Facebook Found My Dog!

» Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Social Media | 0 comments

Facebook Found My Dog!

One of the highlights of New Year’s Eve and many parts of the world is the fireworks display. Lucky for me and my family, neighbors a few streets away like to go to ‘a-state-that-we-don’t-live-in’ and bring back awesome fireworks–I mean the really awesome kind.  Trails of sparks as they fly several hundred feet in the air releasing huge ‘BOOM’s when they go off, echoing throughout the neighborhood.  Colorful sparkles inundate the sky.

My dog, however, doesn’t like loud noises. Thunderstorms. War movies on TV.  And definitely NOT fireworks.


Dark and Cold

I took my dog out to do his evening business on a cold New Year’s Eve, around 9 pm, to avoid the pre-midnight fireworks. At the exact same moment, someone else was thinking how great it would be get an early start on fireworks.

A big BOOM a few streets away, my dog took off like he had a box of bottle rockets strapped to his butt. Within seconds he was gone.  Out of sight.  Didn’t answer to calls, whistles, squeaky or toys.  Did I mention it was cold?  Temps in the low 20’s F.


The Search is On

My family spent the next three hours desperately searching for him.   My daughter set up his dog house on the front porch, with an electric blanket (off her bed) and dog treats.  We took turns getting up every 30 minutes or so all night to go outside, check the dog house, call out, whistle.  Nothing.  Not a bark in the distance, not a whimper from under a parked car.  We weren’t feeling like making merry.

I, of the post baby boomer age, decide in the early morning hours to make a poster of my lost dog. I made 25+ posters, and once the sun came up, I put one on every stop sign within a two-mile radius of my house.  Went home to wait for somebody to call.

Before the sun was over the trees in my backyard, with the morning chill still in my bones, my son came to me to say his girlfriend found our dog. Found!  As in no longer lost!  Wait, I thought.  She lives a 30-minute drive away! WTH?!

My son pushed his iPad towards me. “See?”  I looked.  It was my dog on someone else’s Facebook page.

A family two streets over had my dog show up on their back porch, scared and nervous. I had never met them, never walked my dog on their street, never had any contact with them.  But they had my dog on their Facebook page.

“Found, lost dog! Warm and loving.  Will all my friends in town repost?  This dog needs to get back to his family.”

A friend of a friend of a friend of my son’s girlfriend, back in junior high, was one of several thousand reposts of my dog. Girlfriend saw the post, texted my son.  No phone calls, no emails.


Home Again

I sent the Facebook originator a message. Gave my dogs name and my phone number.  The phone rang less than a minute later.  Within 15 minutes my dog was back at home, where he belongs.

I started thinking about this, how my first reaction was to plaster stop signs with posters. On New Year’s morning… as the sun was rising… in our neighborhood.  I bet less than 10 people had seen my poster before I was reunited with my dog, but through social media, more than 3,000 people had seen and reposted in just a few hours.  Wow!

It brought home to me, — again — the power of social media in general. The incredible reach and speed of the Internet.

Where I work, we have unusual challenges in using social media to highlight our clients’ successes, but when social media found my dog, I decided to keep pushing that social media rock up the hill. The result will be worth the effort.

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