… but after getting my first Collar Tag, i’ll never go back LOL 🙂 good luck choosing!


  22. I like the gracie the best… But, don’t get hung up on the collar.. You can always get multiple ones or a different one if you don’t love your first choice… the important thing is that she has a collar just in case…. When I had my dog, we got her multiple ones until we found one that suited her personality… When we had to put her to sleep, my mom put the collar in her car, around her rear view mirror. No matter how many cars she has had since, that collar travels with her. When Marc and I eloped, the collar was my “something borrowed”


  23. We got the dogs thier tags from ETSY too- we loves them – one says “Lucky pup” on it and the other says “I was rescued”– Also, love the hide-and-go seek game, she is adorable!


  24. Totally in another direction – I use and like the Boomerang tags. Bailey being so reactive, we knew he needed an id tag on the flat collar, so that they could see it without having to actually have him sit and be touched.


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