Last week in the news, you might have seen this story: as writer JudyM (@judymolland) put it — it’s a sad but beautiful story. It’s the story of the amazing loyalty that one dog had for another, and ends up as a cautionary tale about why it’s so important to have your dog microchipped or well-identified with i.d. tags.

A Great Pyrenees dog named Brian was spotted on the side of the road in Dallas-Fort Worth, standing guard over another dog who’d been hit and killed by a car.  Brian had even dragged this bloody Shepherd mix off the road. 

Brian, the dog who stood watch over his fallen friend

Dallas Animal Services was able to coax Brian into its care. After posting requests on social media to help identify the dog, they finally found his distraught family.  It seems that both the Shepherd mix and the Pyrenees got out of their yards and ran away. Without i.d. of any kind, and no microchips, they couldn’t be easily returned and in fact, one won’t be going home again.

Animal Services took care of the Pyrenees, and neutered and microchipped him before returning him to his family.

Judy ends her story with this request:

But animal lovers, be sure to get your cat or dog microchipped and give him a collar with name, address, and phone number attached. 

(Read more:

Do Morkies need microchipping?

Probably, because all dogs should have the best possible chance to get home if they go astray. That includes microchip i.d. and/or up-to-date identity on the dog’s collar.

“Don’t microchips cause cancer?”


A microchip, highly magnified. Real size, is about the same as a grain of rice.

There’s no scientific evidence that microchips cause cancer.  However, like anything put into the body, they CAN cause some health problems in a small number of cases.

Opponents of microchipping note that while the chip might not cause cancer, it can trigger an allergy, causing itching and discomfort.

There is also some evidence that the chip can migrate to another part of the body, making it useless for identifying the animal and potentially causing other health issues.

NEVER get a chip online and try to insert it yourself

Although you can buy a microchip (complete with directions on how to insert it) online… that’s not a good idea. They should be inserted by a veterinarian doctor and in a very hygienic setting. Be wary of the breeder who offers to chip the puppy herself.

How do microchips work?

The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. A tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass, the microchip is made to be compatible with living tissue.

The microchip is implanted between the dog’s shoulder blades under the skin with a needle and special syringe. The process is similar to getting a shot. There’s little to no pain – most dogs do not seem to even feel it being implanted.

Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the chip. It scans the microchip, and then displays a unique alphanumeric code.

Best collar identification 

collar with id copyHaving owned more than 20 small dogs over my lifetime, I understand if you say you don’t like the jingle-jangle of dog tags. That’s why I’ve switched to a small engraved nameplate which is riveted onto the dog’s collar for permanent (noise free) identification.

You can get an inexpensive version at big stores like PetSmart (a machine there will engrave your info onto the nameplate on-the-spot); the plate comes with rivets for attaching to your own collar.

Or you can order a beautiful version like this one at left, online at

dog collar with name

dog collar with name and other stores.

All you need on the nameplate is your name and phone number, possibly “Microchipped” or my choice, REWARD.  You can also order just the name plates online. Kept up to date, this has been a great identification system in my experience.