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So, you may have read my post about the new dog who followed me home and has now adopted me. He's been doing well - he still won't let us pet him or touch him if he has a choice, but he's been following me around the house and spending more and more time sitting with us rather than hiding in his crate.

Anyway, I took Jameson to the vet today for his first round of vaccinations and a well-dog visit to get him started. He was totally terrified, but generally well behaved, and it was all fine. We left, went to the car, and as I was trying to get him into the car, something spooked him, he panicked, back away pretty violently, and slipped his collar. I swear, I can still see it happening in slow motion... it was horrible. Rush hour traffic right next to a very busy roadway...

Thank God he ran through the bushes instead of towards the road. Thank God he ran into a totally empty parking lot that was entirely surrounded by fencing with the driveway as the only escape. Thank God he just trotted around in circles rather than continuing to run at top speed. Thank God for cell phones, and for the tiny part of my brain that was functioning rather than panicking and told me to call over to the vet and ask for help.

And, most of all, thank God for my incredible, incredible vet, who came running out with her entire staff, slip leads and a can of food in hand, and particularly for the amazing vet tech who shoved her hand into the can of food and patiently coaxed him into a corner where she could get the lead on him.

I'm not a religious person at all, but I can't stop thanking God that the situation wasn't worse and that we were able to catch him again.

It was terrible and frightening. I've spent the whole evening going over it in my head: I checked his collar before we left. I thought it was tight enough. He rarely even pulls on his leash. I just... wow. I was shaking the whole way home. The first thing I did after dropping him off was get immediately back into the car and drive to the pet store to get him a harness. That dog will never again leave the house without the harness on. Seriously. I'm also getting him microchipped when we go back for our booster shots - I was going to do it today, but I was trying not to overwhelm him with too many scary things poking at him.

(The second thing I did, once I calmed down a bit, was order a giant fruit basket to send the vet office as a thank you.)

Please, PLEASE learn from my mistake - if you have a nervous dog, especially one shaped like Jameson, where his head isn't all that much wider than his neck, walk him with a harness. With all the dogs I've had, I've never needed to use a harness, but I'm used to dogs with much bigger heads and much smaller fear drives. I'll never make that mistake again.

In other news, as the latest addition to the "I don't understand some people" conversation, as I was sitting in the middle of the parking lot, trying not to cry, waiting for the vet to come help me, a man and woman came out of the office building nearby. Jameson walked, not at all threateningly, to about 5 feet away from them. The guy looks and me and says "she's afraid of dogs." I tell him I'm sorry, he's slipped his collar and I'm trying to get him to come back to me. His response? He tells me, "Well, you need to do that" and walks away. Gee, thanks for the advice. Because I know when I see someone on the verge of tears sitting on the dirty ground in the middle of a parking lot, I find it helpful to advise them to do exactly the thing they are trying most desperately to do. It's not like I expected him to stay and help (although I kind of hoped...), but he could at least not rub salt in the wound.

Anyway, that's my story. We're all home safe and sound now, and we're going to go out for a nice, calm walk in our new harness. At least I know now how attached to him I've really become, that I was so upset by it!

(ps - please, please, PLEASE resist the urge to flame me and tell me what a moron I am for not making sure the collar was tighter or not realizing he'd need a harness. Trust me, you can't possibly beat me up any more than I'm beating myself up right now. I've learned my lesson, and it will never, ever, ever, EVER happen again. I've spent the whole evening going over "what if?" in my head, and I'm still shaking a little bit over it.)
 

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Another good option might be one of the wide martingales they use on whippets and greyhounds, OR a martingale AND a harness with two leashes.
 

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I had a puppy back out of a harness in a parking lot with cars everywhere. Luckily she didn't run off but I don't completely trust harnesses either if they back away. I would have a Martingale collar on him as well until he gets more sure of himself.

Glad to hear that you managed to get hold of him, I know how scary it can be.
 

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This was Duke as a puppy. He slipped everything, collars, "no slip" collars, harnesses. We use a double no slip/martingwle kind of collar called the scruffy guider from our local dog training place called Misty Pines. www.mistypinesdogpark.com
 

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I'm so glad Jameson is okay! It sounds like you have a really great vet. Sorry you had the scare; I know I'd be losing my mind.
 

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oh, you poor thing! I can imagine how upset you were! I;m so glad everything turned out okay!

Been there when Bella slipped her collar during an emergency 3am poop break - and the neighbor's puppy was out loose trying to play...but she had to GO! Thankfully I thought to yell "Bella wanna go for a ride?" and she ran to the car where I caught her.

A Martingale collar would be good. Easier to get on and off than a harness.

I don't think anyone will flame you. Unfortunately we all learn some things the hard way. Hopefully new dog owners will learn from your post. If you can manually slip a collar off the dogs' head, the same thing can happen.

Glad you are all safe & happy again!
 

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I have a thin "ID" collar on my dog that rests beneath her martingale. A properly fitted martingale should be very difficult to slip.

Accidents happen. To all of us. Glad everything worked out.
 

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I TOTALLY feel your pain! Almost the exact thing happened to me when I took my mom's deaf dog to the vet. He doesn't like walking on linoleum and I totally brain faded when I was walking him into the vet's office with linoleum floors. He slipped right out of his collar trying to avoid the floor. Deaf dog...no recall..busy street. We were lucky too because he headed towards a quiet street away from the 4 lane main street. Like you, my amazing vet's staff came out and helped me wrangle him. We get him in to the vet's office, heart pounding, my very elderly mom (whose dog is her constant companion) is in tears and I am a nervous mess. Luckily, we made it out ok, too. Yes, he now wears both a harness and a collar with two leashes to the vet's.....and I carry him in.

