This story from WCCO-TV in Minnesota is intriguing.
A couple took their black Labrador Retriever, Nicki, to be boarded at Four Paws Pet Resort in Eagan, Minnesota, for three days at the end of August. She had been there before; the staff knew her.
Owners Bill and Cris Ireland say that the dog they picked up is not the dog they dropped off. This dog has large, dark brown eyes and Nicki’s eyes were small and yellow. Nicki slept next to their bed and would cuddle with their cat. This dog won’t do that.
Owner of the pet resort, Cathryn Dimmen, insists, “The dog that came in was Nicki and the dog that went home with him was Nicki.” She said she checked every record and there were no similar black Labs there at the same time. She said they have boarded thousands of pets and have never had a complaint like this.
The Irelands have hired a lawyer and said they have checked with two vets and will get a DNA test, if necessary, to help prove they got the wrong dog.
On one hand, as dog owners we know our dogs like we know members of our family.
One time after a summer of camping, swimming, and hiking in the woods, we took our Old English Sheepdog in for a much needed grooming. When we went in to pick her up, as we stood in the doorway to the kennel area looking for our dog, this strange short haired dog came up behind us and greeted us joyfully.
It took a moment to realize that our shaggy mop of a dog had been shaved. We recognized the body language and whimpers of joy even though the outward appearance had changed totally.
On the other hand, I can’t imagine that anyone who has been around dogs for very long, let alone an experienced kennel owner, would think that getting away with switching dogs was even remotely possible.
Every dog has its own unique Dance of Joy to greet us when we’ve been apart for any length of time. A dog owner should know from the minute he sees the dog whether it is his dog or another of the same breed, and he should refuse to leave the business with someone else’s dog.
A DNA test, if feasible, would seem to be the only way to resolve this conflict