Posted at 11:54AM - Comments: (17)
Volunteering at my local shelter this past weekend, I was photographing a cute senior Chihuahua (in an effort to better represent him on the shelter website) when I noticed something on his tummy. At first I thought it was discolored for a health reason. But when another volunteer and I rolled him over for a closer look, I could see that he was tattooed. As we stretched him in such a way to reveal the whole tattoo, I was in the process of telling my fellow volunteer that this was once a common practice – that before identification microchips became common, dogs were sometimes tattooed with the owner’s driver’s license number or phone number.
But then we decoded the message. It looked like this:
Or, in other words,
Just in case you were wondering, the dog was neutered – NOT a stud. I’m guessing it’s the name of a bar or something, although I was not able to find a listing for a business by that name in Orland, California, which is about 50 miles from this shelter. The dog was surrendered by someone who said she inherited the dog from a friend who passed away. She had the dog for about a year before deciding she couldn’t keep him. She did not mention anything about the dog having a tattoo.
What the heck? Is our society so tattoo-crazy that our dogs are now fair game for skin art? I can see putting a dog through the discomfort of a tattoo for identification purposes, but no other reason.
(For what it’s worth, in this case, though, I can honestly say the tattoo may well have played a role in getting the dog adopted. The first couple I showed him to adopted him. They did ask to meet him before they knew there was a tattoo, but they clearly thought the tattoo was an interesting novelty, too.)
What do you think? Have you seen other tattooed dogs? We dock tails and drastically change the appearance of many breeds’ ears -- is it okay to practice other body modification “art” on our dogs?