I totally understand how you are feeling right now. I am so glad things worked out well for you and Jameson. Sometimes the stars are aligned well.
 

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on the contrary, i commend you for thinking on your feet! its always horribly scary when a dog does this. Buddy tit this one time when the leash broke, I was in a similar situation as you with a busy rd right by me luckily i had treats & he chose to comne right to me (with me using my high, happy 'im trying not to seem freaked out to the dog' voice & actions) luckily it worked.

if i couldd i would give you a pat on the back for thinking so smart, & it was also super of the vet staff at the hospital to help you, & the fruit basket was a nice touch, Im sure it was appreciated & enjoyed by all... tho if i was you i would be a loyal customer of that clinic from now on LOL ;)
 

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Just chiming in to agree harnesses can be slipped as well if they are backing away. Martingales aren't 100% but I think they are the best bet. No one here is going to flame you over this, most of us have had a dog slip loose some way or another and understand accidents happen. It's more about how you handle them and move on from them. You did great and Jameson is very lucky to have you now, even if he doesn't know that yet he will.
 

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I have a thin "ID" collar on my dog that rests beneath her martingale. A properly fitted martingale should be very difficult to slip.

Accidents happen. To all of us. Glad everything worked out.
Agree with the properly adjusted martingale.
 

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I'm so glad Jameson and you are ok! And it sounds like you have an awesome vet and vet staff!

When Tippsy was about 6, she, my mom and I went to Petsmart while my brother was skateboarding at the local skate park. We stopped to pick up my brother on the way back, and I got Tip out of the truck to potty before my mom and my brother came back out. Bad idea! She saw the boys hanging out out front, freaked out, and backed out of her collar (the one time I took her out without her harness). Luckily she bolted behind the buildings instead of out into the street, but I was freaking out. I followed her down the alley and behind the buildings and realized there was only a fence running the back of the lots a few buildings down. I followed her back and forth along the fence until she finally wore herself out and just laid down against the fence. I put her collar back on, leash attached, and looped the leash on itself the make a slip lead and still carried her back to the truck while I was in tears. I had a man who was sitting by the fence of the skate park tell me "it's not a good idea to let them off leash". I was already in tears and I looked the guy dead in the face and said "you act like I did it on purpose. She slipped her collar you nutjob!" I was furious. I seriously rode in the backseat just crying against her all the way home.

Again, I'm sorry this happened, but I'm glad you and Jameson are ok!
 

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I am so glad everything turned out OK for you! I can only imagine how terrified you must have been! :( That has always been my worst fear!

I did have a dog get hit by a car one time in my life because he bolted out the door ... and saw it happen! I almost had a heart attack! He was a very lucky dog ... he survived even though he broke the headlight out and dented the front panel of the car. The dog had a skinned up leg and a tad bit sore (Golden Retriever rescue) The guy who hit him never stopped!??? .........

Truthfully ... I find that even the more expensive collars I have purchased tend to loosen themselves up after time and wear. I have now gone to a Martingale Collar. IMHO ... that would be the best thing for Jameson ... according to what you described his head and neck shape to be.

I purchase mine at www.2houndsdesign.com

I know from experience that harnesses can be slipped also. I have had that happen twice to me ... luckily in my own back yard.

Once I thought I was still walking Leeo with his pretty new harness ... only to turn and look when the lead suddenly felt too light ... and see him standing about 50 feet away from me ... looking at me like I had lost my mind .... walking an empty harness!!! Lol! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks so much for all of the comments! I left the house for an hour or so, and it was amazing to come back to all of this encouragement.

I will definitely look into getting him a martingale. I'm hoping he'll be okay for his next couple of days with just the harness, because the stores are closed now and I have to go away first thing in the morning for the weekend and leave him with either my husband or my dad walking him for the next couple of days (a previously planned trip that I really kind of wish I could cancel, but I really can't, unfortunately). I think I'll tell everyone to just take him out for potty and straight back in until I get back and we can figure all of this out. He'll be a little under-exercised for a day or two, but it's better than losing him again. My husband has walked him before just fine and will take him out for runs - it's more my dad I'm worried about, but I don't really have a choice because my husband has to work tomorrow night and I can't stay home.

Anyway - can you tell I still feel panicky over this? It's good to hear though that I'm not the only moron that this happens to. It was totally terrifying, and I don't want anybody else to go through it if it can be avoided.
 

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My foster dog does the same sort of panic when leashed up to go somewhere. When we leave (even on walks that she seems to be quite fine with once we get beyond our cars) she is on a martingale and a slip lead.

This story is similar to when we took her to the vet (next to a busy road) and brought Shambles for moral support. Except, she didn't slip, HE did, and thankfully he's well rounded. It's his stupid owner's fault for putting him on a plain flat buckle thinking we're only going from the car 20 feet to the door, what could POSSIBLY go wrong? I opened the door to the office and called him in without incident. I learned a valuable lesson in that Shambles is a turd and I have to THINK before I do any thing no matter how innocuous.
 

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Trey backed out of a collar at the vet's once and started running down a 4 lane highway. Luckily a car spotted him and drove behind him with their flashers on (for some reason he high tailed it right down the lane). The entire vet staff was chasing him- he slipped their lead, not ours. He ran off the road and into a house's back yard and they were able to corner him. It was terrifying.
 
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