When Microchips Don't Help Your Dog

I have such a weak spot for Poodles.
Today I met a married couple with a beautiful apricot- colored toy wearing a full blown Continental show clip. I had to introduce myself so I could ooh and ahh over the dog. As we talked I noticed that the dog sat quietly at his owners side, in that way so often seen in obedience competition dogs,staring intently at his mistress, waiting for her next command...
''So, I said, you have shown Majesty in Obedience Competition”...''Oh no'',she replied,'' but he is very well behaved,he came like this.''
I asked if I could see his lead for a moment and I took the dog for a quick spin...he was fully competition trained and even heeled perfectly off lead. Something seemed amiss.
“I would love a dog like this,” I said, ''Where did you get him?''
''We found him 2 years ago on the way to my sister in laws''....(who lived in the next county).
''You found him?'' I exclaimed,''his coat must have been a mess...''
'' No, actually it was just like this, I drive across town to a groomer who can do this haircut he came with.''
I ran my fingers through his immaculate long apricot mane,'' I can't believe a dog like this wasn't microchipped.''
They looked blankly at me and asked,'' WHAT IS A MICROCHIP?''
That told me everything....
I explained about microchipping and how many dog owners have it done, especially dog show people.
Majestys' mistress looked pale and I knew she was thinking the same thing I was, that this dog was probably carrying a microchip....
Tears welled up in her eyes as she said,'' I couldn't give Majesty up, we have had him 2 years and we don't have children, he is our whole life...''
I told her I understood, but who ever lost him is hurting too, not knowing what has become of a beloved pet is an almost unbearable pain and his original owner put a lot of time into his care and training. It was very likely that Majesty was a bench show champion and an obedience competitor as well....

It turns out that Majesty was wearing a rolled leather collar with a rabies tag but they didn't know that the county health department would have tracked his owner for them. The tag and collar were discarded.
So may I suggest that if your dog is not wearing an identification tag to go along with the microchip that you get one asap. On the tag, engrave REWARD and your phone number. Don't put the dogs name on the tag, that just makes the dog more responsive to the persons who found him and you don't want them to be tempted to keep your dog. If you have space on your tag, put NEEDS MEDICATION,
even if your dog doesn't. That will also help deter them from keeping the dog and it may inspire them to work harder to locate you. Lastly, if you have room for two phone numbers put a second number that would be your dogs caregiver in case of emergency....
I seriously doubt that Majestys' present owners will have him scanned for a microchip. But, if they do,
I hope at the very least they will send his original owner a note saying he is healthy and well- loved. For the original owner, knowing that, would be the next best thing to being re-united.