When Rumjhum Biswas saw a puzzled-looking dog pacing back and forth on her street, she knew something was amiss. “He had a collar with a bell and looked lost,” she recalls. She fed him and took him to a vet. She then took him on long drives asking neighbours if he was their pet. When that didn’t work, she placed a ‘found’ ad in the newspaper. The owner’s friend recognised Mani in the picture and after exchanging information (their descriptions matched), the owner came by to check if the good news was true. “He whispered the name ‘Mani’ and the sleeping dog sat up,” says Rumjhum, who remembers how the pet jumped four feet into his hysterical owner’s arms and slobbered all over his face. Rumjhum cautions owners about the upcoming festive season. “Diwali is the season most dogs run away and go missing,” she says. “My advice is to not let your pets out of sight during this time.”

In Aruna Vijaykumar’s case, her reunion with her missing pet Oz took longer. Her Labrador went missing at Akkarai beach when he was unleashed during a game. “We searched for months and gave up,” says Aruna who was devastated. As luck would have it, two days after she rescued and adopted a homeless pup, she received a call from someone who spotted Oz near a petrol bunk. The caller who recognised him from a ‘lost’ ad on Facebook dropped him off at the Blue Cross shelter. It was a cheerful reunion and Aruna reveals that Oz had bruises that indicated he’d been used for breeding before being rescued, as is sometimes the case with pedigree pets that are stolen. He’s now neutered and shares his home with the new puppy.

Novelist Rudra Krishna was distraught when his dog Rocky went missing from their new home and extensive searches yielded no result. After he placed a ‘lost’ ad in a Tamil newspaper, a kind-hearted roadside stall owner recognised a very injured Rocky near his shop and confined him in his balcony while he called the number. “He’s still recovering from some of those wounds,” says Rudra who’s just grateful that Rocky lived to tell the tale. “It was really a miracle”.