This is an open letter to people who do not put identification on their dogs.
You may not have noticed, but your dog was missing for a while Saturday. I found her walking down the middle of the road more than a mile from your home. It was unclear whether she had fallen out of a pickup, wandered or been dumped.
I realize that not putting a collar on a dog is a rural tradition. The dog knows her way home, a mile is not far for a dog to roam and you probably think for some reason she will never get hit by traffic.
But how will she find her way back when some do-gooder picks her up as possibly abandoned?
You might be surprised to learn that many people who live in your area don't know what your dog looks like. I stopped at a number of houses. No one could identify her. Several people I spoke to said she was obviously another dumped dog.
In the current economy, dumped dogs have become so common that a dog found without a collar or identification is assumed abandoned.
The next stop on my road trip with your dog was Associated Veterinary Medical Center to see if someone there might recognize her, or if you had the good sense to have her implanted with an identification chip. No chip.
At this point, your continued dog ownership was in doubt. You may have seen the "found" ads I would have placed in the paper, or checked vet clinics and the Humane Society for the "found" messages I would have left there. Or you might not have. I began wondering if I had accidentally acquired a new dog.
You caught a break when one of the staff recalled seeing a dog like yours around a cluster of houses. From there, your dog was able to pick out your house. When you came home, you probably found her asleep on your back porch.
Or maybe you didn't.
If someone out there came home to find a strange dog asleep on the porch, sorry. She said she lived there, so you might as well keep her. She seems like a really nice dog.