Baker Archive of Lost and Found Cats and Dogs

Lost Dog, or just out for a walkabout, temporarily lost? This happy-go-lucky picture of a dog is framed by caps, WHITE, DEAF+BLIND, MEDIUM. To the point; although I always considered it to be a description of Tiresias, the blind transgender soothsayer or medium, who understood the language of birds, a prophet who told Odysseus in Hades how to get back to Ithaca. Please catch, the owner cries out, since calling won’t phase this mutt. Being blind makes the dog look doe-eyed, friendly except for that one incisor, and if you don’t want to label him Tiresias, then try Lucky, Lucky to be alive. My favorite poster of all lost and found pet posters attached to street lamps and telephone poles. The poster is dated, which is practically unheard of – most pet posters are meant to remain attached to public poles until they melt under the duress of climate. This one didn’t start the archive, but made it official as storytelling public art.

LOST Large Black Cat Reward with a number. Rewards are seldom specified, and the picture of a black cat with hazel eyes – hardly distinct in the annals of black cats – doesn’t reveal the bigness of the cat. The handwritten “answers to Buddy” with a smiley face is a nice touch. The white paper doesn’t draw the eye, but the message is simple enough to draw attention from the passing bicyclist as well as a walker.

Guapo has a loving owner in Portland, who is offering big bucks – $$REWARD$$ – and three color head shots, a clear description – He is black/brown/tan (tabby) – but alas has no collar, a real problem in finding cats back before pet finder sites on the internet and chips from vets and shelters. It was a time when pet posters were the only recourse, and this one wins hearts, as it even suggests that people check their basement/garage/shed. Good advice, as I once lost a cat to next door neighbors for three days locked in their garage; and when my wife first moved to Denver with her long haired Persian, Pussums found refuge in the abandoned coal bin of our duplex for a day. There’s even a plastic cover for the wanted poster. I grabbed this on vacation, so it doesn’t qualify as part of the official Baker Archive of Lost and Found Cats and Dogs.

Hope they got Sam back, the LOST RED CATTLE DOG. Good location and description, but why isn’t he neutered. Did the owner expect to stud him out, or was he too young? With the clear description, the picture is fine in black and white. FYI, I only take posters that have weathered weeks, so to say that Sam was lost last Friday night may mean it was months ago in this case. If he’s still out there, it could be getting cold.

I call this one RECOMPENSE JAKE. Of course, recompense is reward in Spanish, but without knowing, someone might connect the two words as they follow each other. Nice pictures of the German shepherd Puppy. Each line of the description is in English, followed by Spanish. Two local phone numbers are listed, and an address in case you want to drop Jake off. Ten years ago, I left our border terrier on a leash outside Albertson’s while I quick went in. She slipped her collar, and I frantically ran home, to see if there were any calls, since our home phone was listed on the tag. I bicycled back to the grocer to look around, survey her possible routes, before returning home, to receive a call. A nice woman drove up with our terrier sitting in the passenger seat quite pleased with her new company. That dog lived to be 19 years old. I expect young Jake may have taken up with the first friendly customer; maybe he was returned home. Hopefully he is living out a full life.

The first pink paper LOST DOG poster in the collection describes Gentle Wind, a brindle mixed breed lost at the Rainbow Gathering, so the neon pink poster is appropriate. Bright colored papers always grab the eye of the passerby. The description here tends to be apologetic: the dog is timid, always by my side, did not have her collar on yet – I’m not sure what that means. Does the dog take her collar off every night? She jumped out of a car – did the driver and passengers not notice? I expect the dog was shared among other Rainbowers for many years. (Not catalogued in the Baker Archive)

Abby is LOST/STOLEN. There’s a reward. Clear color photo followed by a PLEASE and a heart. The owner(s) seems ambivalent about their responsibility for the plight of the dog, indicating a stealthy disappearance of this hound. We had a white duck that lived with us for a few years, and then disappeared one day. One of our tenants was watching his sister’s dog – maybe the retriever practiced his hunting. A Vietnamese man would wander our alley looking for metal scrap – maybe he saw a family meal. The duck had created its own igloo around a small pond during the Christmas blizzard of 1982. He would greet us on the front porch when we came home. He had become a bird in hand to our son, and when he disappeared, we told the boy he had flown to Hamburg to join the circus. We may have thought it but never advertised to anyone that he was stolen.

