DOWN HOME: Eye in sky tracks wayward animals_71403

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Posted: 7/11/03

Eye in sky tracks wayward animals

You may remember that we “lost” our dog, Betsy, a few weeks ago.

Actually, she lost us. Normally a stay-close-to-home dog, she ran out through a broken slat in our backyard fence late Friday night and stayed gone the better part of a weekend.

We think she must've spotted a rabbit out near the drainage ditch behind our house, chased the critter until she got lost and wandered around, looking for home. Joanna, Lindsay, Molly and I spent a heart-breaking weekend looking for our aging pooch, and by Sunday afternoon, we had pretty much given up on ever seeing her again.


That's when a neighbor in the next subdivision to the west called and said, “I think we found your dog.” She had seen one of the zillion flyers we posted throughout our part of town and figured Betsy was the dog we described.

After that, the only problem was getting Betsy weaned back to normal dog food. The people who found her must've treated her royally, because she didn't want any part of her regular meal for about a week. She's such a finnicky eater, she reminds me of when Molly was a toddler.

Well now, a Japanese firm is set to fluff the fur of dog- and cat-lovers who want to avoid the trauma we endured.

Secom, a company the Reuters news service calls “Japan's largest home and office security provider,” now offers the ultimate in high-tech pet-tracking.

For a mere 5,000 yen ($43) registration fee and 800 yen ($7) per month, pet owners can strap a global positioning system transmitter around Fido's or Fifi's neck and never wonder where they roam.

Satellites “11,000 miles above Earth” monitor the whereabouts of the participating pets. If a puppy or kitty runs off, the owner logs on to a website and locates the cavorting canine or frolicking feline to within 164 feet.

The system is supposed to be available in the United States sometime this summer.

Why didn't I think of that?

But I've got a better idea. Betsy's only gotten lost once in 11 years. But at least once a week, I misplace my glasses and/or car keys. So, why not hook them up to a global positioning system too? Of course, the range of accuracy would have to be much narrower than 164 feet, but I'm figuring it could catch on.

You're in a rush to get to work and can't find your keys. You log on to my website, and my satellite tells you to look under the magazines on the coffee table in the den. Ta-da! This could be the “Put the Knox Girls Through College Keys- and Eyeglasses-Finding System.”

Sometimes, like Betsy, I chase off on misguided tangents and lose my way. Fortunately, my heavenly Father's universal/eternal positioning system always works. He knows where I am, calls me by name and guides me home.

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