Panicked, she reached out to Babs Fry, who is well known in San Diego for volunteering to help reunite owners with lost pets, particularly dogs. Fry shares photos, videos and stories of dogs lost and found on her Facebook page.The pet recovery specialist recommended they split up: One should wait at the pet sitter’s house in case Doctor returned, the other at their own home — with all doors open and the lights on. Meanwhile, they spread the news about Doctor on the neighborhood social network site Nextdoor as well as Facebook and Twitter (and canceled their trip to Alaska).Several days later, two neighbors reported seeing Doctor in a nearby canyon. Fry suggested the Horns use her not-so-secret weapon: rotisserie chicken. So Paul Horn spread a blanket near the last place where Doctor was seen and opened the package of chicken, releasing the aroma into the air. He sat quietly and, instead of screaming the dog’s name to keep from scaring him, jingled the belt that usually meant it was time for a walk.
Get Educated. The first step to being an outstanding pet owner, according to Dr. Becker, is taking responsibility. “Nobody ever says ‘I was a lousy pet owner.’ It’s always the pet’s fault.” Learn the peculiarities of your pet’s breed such as how much exercise they need, how gregarious they are, how much maintenance their coat requires, how often they need to go outside, and about new technologies, products, and nutrition that might help you care for your pet. Knowing the basics about your pet’s upkeep ensures you won’t be caught off guard by troubling behavior.
Minutes later, Doctor was in his arms, wagging like crazy. The couple was, of course, overjoyed.“It had been 88 hours,” Horn said. “He had lost 3 pounds, but he was happy.”
Fry refused payment for her services and instead asked the Horns to “pay it forward” by helping others with lost pets.
“I’ve taken it to heart because this is priceless,” Horn said.For five years, Fry, a 49-year-old realtor, has been helping people like the Horns because she can relate to the desperation of losing a dog. The longtime rescue advocate had fostered about 200 dogs when a particularly fearful pooch named Prada ran away after just 12 hours in her care. Thanks to advice from a friend who had experience finding lost dogs, she reunited with Prada a week later.
“It was nothing short of a miracle,” Fry told TODAY. “It made me a believer.” Now Fry offers free phone consultations to “pretty much anyone” who calls about a lost dog; she fields about six calls a day. Most people are local, but some live out of state or in other countries, like Canada and Australia.
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