Headed for a new start in 2008, Priscilla and her owner had just moved
to a new state. On their second day in their new hometown, Priscilla got out the front door without anyone realizing it. When
discovered, the family quickly spread out scouring the neighborhood in search of the small five pound dog. At the end of day
one, no one had seen the tiny canine.
On day three
a panicked Tracey called me. They had discovered that someone had seen Priscilla on the day she went missing. She was being
chased by a woman who was trying to catch her; she had not been seen since. The family was devastated as they realized that
whoever had their family member had to know they were looking for her as the apartment complex where she had been seen was
covered with posters and fliers pleading for information about their much loved dog. Who ever had her, knew a heartbroken
family was searching for her.
I assured Tracey that by
taking certain steps, a plan could be developed to encourage who ever had her to return her. Within hours the plan was in
effect and by days end, the expected call came in. The man on the phone said he had the small dog but wanted to know what
the reward was. I had coached the family on their responses and protocol to follow. After a few minutes of negotiation, the
transfer of money and dog was set and Priscilla was home within the hour.
As the value of the pocket pups and designer dogs continues to grow, this situation is becoming more common. Certain
breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Poodle and Chihuahua are more commonly in this situation but it can happen
with others. Fortunately, we recover these dogs regularly by following a plan while remaining calm, cool and collected regardless
our personal feelings. Aggressive behavior, accusations or threats of police involvement are not called for and does not work
in this situation. Keeping the caller on the phone with an understanding demeanor is the most important as you will most likely
never hear from them again if you do not proceed in this manner.
have never known any of these dogs to be harmed and the caller is not a thief but instead an opportunist. The police are generally
reluctant to get involved in these cases as any dog off its property is considered stray not stolen and unfortunately in many
areas a finder's keeper's attitude exists. Sad, yes but true none the less so keep this in mind if you believe your much loved
dog maybe in this situation.
By following certain steps
and keeping a cool head, most all of these dogs are recovered by their owners with professional coaching over the phone.
Above all don't panic or become angry and threatening.