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Losing your dog is a terrible experience. Panic floods the mind and anxiety runs rampant with every passing minute that your pet is gone.

When Rosch ventured into the city, my family endured a dreadful afternoon with long, painful hours dragging by as our beloved Golden Labrador was nowhere to be found. Eventually, we were reunited and I believe there is a lesson in our story that can help every dog owner.

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Like any dog that spends most of their days confined by the boundary walls of its owner’s property, Rosch had a curious and excitable nature when the chance to explore new places arrived. My husband would allow Rosch off the leash in the neighbourhood park and the dog would sprint around gleefully, delighted to have the chance to run free. Car rides were another joy as once he heard the unique rhythm my husband played on the car horn, Rosch would bound into the car in mere seconds.

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One day Rosch managed to slip away from our property and once we realized this, it dawned on us that nobody had seen him for at least an hour. The search party set out with optimism, checking nearby streets on foot but as time ticked on, our worries grew. Our voices became tired and weary from calling his name and there was no sign of Rosch as we moved further away from our house. He had been missing for over four hours at this point and I was really beginning to panic. The city is vast and as we moved three blocks out from our house, I really wondered how we would ever find Rosch.

Driving around the neighbourhood, we covered ground quickly. My husband began to beep the horn, using the same rhythm with which we had lured Rosch out of the house so many times before. It seemed to be a last-ditch effort, an act of hope as our worried eyes looked around the streets in vain. The rhythm on the horn continued. Out of nowhere, we heard barking in response.

The search was over and as Rosch dived into my lap, the tears flowed uncontrollably as my emotions took over. He was in a state of shock, highly distressed and at the same time overjoyed that we had came and found him.

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As I think back now, I realize that taking your dog out around the nearby streets to allow it to become familiar with the local area is definitely a smart idea. Perhaps, Rosch would have found his own way back if the world beyond his home was not so strange and unusual to him.

However, whether your dog is just a few blocks away or completely lost in the bigger city, a car may be the best way to find your pet. Obviously you can search at a much quicker pace but it is the car horn that could be your saving grace. Training your dog to recognize a specific rhythm on the horn is an excellent recall method that may someday save your family the anguish and worry that comes when your dog escapes for an adventure into the unknown.
-Rosemary

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