Help Your Dog Bring A Lost Dog Home

Honey’s birthday week has been more than just fun and games.

In the middle of long walks, play time, and snowy outdoor dining with her (hopefully) favorite people, Honey also helped reunite a wandering dog with his person.

Way to go, Honey, for helping to bring a lost dog home.

Honey the golden retriever close up.

So I’m a hero dog because I’m good at flirting?

What To Do If You See A Lost Dog

If you love dogs, you’ve probably lost one.

A repair person leaves the door and the back gate open. Your dog bolts in fear and tears the leash out of your hands. Or you turn around for one second and your dog finds one loose board in the fence and goes wandering.

If it hasn’t happened to you, you’re lucky.

Honey the golden retriever waits.

It’s my birthday and the man is making me wait? It would serve him right if I ran away.

No only have we felt the fear of briefly losing a dog, we’ve met other loose dogs on our walks several times over the years. Luckily, Honey knows just what to do.

She flirts.

Honey’s breed, her nature, and the hours we spent socializing her have contributed to her being a friendly and non-threatening ball of fluff.

When my husband and I are walking without Honey and we see an off-leash dog, the dog usually avoids us. But if Honey is at our side, we become lost dog magnets.

And it happened again this weekend.

Honey the golden retriever has lunch at Oasis with Mike.

Well it’s about time you showed up. You’re just lucky I’m willing to take you to dog-friendly, outdoor dining places like this one when the weather is so great.

Honey Gets Her Flirt On

Mike handed Honey’s leash to me while saying, “There’s an off-leash dog over there. You take Honey.”

Since we didn’t know the dog or his intentions, Mike positioned himself between Honey and the strange dog who continued to approach, slowly.

Pretty soon the mystery dog was gamboling across the street, waving his tail loosely and play bowing in response to Honey’s flirty tail.

I kept a hold on Honey’s leash while the two played on the side walk. After their quick burst of playful energy, I asked Honey to sit so Mike could read the lost dog’s tag. He lived just down the block.

We didn’t have a spare leash. And I didn’t want to risk lending Honey’s leash to this dog on a busy street. So we counted on Honey’s charms to keep the dog by our side as we walked him home.

The mystery dog continued to jump and play with Honey as we walked him toward his home. He didn’t leave Honey’s side until we arrived at his front door and his person came out to wrangle him.

And we thanked Honey for being such a flirt and a saver of lost dogs.

Honey the golden retriever eats birthday dinner,

So I thought I got a little pork dinner because it was my birthday. Or is this my award for being a heroic flirt?

Saving A Lost Dog By Accident

Honey’s personality makes coaxing lost dogs home a sure thing. But even our last dog, reactive Shadow, served the same role.

We had been working with Shadow for a while to calm her reactions to other dogs on leash. But I worried when I saw the strange dog approaching us on a walk. I had nowhere to go. I just held Shadow’s leash loosely and tried to send calm feelings to her.

Luckily, the lost dog was a calm fella. He was just out for a joy walk.

Using Shadow as a lure, I was able to coax him home with us and contain him in the back yard until we were able to find his person by posting flyers and putting a message on Craiglist.

I would never have expected growling, barking, lunging Shadow to help to bring a lost dog home. But she surprised me. And it was a healing moment for me to see her responding calmly to another dog out on a walk.

Honey the golden retriever is snow covered.

I like to roll on the snow. But it seems the snow is rolling on me.

Don’t Chase; Lure

Chasing a lost dog is a natural instinct. And one that’s very dangerous.

Mel Freer of No Dog About It suggests that if you see a lost dog you should Stop, Drop, and Lie Down.

But I’d add one more tip if you see a lost dog while walking your own: flirt. It just might save a life. And get a lost dog home.

Honey the golden retriever's birthday cake.

I hear the man biked in the snow to get MY ice cream birthday cake. Then why did he get two big pieces and I only got a little taste on the corner of a plate?

Thanks For Honey’s Birthday Party

I have really enjoyed seeing your wonderful pictures of your dogs having fun in honor of Honey’s birthday week. Hop on over to see them all.

But we have to make special mention of the birthday hat wearing goldens from Darbi Jo the Golden Retriever and Harley the golden doodle singing Happy Birthday with a little help from his hu-mom.

I enjoyed seeing running corgis and playing pups so much I forget to be sad about Honey turning middle-aged. Thanks everyone.

Your Turn: Have you ever helped to reunite a lost dog with his or her person? Did you dog help?

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  1. Funny you wrote about this as we just rescued a lost dog last week. Poor little King Charles Cavalier had wiggled out of his yard. I Knew where he belonged, but didn’t want to put him back in the yard to just wiggle out again, so we brought him home while we waited for his mom & dad to pick him up.

