We’ve said it before, and will probably continue to say it well past the time that you’re tired of hearing it: Microchip your dog. We know that there’s only so many times we can repeat ourselves before people just roll their eyes and stop inviting Dogster writers to parties because we remind them of their cranky old uncle who will not shut up about how music just hasn’t been as cool since the early days of MTV.
However, unlike your uncle’s insistence that you really need to sit down and listen to the entire oeuvre of A Flock of Seagulls or Men Without Hats, this is really good advice. It could mean the difference between losing your dog forever and eventually being reunited.
The story of Mike Nuanes and his Shih Tzu Jordan is an excellent example. Eight years ago, Nuanes and his late wife walked to a family member’s house to have breakfast. When they came home, Jordan had disappeared from the backyard. That was the last Nuanes had ever heard of Jordan until recently. The Fulton County Animal Shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, called Nuanes at his home in Denver to tell him that it had his dog.
Nuanes was sure that they’d made a mistake. After all, getting from Denver to Atlanta is a pretty long hike, and dogs don’t tend to accumulate the frequent flyer miles that would make that trip easier. His girlfriend checked in the backyard to see if any of their four dogs were missing. They were all there, so it seemed pretty clear that the Fulton County Animal Shelter had made a mistake.
“When she asked, ‘Is his name Jordan?’ That’s when my jaw hit the ground,” Nuanes told 9 News. “After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I asked, ‘Is he a little chocolate fellow?'”
Jordan had been picked up as a stray and brought into the shelter in the last week of October. He was in bad shape when he came in: Jordan had dropped from a normal weight of around 10 to 12 pounds to 5, he was covered with fleas, and patches of his hair were falling out. Within a few days, Nuanes had arranged an airline ticket to go pick up his old friend, who had been little more than a puppy the last time they’d seen each other.
Nuanes says that the people on the flight home were very accommodating to them.
“People gave up their seats so I could sit in the front row and let him stay on my lap,” he said.
No one knows how exactly Jordan wound up in Atlanta, but despite the condition he was found in, Nuanes thinks that he was well taken care of for most of those eight years. “Being the optimist that I am, when they called me I thought, ‘Well, I know he didn’t walk to Atlanta,’ so somebody must have been taking care of him all these years,” he told 9 News.
However Jordan got there, and whatever his life was like in those eight years, one thing is clear: It’s extremely unlikely that he would have ever returned to Denver if the staff of the Fulton County Animal Shelter hadn’t been able to scan his chip.
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