This advert has everything: mixed font sizes and colors, red and black, italics and underlines, a clear description, five color photographs (some with people or the owners), a plea for any information or possible leads, three names and two phone numbers. The fatal flaw, however, is mentioned in small print right above the pictures: Tan collar, missing his tags. Why oh why? We had a black cat picked up by our son on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn whom we saw out of our yard in Denver only once and whose collar rubbed all the fur from around her neck but she always had her tags. I hope these folks find JED – hopefully he’ll point his way home.

This poster for a BEGAL discloses the ambiguity of the language utilized in emotional communication. Graphically, the poster surpasses most, with its three lines, a stock silhouette of a dog, and telephone number, three lines long. Two black stars bookend BEGAL, an incorrect spelling but phonetic. What strikes me as confusing is the FOUND followed by LOST, although FOUND is the larger font. The same confusion attracted me to initially collect and archive pet posters when walking near 8th and Bannock, when I saw almost identical signs on opposite sides of the street advertising a Found Cat and a Lost Cat. I wondered, why couldn’t they get together?

Black stars frame REWARD in this poster for a LOST DOG Beautiful Pit Bull! which some people might have a problem with, since pit bulls are banned in Denver, but this poster might have predated that law. The arrows pointing out “Sugar is her name” highlight the dog in question. The emotional tug of “we miss her very much!” adds to the plaintiff call for her return. It was only after I saw The Champions about the pit bulls rescued from a star NFL player would I consider Sugar an appropriate name for a pit bull.

The dollar signs flanking CASH REWARD have shadows; they stand out all the more. Two great pictures of the gray schnauzer make the dog look adorable, along with the cute name Maisy. The owner admits the absence of tags is unfortunate. The heart breaker – there are two broken hearts which frame the poster at its bottom edge and symmetrically balance the dollar signs at the top – is the statement of serious medication needs. Great description, pictures, graphics, and vital information make this poster a winner.

Here’s the essential poster you’ve been waiting for: MISSING CAT/BLACK WITH WHITE BOOTS/PLEASE CALL/690-8051. No name, no area code – probably flyered before the expansion to 720. Just a please for courtesy’s sake. Black lettering on 8.5×11 white sheet. Those boots are made for walking.

CAT FOUND with four color pictures, long since faded. Lengthy description posted between pairs of photos. The finder thinks he’s almost a kitten, hungry, scared, and dirty, but not malnourished, and suspects some Halloween misbehavior. A shaved patch on an elbow would suggest to me a vet’s care, but the finder only says the cat seems to favor that leg. The pictures and description reinforce the statement that the finder would love to keep him, but can’t. There is one waiver after this loving testament to caring for strays – the finder says I “never claimed to be a good photographer.” One of the best stories about a found cat.

Great headshot of Mylo in a red tunic – the name fits! Reward is written in Sharpie after the fact; perhaps a friend suggested the bounty. Peyton wants a call if you happen to see the dog, not necessarily catch it. “Thank You” concludes this presentation, but the Reward is an added attractor.

Water stained blue box proclaims REWARD $200. That’s a hefty sum for a tabby who just underwent a treatment for a wound. The five bullet points next to the pic tell Alex’s story from his perspective, even admitting to being shy and scared. The ringer for me is the narrative below the picture: LAST SEEN AT THE CAT HOSPITAL. Kerri asks that if you have seen Alex, call; or drop the cat off at The Cat Hospital on Acoma. Not a great idea in my opinion. Alex already escaped once; what makes Kerri think he wants to return to this room of gloom? We brought Donna’s cat Pussums there twice, and she tore into the doctor and me each time. She did not like that place, and we never took her back. She had never had a previous problem with vets in Boulder, and didn’t have a problem with the Wash Park group we took her to thereafter. What did she sense about the place? Sounds like cats will do all they can to escape its cages. A few tags with Kerri’s number have been removed, one of the most inventive aspects of pet posters. I can only hope Alex made it back to Kerri, and never saw the inside of the hospital again.

Starting with a bold, italicized, and underlined plea of I REQUIRE MEDICINE really pulls the bystander towards this blue paper poster. Good description, all caps, with REWARD posited at the end. Nice color photog of Micha or Bear. Funny how dogs answer to several pet names, which might suggest that it is the voice of the owner, not so much the word, that trains the dog’s ears to respond. The size of the font really calls out to passing riders and drivers.

