We live in a fairly suburban area where there are a lot of parks, busy streets, and various neighborhoods back onto woods. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have seen lost dog posters on lamp posts, stop signs, just about anywhere. You know the kind. By the time the posters are printed, this is pretty much the doggie version of an Amber Alert. And for just about all of us, it’s not much different – we are panicking at the thought of a lost family member – this one just has four feet, a tail and the biggest smile that you can imagine.
The other day my wife was walking our English Lab, Tilly, in one of the local parks, when approached by a rather upset lady who looked to be in her late 60s – early 70s, and was frantic because she had lost her son’s black lab, Molly. They lived on the other side of the park but she wasn’t sure where the dog had gone or how to find her, other than running around the park calling her name.
At her age my wife knew she shouldn’t be running around a huge park trying to find her son’s dog. Her husband was also trying to help out, riding his bike around the neighborhood hoping to find the dog too, in what then amounted to two random events (Grandma and Grandpa) trying to intersect with a third random event (Molly).
My wife suggested that Grandma give her cell phone number and if she saw the dog while walking in the park she’d be able to at least find one of them to come fetch Molly. Walking further in the park about 10 minutes later and closer to the neighborhood that Grandma was from, she spotted a black lab coming out of the woods. My wife tried calling her name, but perhaps suspecting that she was in trouble, Molly looked up and ran into the woods.
My wife got hot on the trail of the elusive Molly and at the same time managed to call the distraught Grandparents to describe what backyard she was now running through. Feeling a little strange running through people’s backyards on a Sunday morning she persisted until Grandpa showed up on his bicycle and retrieved the Retriever.
This story had a happy ending, much I’m like one that occurred in our neighborhood where we are surrounded by woods, and home to a number of coyotes. Twice this week we have gotten neighborhood emails about lost dogs. One of those ended happily as the dog was found wandering carefree in a neighbors front yard, the other not quite so happily.
The common thread here is that in all of these cases the owners had no idea where, or exactly when their dog had wandered off – could have been minutes or could have been hours.
It occurred to me that much like some of the systems that will help you locate your car where you just punch in your location when you park and then when you can’t find it, you just open the app on your phone and POOF! there it is. Also kind of like the watch that my son has that tells him where he’s run, how long it took him, his average speed, and his instant speed.
Now something that sophisticated is probably not warranted for your dog but the bottom line is that in both the examples of the lost car and of my son’s running route there were GPS systems that knew exactly where they were at every given moment – no matter if they were perfectly still, or on the move.
Now think about the absolute panic and fear of the three dog owners that I mentioned above, when they couldn’t find their lost family members and how relieved they would have been if they could have punched in a simple app on their phone and know immediately, exactly where their dog was. Instead of running around the neighborhood looking for Poochie, they would simply go to exactly where she was and taker back to home-sweet-home.
Here are two perfect examples of technology helping our lives and one case where technology could have saved a life. For those of you who live in areas where your dog can run off easily this might be a consideration to ease your concerns about where he might be at any time.
There’s no OnStar for dogs, but we can offer several options for GPS tags that might provide the wonderful gift of security for your pooch – and for your family too!
-Check us out at http://thepuppyplaces.com/shop/ and search for GPS-