My son & his wife just spend a sleepless night as their beloved Beagle took off for a walkabout yesterday while they were both at work, and didn’t come home until the early hours of this morning. It brought to mind a frantic phone call we had one Saturday morning last year, from a renter at a vacation home we manage. They were packing up to leave for their 11am check out time when someone noticed the dog was missing. Elderly and deaf, it had wandered off into the bush at the back of the cottage and failed to return. Fortunately, the owners arrived an hour or so later to do the changeover & quickly organized a search party with a few neighbours & the dog was eventually found – not too far from the cottage but in an area the rental guests would not have thought of looking.
The last day of a rental is the time pets often go missing. It’s a little stressful – people are busy and the place is in turmoil as the car gets packed. My dog would be in the car from early morning – determined not to be left behind – but others may react differently, and owners get distracted & fail to check on where Fido is. A little reminder on the checkout list may be all it takes to prevent everyone getting involved in a pet search when owners want to get on with a changeover, and departing guests need to be on their way home. Something simple like this works:
Before starting to clean-up and pack, make sure your pet is secure or tethered & doesn’t wander off.
We also suggest that all dogs that come on vacation to our cottage are micro-chipped or wear the temporary ID tag we provide that has local telephone numbers on it.
This is not about being responsible for your guests’ pets; its more about being a responsible owner and covering all the bases. If you accept pets, there is always the risk they will stray and end up taking up your time, so if it requires a little thought and action on your part to prevent this happening, it’s well worth the extra effort and care.