I have a confession to make. And I’m not going to win dog mommy of the year after this one! Last week, Baylor escaped from our home and did not have his collar on! He was gone for more than 10 hours. I was a nervous wreck and thought we had lost him.
My husband has a bad habit of taking Baylor’s collar off at night because his collar jingles. Jason says it wakes him up during the night when Baylor roams around the house.
So picture this: I’ve just put our 2-year-old Wils to bed. Jason walks in the bedroom and says, “Baylor is gone.” I went into panic mode. How would we break the news to our boys if we didn’t find Baylor?
Jason and I took turns searching for him until 3 a.m. One of us stayed home since the boys were asleep and the other went out looking. We knew Baylor was hungry because we cut back on his food to help him lose weight.
When I went out searching for Baylor, I took dog biscuits with me. I thought it was OK if he cheated on his diet just this once. If he’s hungry, this would bring him back.
But I couldn’t find him, Jason couldn’t find him. We were devastated. We went to bed, but didn’t sleep. We were worried sick.
The next morning around 6 o’clock, my cell phone rang. A neighbor said, “I think I know where your dog is.” Baylor spent the night with a family up the street who also has a chocolate lab!
We are new to the neighborhood and have not met these folks before. They were so kind and took wonderful care of Baylor. He had fun with his new chocolate lab friend named Bear. The next morning, my neighbor fed them.
“Vanessa, I have never seen a dog eat a bowl of food so fast, so I gave him another bowl,” she said. (She didn’t know Baylor was in boot camp and on a diet.) Baylor also got several rawhides while he was hanging out with his new buddy Bear.
We were very thankful that our neighbor and her family took such great care of Baylor. But we knew he would have to work hard to burn off the extra food and treats.
He did gain a pound this week; I think we may also be to blame. We have been giving him a little more food than he needs because we didn’t want him to run off again! That means Baylor will have to work even harder this week at Barking Dog Fitness at Rocky’s Retreat.
Baylor is micro-chipped, so if someone had found him and taken him to the shelter, they would have been able to use a device to scan the chip and get our information. But his slumber party with Bear reminded me how important it is to keep our dog’s collar on all the times.
A friend at work told me about some plastic covers you can put over your dog’s tags so they don’t jingle and wake you or your children up at night. Jason and I are going to look into getting one for Baylor’s tags.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully you laughed some and you also won’t make the same mistake we did.
I took Baylor to boot camp today. The fitness coaches were not happy he gained a pound, but feel certain he will be back on track by the end of next week.
The photographer I worked with today, Dan Criswell, is also a scuba diver. Dan got in the pool with Baylor and used his underwater video camera. He got some amazing video that shows how hydrotherapy helps dogs recover from serious injuries, burn calories and lose weight.
I can’t wait to put this story together and show you all the great video next Tuesday on WFTV at Noon.
I hope you all have a great week and remember, keep your dog’s collar on always!
Vanessa and Baylor