One of the worst days of my life was when I lost my little dog, Li Li.
She went to an arts market event with me in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, where I had a book signing. She's been to my book signings before and sweetly sits on a chair nearby or on top of my table inside her little pink bed. It had been an ordinary day until a loud crash echoed through the market. Someone had knocked over a big board, sending it crashing with a BOOM! Li Li freaked out and jumped to the ground.
Someone reached for her leash and she ran from the stranger. Another person attempted to stop her by stomping on her dragging leash and she ran even faster. At this point my little dog wasn't thinking at all, she was going on pure instinct. And that was to run. To run as fast as she could from what she perceived as danger.
That was the day I lost her.
Li Li had on a harness but no collar or tags. She was microchipped from the shelter where I adopted her, but all I could think of was what if she was found and never brought in for the microchip to be scanned or worse yet, what if she'd been hit by a car.
I cried as I searched hours for her and then I realized I had to pull myself together if I ever wanted to find her. So, I made a plan. I went home and got on the computer. I tweeted her picture to every Jacksonville Florida user I could find. I joined all the Jacksonville related Facebook pages, dog groups and shelters. I posted her picture on every site. I went to the dog section of Craigslists and found a lost dog sign template where I was able to upload her picture, information about her, and print them with phone number tabs that could be torn off by people so they would have my number in case they saw her. By this time it was into the wee hours of the night. I had everything I needed to start hanging signs in the city come morning. Just as I was about to shut down my computer, the email notification bell tinged.
It was the best email I had ever received.
A woman had wrote that she saw my lost dog post on Criagslist and she had found my dog. This time I cried happy tears. And that's how my little dog, Li Li, came back to me.
I wanted to share my experience with others who may have lost a dog, and the steps I took, so I created and published a picture book and titled it Li Li.
I've entered Li Li's story in the, 25 Ways to Keep Our Dogs Safe & Tips From Dog Owners From Around the Globe contest at: DogFenceDIY Safety Tips 2014 Round Up
If you have a story to share, it could win $200...check it out.