Service of Lost and Found

May 27th, 2014

Categories: Lost and Found, Pets

We bought a house that came with a feral cat. We fed him outdoors for several years, as the previous owner instructed us to do. One weekend he didn’t come round and we were devastated as we feared he’d been attacked by a coyote. When he reappeared we rejoiced.

He was very friendly but wouldn’t come in the house. He’d put one paw inside the door and then he’d retreat but quick–until one winter when he was trapped under a shallow eve by a storm that left three feet of snow. We scooped him up from the overhang where he was stuck and calling for help, and brought him inside. After that he became an indoor/outdoor cat but if he didn’t return for dinner, we’d worry.

When I read about Reckless the dog, who ran away in fright during Hurricane Sandy and landed up in the Monmouth County, NJ SPCA, I felt for Charles and Elicia James and their three kids who lost him. Lisa L. Colangelo wrote in her Daily News article that he didn’t have a microchip and James found his collar sticking in the fence. Due to the damage to their home they, too had to leave.

Charles searched for Reckless at shelters and elsewhere. A few weeks ago, after 18 months, he and his wife decided to adopt another dog for their daughter’s 10th birthday, so they went to the shelter. There was their pit bull, who had arrived in October.

Reunited with his family Reckless, whom Liz Wise of the SPCA described as “a really sweet dog with a great disposition,” now has a microchip.

I’ve lost and found things that mean a lot to me and feel overwhelming gratitude. Being reunited with a pet inspires more than simple relief. Have you lost and found something and celebrated with a cheer and more?


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12 Responses to “Service of Lost and Found”

  1. David Reich Said:

    I couldn’t imagine losing my Loki. He’s not just a pet, but a loved family member… my son-with-a-tail, my pal, my friend.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    In the city I sometimes see a pet tied up outside a deli, grocery or drugstore where they can’t see their precious friend, but not nearly as often as before….people are aware of the potential danger of doing so and the subsequent heartache.

  3. Hank Goldman Said:

    I have found wallets on trains and returned them, and items I have forgotten were SOMETIMES returned, and so it goes….

    HOWEVER– Most poignant phrase I ever heard was at a meeting where someone said, sadly, but bravely— “Life is about loss”!

    SILENCE for two minutes!

    So stunning…. we think its all going to last FOREVER!

    But witnesses to these mass shootings (all too many in the USA!) say that it snaps them to attention of how it can ALL end in a second! And for the victims— Way Too SOON! ! ! !

    It seems almost trite to say it– but enjoy what you have NOW, because it won’t always be there for you!


  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I felt so happy writing about Reckless and remembering relief on finding something precious that I thought was lost that your poingnant, thoughtful and realistic comment took me by surprise!

    You pointed out how short-lived all of this is so as I can’t disagree, now I feel a bit sad.

  5. Frank Paine Said:

    Hi, Jeanne.

    As a certifiable pet freak, who BTW met your feral cat one time when I visited Homer in Millbrook, stories like this always get to me. We pet freaks don’t think of the animals as pets, but as family members. We’ve had twelve golden retrievers (10 of them seniors–8+ years old) over the last 35 odd years, and every time we are between dogs (as, having lost one to cancer in February, we are now), we realize how empty life is without them. More than once, our canine family members have temporarily gone missing, and the feeling of relief when someone found and returned them, was palpable.

    I hope that you and Homer are well. Frank Paine

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hi Frank,

    So glad that all the dogs returned and am sorry you lost a dear family member in February. A friend just lost her amazing golden about a month ago and we are all still mourning the departure of the valiant Holly dog. This is the aspect of loss without the hope of being found that Hank Goldman referred to in his comment.

    We found a beautiful dog exploring our driveway a few years ago and called the number on his needlepoint collar. Family members were home and came to pick him up right away. A neighbor’s dog got out of the fenced in part of his backyard. He was found by a family a mile or so away. They were feeding him bagels when the neighbor went to bring him home.

    Wildlife isn’t the only danger upstate: The crazy way people drive on country roads is not a good match to an unattended dog out for a stroll.

  7. ASK Said:

    To depart from pets for a moment, I once splurged shamelessly on prescription-sunglass frames and promptly lost them 2 weeks later. My husband made a “tsk-tsk” sound and rolled his eyes when I told him. A few days later, at the local Whole Foods, I thought I would ask at customer service. The woman opened a drawerful of lost glasses…at the bottom were my glasses. The lenses still carried the smudges of the guy in the cheese department whom I threatened to hug when I walked over to thank him. He apologized from not removing the smudges! I have been a loyal customer since then…

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Our flight to San Francisco was long delayed and we arrived at 3 a.m. eastern time quite exhausted. When we got to the hotel I realized that I’d been snoozing with my reading glasses in my lap and that when I got up to leave the plane, the glasses must have fallen.

    I called the airline and they told me where lost and found was so I could check there before returning home. I was shocked to find them in a jumble of glasses and had nobody to hug but was extremely grateful to the cleaning crew. Even then Rx glasses with zero designer pedigree cost a fortune.

    By the way, I’ve heard that sunglasses discourage cataracts…you could be saving your eyes as well as your glamorous look with your glasses!

  9. ASK Said:

    Alas, not soon enough…my last eye exam revealed miniscule dots that I was assured would enlarge in the future!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Aha! Key words “miniscule” and “in future.” Without those glasses you might have heard “gigantic” and “this year.” You might be 98 when you need to remove any cataract and by then there will be a pill that does the trick.

  11. Lucrezia Said:

    The worst thing that can happen other than losing a cherished pet and/or item is when the person who restores it neglects to leave a return address so that they may be thanked. The first time this happened was the return of a lost book. Memories such as these never go away.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What an imaginative response! A long time ago I lost thin gold bracelets I have worn almost every day for eons in a New England Inn. I called the inn and the maid had found them and given them to the manager so I was able to thank. I can’t think of a time where I wasn’t able to thank if not the person, then at least someone at a company.

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