Lost Dog, Color Indeterminate

I saw a small tan dog, but I didn't know who to call about that.

Recently, I came across the following sign:

I actually saw several versions of this sign, all within a few blocks of one another, and each one was similarly modified. Though I don’t have any information about this missing pet, I still kind of want to dial these people up.

  • Yes, I’m calling about your lost dog sign…no, no, I’m afraid I haven’t seen the dog. I just want to know why on earth you edited your sign…Hello? HELLO?!

After discussing this with multiple people, there are two theories, both of which I quite like. The first theory is that these people have multiple small dogs, and they are very bad at keeping track of them. In this scenario, they previously lost a small dog of a different color. When it was found (or they just gave up on ever seeing it again), they collected the signs1 and stored them. Now that a second dog is lost, they are again using these signs, slightly modified.

The second theory is that one member of the family made the signs on their own. When a second member of the family saw them, an argument began about the color of their shared dog.

“What do you mean “tan”? The dog is white.”

“White?! She’s TAN!”


It seems like these signs could be greatly improved, and the possible argument avoided, by simply including a picture of the dog. But maybe they lost this dog so quickly that they didn’t even have a photograph yet.


  1. As one should always do when seeking a lost pet, holding a garage sale, or anything of a similar nature. ↩︎

Update (May 22, 2021): An anonymous reader purports to have texted the number on the sign, and received this reply:

Text reading “I am a pet recovery volunteer, and we recycle our signs.

So apparently, the answer is actually that this sign was placed by a volunteer who isn’t directly associated with the dog, and who re-uses signs. Maybe we can design some sort of sign that features swappable adjectives, like SMALL/MEDIUM/BIG and WHITE/TAN/YELLOW/BROWN/BLACK. Perhaps something with a rotating wheel design…