I just want to alert people in the UK, particularly areas in or around Bournemouth at the moment that there may well be dog thieves operating at the moment.
Last night, I noticed the fur on Bertie's left ear didn't look quite right. On closer inspection, it appears somebody has actually cut a chunk of fur off with a pair of scissors. I looked at the other ear too and the same has been done there but on a different section of the ear.
Apparantly this is one way dog thieves can mark a potential target if they don't have the opportunity at that precise time to make their escape with the dog. By cutting some of the fur, it marks the dog temporarily in order that they can recognise it again when they have a more opportune moment.
Now, for someone to be able to do this to Bertie, they would have had to have restrained him, possibly a two people job. He seldom goes out of my sight and is never gone for long at all but he must have gone long enough over the past day or so for somebody to be able to do this to him.
It could just be that somebody is going around doing this sort of thing for kicks just to annoy the owners (I certainly hope this is the case) or more sinister, it could be thieves marking a target.
I'm very upset about it, more about the fact somebody has got hold of my dog and possibly upset him than the fact his ears don't look right but am equally worried in case it's dog thieves marking him.
I am going to keep him on the lead from now on for the foreseeable future, better safe than sorry. I'm also going to take him to a groomer to have the ears trimmed up so they look reasonably normal, even though it will leave the fur really short. At least if a groomer does this, if it is a thief situation, then they won't be able to recognise him from their mark any more. Not that it would stop them if they really wanted to take him.
I'm not totally convinced it's thieves however because surely if they managed to get hold of him long enough for that, they could have made of with him there and then, unless of course I was too nearby for them to do that, who knows.
Anyway, I just wanted to alert the rest of you because if it can happen to me, it can happen to others.