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Make sure your black Lab is YOUR black Lab


lailaIt’s not an unheard of kind of mistake, especially with black Labs, who sometimes look so similar even their owners can’t tell them apart.

It was Christmas Day when the Peterson family of Maple Valley realized the black Lab returned to them after a stay in a Seattle pet hotel two weeks earlier wasn’t their dog, Bella. Instead, they were hosting LaiLa, another black Lab who had been boarding at the same kennel.

As it turned out, Bella (left), who belongs to Stacey and Rob Peterson, ended up spending a few weeks in Issaquah with Anne Galasso, the owner of LaiLa (right). Galasso’s dog, LaiLa, spent time in Canada near Stacey Peterson’s parents, and then in Maple Valley when the Petersons returned from a vacation in Europe, according to the Seattle Times.

PetSmart PetsHotel of Issaquah, where both dogs were boarded, is planning on refunding both families’ boarding fees.

Both families suspected something was amiss, the Times reports.

The Petersons had noted the dog they thought was Bella looked skinnier when they got home, barked a lot more and didn’t respond to her name the same way. They figured maybe she was just upset by their absence.

Galasso noted the dog she thought was LaiLa licked a lot more than normal, but she attributed it to a recent move, and her dog having lost her former playmates.

Eventually, the Petersons took a look inside the mouth of the dog they thought was Bella, and saw that her missing teeth were no longer missing.

“Clearly this dog had all her teeth,” Peterson said. “And that’s when things started to make sense.”

Peterson called PetSmart, and took her dog to a nearby veterinary hospital that scanned her microchip, where she found out the dog she was in possesion of was really LaiLa.

The hospital called Galasso and notified her she actually had Bella. Galasso noted Bella had been sleeping at the foot of her bed with her cats, just like LaiLa does.

The two dogs were reunited with their real owners the day after Christmas.

Outsourced, she goes from finance to Fidos

In a year’s time, Chiara Sforza went from bank vice president to dogwalker — not that we at ohmidog! see that, in terms of honorable professions, as any sort of a plunge — and she wrote about her unexpected change in career paths in Sunday’s New York Times.

Sforza had been with Deutsche Bank for eight years. She was laid off in the summer of 2007 when the work her department did was outsourced to Manilla.

After collecting unemployment, and being rejected as “over-qualified” by many employers, she ended up six months ago in the employ of Fetch Pet Care of New Jersey Gold Coast in Fort Lee.

“Pet-sitting and dog-walking give me an opportunity to do something different,” she wrote in a first person feature the Times calls “Preoccupations.” I’m tired of going to work every day in jobs where I have to worry if my position is going to be outsourced, and the new job is actually working out well…

“I don’t make anywhere near my corporate salary, but this job is perfect for now. I have a little flexibility because I have savings. Being happy while making some money is more important to me right now than making a lot of money and being miserable. At this stage in my life I’m willing to make the sacrifice …  I get so much gratification from walking dogs. They’re so appreciative of the simplest things you do for them.”

It’s getting nasty out there. But it’s nice to know that at least in some cases, when one door closes, another one does indeed open — and it’s nicer yet when there’s a dog behind it.