  2. I learned not to chase a dog the hard way. I think something just takes over your body when the escape and the fear just makes you want to run after them and get them home safe. But having huskies (who are notorious for escaping) I learned the hard way. What works for me is dropping to my knees and whining as if I was a dog. They come to me right away. Hmmm I wonder if my neighbors ever saw me do that. They probably think i’m nuts! hahaha!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. There isn’t a lost dog in the world that can resist joining the five of us and we have often been magnets for lost dogs. There also isn’t a dog stupid enough to attack us either. They just want to be part of a very cool pack.

  4. Haven’t had any lost dog experiences yet – but thanks to you, I think we will know what to do should a lost pup cross our path. So happy you enjoyed Harley’s birthday song! I laughed when I got your FB message… Best to you and the family!

  5. I corralled a roaming pit bull in my back yard one time. I was just arriving back at my house with J&W on leash when I saw it heading straight for us. Jimmy would be likely to start something, esp. that close to his own yard. I didn’t know the dog so I wasn’t going to take any chances! I threw my dogs in the house ASAP and coaxed the dog into my backyard and shut the gate. No collar so I called animal control and they came and got him.

    I’ve seen enough loose dogs when out on my walks that I now keep a spare leash with me all the time. I’m not going to leave my dog free just to save someone else’s. I have spare leashes in my car as well. I am prepared!

  6. We help reunite lost dogs and their pet parents all the time! I used to work as a dog walker- and we’d meet one a week it seemed. You get pretty good at the whole flirt routine with just a bit of practice for sure :)

  7. Every year we seem to pick up one or two lost dogs on our walks. They want to hang out with us and walk home with us which is when they are locked in our yard. Only one time has a dog been wearing a collar, and the only tag was a rabies tag. We were able to call the vet who called the owner and had the dog picked up. The other dogs we sent with the animal control because we had never seen them before and they had no ID. It is so important to wear ID and be chipped. Maybe sometimes a collar slips off, but you can’t tell us those other six or eight dogs had that happen. We don’t own a chip reader, so we have no other options.

  8. Mauja and Atka do the exact same thing when we’re out. Usually, we don’t find a lost dog, but a dog happily sprinting as their person chases behind them. The dogs always seem to run to Mauja and Atka to hang out for a bit. The fluffies keep the dog focused on themselves until the owner can finally catch up.

  9. That’s so wonderful of Honey to be such a flirt lol. It really is such a nice enticement dog other dogs. We haven’t encountered any lost dogs yet, but when we see an ad for one in our area I’ll take Laika out hoping that if we track it and it spots her it’s interest will draw it near. I started doing that after realizing I’m no good at coaxing lost dogs to my human self, I’ve been waiting to see if Laika will be of a good little helper like Honey.

  10. Thanks for the shout out. I love that Honey saved another lost dog. It does not surprise me that she is such a dog magnet. She has the most wonderful personality. Such a honey of a Honey. :)

    I hope she enjoyed the pork sandwich and cake. Happy Birthday Honey!

  11. Great story. It is so true that chasing a lost dog is the worst thing you can do – that will provoke them to run away! One of my greatest fears is that my very shy dog will get lost, and she won’t have the courage to approach anyone for help. If people run toward her, there’s no doubt that she will flee! I hope that you’re around if that terrible event ever happens – you could bring her home.

  12. It’s a good feeling to help a lost dog get home.

  13. Well done Honey. We once used Mity to try and lure another dog back to safety.

  14. Has anyone ever went to the trouble to return a lost dog only to have the owners become aggravated that you bothered them because they believe their dog should routinely roam the neighborhood alone? I twice returned a chocolate lab to someone’s home thinking they would be thankful, but I guess that’s not always the case.

    I still always help a lost dog find its way back home and would hope someone would do that for me if my dog ever got lost.

  15. Glad you enjoyed our pix, albeit posted late. And glad that you forgot to be sad about Honey getting slightly older! But happier still that Honey had a wonderful birthday week!!

  16. That’s so cool that Honey helps you help lost dogs! Blueberry doesn’t give off that vibe though – I think other dogs know she isn’t down with sharing our house with them, even if it is just for a couple hours until the owners are found.

  17. I found a senior dog in my garage late one freezing December night. He had on an electronic collar so I knew he had a home and couldn’t get back. He spent the night at my house, warm and cozy, and we found his owner the next day.

  18. I love how you’re referring to it as “flirting”! What a lovely trait for a dog to have. During the first few years of having Roxie (she’s 10 now), I would freak out when she’d leave and yell and scream (in a worried way) and she would, of course, run further away. Then a few years ago, I decided to start making it a game with her. So I’d “play bow” (bend over, bend my knees, and hop) and talked excitedly to her. She doesn’t come back immediately when I do this, but she does come back more quickly than she did before.