True that.

This was a phrase that I heard for the first time this week. A lovely couple was in to complete their marriage license and I think he, like me, loves plays on words. Out of the blue he said, “true that,” about one of the questions I had to ask them. We all just smiled and then he mentioned that was a funny phrase that had been in play a few years back. How did I miss It?

Here we go, you know my next move, let’s look it up!

A newer source for us - Wiktionary defines “true that” as words used to show agreement. That’s easy enough.

Well, this week let’s talk about a couple things that are just that. I’m also going to try and keep our story a little shorter (not sure it’s possible for me). A wonderful reader came in and said, “I love your stories, but they are so long!” Wish I could say it was the first time I’d heard that, and it did make me cringe just a little, but positive well-intended reviews are part of my growth as a storyteller. We never grow up, we just keep on growing.

Last week we ended with the story of a precious found puppy. I used it as a reminder of how important dog registration is and why. When our little Gigi first arrived, my godchild, Breana Hurley, told me about this fun monthly teaching tool for us and Gigi. It’s called PupBox. The teacher in me loves that each month they include brief lessons on where your puppy should be in their learning and growth. We are at month seven and just a few days ago I said to John that Gigi is all of the sudden acting like a teenager. Not listening as much, chewing more and woofing when she wants something. Pupbox described exactly that; reminded me that is perfectly normal and gave us tips on how to work with these little behaviors in a positive way.

There was also a card included that said, “It’s National Lost Pet Prevention Month! July!" I had no idea. Through Google I learned that a pet is lost every two seconds in our country. Even sadder is that statics show only one in 10 pets gets reunited with its family.

We need to work on this with Gigi. She’s so darn cute and has captured our hearts but we need to take training seriously for her sake and ours. "Come" and "stay" are two big ones. We all know what can happen if a dog runs and doesn’t stop when you yell to it. Even when they are fully trained, we have to remember that just like children if something catches their attention, maybe a chipmunk, they might make a dash for it.

Just last week it was time for Gigi to be spayed. I hated the thought and worried weeks before. Dr. Myrna Gregori patiently explained to me that this procedure not only prevents the obvious but more importantly it prevents cancers such as breast cancer and other forms in our dogs — and don’t forget cats, too. In our conversation Myrna also mentioned that it takes only four minutes for us to fall in love with a pet.

Microchipping is another huge help in returning a lost pet. The problem vets have, though, is it’s an easy procedure to do with great results of returning lost pets, but only if the owner registers the microchip online. Right now, we are guilty of that. Gigi’s surgery was Monday. Myrna did an amazing job, the smallest incision, internal stitches, and Gigi is back to her old self already. Another one of John’s sandals sacrificed without him knowing it — a good sign, too.

Our problem is we should have registered that microchip as soon as we got home. Thanks to talking to you about it we will today. Vets report many lost pets are brought in with microchips that have no information on them. Very sad.

ID tags, another one on our list that we need to get done. So easy to do. (Meredith just called and I asked her if they registered their little puppy Ellie’s microchip. The answer was no! I know two dogs that will be registered before dinner time today.

Don’t hesitate to call your animal control officer in your town or your town clerk. We are there to help. Please remember to register your dog and keep up with the renewal each year.

Another unfortunate thing is that we keep learning of many people that you would never guess that just don’t bother registering their dog(s) with the town. We make it so easy, too. It is not the money in most cases, but if it is just reach out and let me know, we can help with that. Just like everything else, “We are all in this together.”

The more I learn about all of this through having our Gigi the more I’m starting to wonder why we don’t register cats, too. Apparently, dog registration started back in the late 1800s. There has been lots of debate around cat registration. It seems like most cat lovers think it’s a bad idea for many reasons. Little collars can be tough for cats, and they are known to roam more freely. Interestingly, in New Hampshire this is a decision that would be made at the local level. Rhode Island mandates dog and cat registration at the state level.

Let me know your thoughts at sfarrell@londonderrynh.org.

Your town and city clerks also work tirelessly behind the scenes to speak on the behalf of residents regarding laws that affect their daily lives. I bet you didn’t know that your Town and City Clerks’ State Association, NHCTCA, has an entire committee devoted to legislation. Our own Dan Healey, Derry town clerk, is our co-chairperson. We speak on bills and laws regarding animal protection, car registration, election laws, and vital record procedures such as birth certificates and marriages, too.

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.

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