Dog 218 Inspiration
Dog 281 was inspired by my sister’s black Labrador retriever, Frasier, who disappeared from Montcalm County in mid-Michigan in 2001. She did everything she could think of to find him:
· She hired a pet detective.
· She put up hundreds of posters with the word REWARD in bright red letters.
· She distributed postcards with Frasier’s photograph and description.
· She frequently checked the county shelter as well as shelters in surrounding counties.
· She ran a “Lost Dog” ad in the local daily newspaper for a year.
Despite her efforts, Frasier never came home. It was if the world was flat, and he fell off the edge.
Frasier was a 6-year-old couch potato who loved being taken for walks. Frasier disappeared when my sister and her husband were on vacation and his routine was interrupted. He had been left in the house with the doors unlocked. When my niece came home from school the door was open and the only thing missing was Frasier. It was in January during a stretch of colder than normal temperatures.
Frasier was wearing a collar––a brand new one that Santa had just brought him. But Santa hadn’t switched his tags from the old collar to the new one.
Montcalm County was (and still is) home to a USDA Class B animal dealer. In Judith Reitman’s eye-opening book Stolen for Profit––How the Medical Establishment is Funding a National Pet-Theft Conspiracy, (Pharos Books, 1992), Reitman details how family pets end up in medical research companies.
There are currently eight USDA Class B animal dealers in the United States and three of them are in Michigan.
Did Frasier paw the door open that cold day in January? Possibly, it was an old wooden door that didn’t latch unless pulled tightly to ensure it was closed.
Did he take himself for a walk, get lost in the nearby woods or swamps, and die from exposure?
Did someone find him so that he became a couch potato in their home?
Or did someone enter the home and steal him?
Did Frasier somehow end up in the hands of a Class B animal dealer?
We may never know.