Lost dog found after two years

Eddy went missing when he ran out of the house two years ago. Owner Leonora Lai never stopped looking for him. Early this week, Eddy was found and came home.

Although Eddy, an eight-month-old german shepherd, disappeared two years ago, owner Leonora Lai never gave up looking for it.

She searched everywhere after the dog ran out of her home's front gate.

She would give every german shepherd a second look, sometimes glancing longingly at the forest near her home in Upper Bukit Timah, hoping her dog would come bounding out.

And two years later, last Wednesday, Eddy was finally found.

"My mum received a call from AVA (Agri-food and Veterinary Authority). They told her that Eddy had been found. We were all shocked," the 21-year-old Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts student said.

Ms Lynda Goh, the founder of Zeus Communications, a voluntary animal welfare and rescue group, told The New Paper: "Lost dogs are notoriously difficult to find. The chances of finding a lost dog are very slim, especially when it has gone missing for a long period."

Fortunately for both Eddy and Miss Lai, the german shepherd has a microchip implanted in it, making it easy to trace its owner.

Since September 2007, pet dogs have to be microchipped instead of being made to wear dog badges, to make it easier to trace them.

"Once the number and owner details are registered with AVA, it allows us to trace the owner in the event the pet goes missing," AVA's spokesman said.

In Singapore, dogs have to be licensed for traceability and rabies control. About 59,000 dogs are licensed here.

So where had Eddy been these past two years?

Apparently, it ended up leading a pack of strays several kilometres from home.

A couple, Mr Arther Tan, 39, and his wife, Joan, who fed the strays actually gave it a name, General, unaware that it was a runaway.

"He was a great alpha dog, protecting his pack against other strays," Mrs Tan, 31, said. Recently, the couple noticed that "General" seemed hurt.

"He had a gaping wound on his snout and some swelling on his face, obviously causing him pain. He was hardly eating," Mrs Tan said.

Lost pet?

The Tans approached Ms Goh of Zeus for help and the dog was taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

"He was very obedient and cooperated with us without struggling. That was when he (the vet) suspected he was someone's lost pet," Ms Goh said.

The dog was scanned and discovered to be Eddy, the german shepherd reported lost two years ago. "We contacted AVA and you can say the rest was history," Ms Goh said.

She added that it is always good to make sure the owner's details are recorded in the chip.

"It was because the chip was properly registered that we managed to reunite Eddy with his family - two years later. What are the odds?" Ms Goh said.

Miss Lai said: "When Eddy came back to us, the home seemed strange. As a puppy, he never wanted to do his business outside. It was always in the house. All that has changed.

"It seemed his memory about living with us and being part of the family returned the morning after he came home. When I came out of my bedroom in the morning, he greeted me by jumping up and down like he used to."

The grateful owner added: "The funny thing was a month ago, I kept talking about Eddy and telling my friends about his antics and how I missed him."

Miss Lai and her family are "forever grateful" to Mrand Mrs Tan for taking care of Eddy while it lived as a stray in Tuas.

"If it hadn't been for them and for Zeus, Eddy wouldn't have found his way home," she said.

juditht@sph.com.sg

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