$500 REWARD in red at the top of the sheet. Max is a lost Pomapoo – aka Pooranian, Pomerdoodle, or Poopom, according to a googled website; unknown origins, popular over the last decade, and as the name indicates, super cute – who has already made his way from Pennsylvania and Buchtel to Broadway. Looks like he’s destined for the theatre. If you bring him in, you’ll be compensated – 5 Benjamins, indeed. Five color photos of the cutest dog ever. He’s microchipped, which I suppose means if a vet picks him up she might be able to place him; this was before GPS signals were attached to pets.

REWARD! in black letters in a scarlet red box at the top of the page, over a 4”x6” color photo of Stimpy, who is not wearing a collar – oh well – who is not fixed and fairly thin, a very loving cat who is very friendly to strangers. I have my doubts that Stimpy and his owner ever met again, but the poster may have turned heads. He belongs near the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, and I bet as good natured and dim witted as the original Stimpy was, he was just looking for his friend Ren. Not archived as part of the Baker Catalogue.

A big color photo of Willow makes this cat look like it’s straight outta National Geographic. It’s a 20 lb Tabby – cat’s had it good. No collar. It was last seen on 6/14, but that’s crossed out, and 12/26 is written in marker. This cat was apparently seen again 6 months after the original posting. Who saw Willow, and why can’t we track her down?

I’ve lost the OS part of LOST DOG on this poster. It remains one of my favorites, for the graphic symmetry displayed by the information and narrative that surrounds the black and white picture of this BLACK & WHITE BOSTON TERRIER. It was last seen on my birthday, traveling down Lincoln along a treacherous section of road. Two numbers listed, and the final plea sounds like the refrain from an R&B song: call if you have seen her or know where she is we miss her and love her so.

A diminutive picture of this LOST CAT displays the white diamond on his chest – “diamonds are a boy’s best friend.” He was once long and sleek, now skinny and rough looking. Then the capitalized emotional scream of he’s old and needs his medicine. Seems to me he might very well have pawned the diamonds for drugs, and now it’s time to find a hovel to die in. Lots of big letters, ampersands, but also a date as to when he wandered off. We just put our cat to sleep after a year’s struggle with his meager appetite and incontinence. He was still a friendly cat, not in pain, but definitely struggling. The doc said we made the right decision. This LOST CAT may be saying something.

SATCHMO is a cool name, but is it cultural appropriation to attach it to a friendly boy black lab with a limp. Louis Armstrong was called by that name referring to his big mouth, his satchel mouth, reduced to Satchmo. It could be called appreciation for the legacy of Louis. In 2013, we probably didn’t talk much about appropriation, but I’m a bit undone by the name. The boldly drawn LOST DOG at the top attracts attention. Two numbers are listed, and a picture of a friendly “BOY” is attached at the bottom. Is it “BOY” or “SATCHMO”?

This White Female Boxer is a regular Million Dollar Baby. She may not be Hilary Swank, but look at those eyes. Dog eyes spell out to every owner the devotion of their pet. Starred points mention a microchip, a black collar w/tags, tail and ears unclipped – this isn’t a show dog, just a friendly beast. REWARD is added at the top, two numbers so it’s probably shared custody, and another smaller photo of the full scale dog with eyes that still shine.

How do you entice the casual observer of pet posters: put a question in big bold letters, and include the hook of a name. HAVE YOU SEEN BENSON?? We get plenty of information about Benson, including his independent nature, his Maine Coon breed, and that he likes to go back home again. He isn’t Thomas Wolfe. The black box with white letters containing a plea to call and a number at the bottom nicely offsets the opening question; together, they frame a nice picture of black and white Benson. Strong, graphic presentation.

The most intriguing part of the “Clementine” poster is the fact that this beagle was Hit By Car & Ran Away. I think I would run, too. Did the dog escape the yard, slip the leash? Was she off leash and not trained to avoid traffic? I can only guess. I’ve seen a few cats get hit by cars – not pretty – and chased a dog across Santa Fe as it escaped the door of a gallery its owner was visiting. The dog was later found killed by a car on Sixth Avenue. The major messages of LOST DOG and PLEASE HELP!! are in large fonts, as is the number to call. The picture of the dog previews his forlorn state.

On the face of it, this Lost Dog poster looks impressive, but there seems little rhyme or reason to the line breaks and capitalization, simple grammatical points that might suggest the Bernese Mountain Dog did slip his collar. Bernese Mountain Dog is capitalized as it should be, but the dog’s name “chance” is written just like that. The run-on sentence of the address and collar info and reward are strung together, while other lines are broken like the two phone numbers. Still, reward is bold and big, matching Lost Dog above the picture. From the photo, it looks like an affable hound in a park-like setting – from the address and size of the trees, I’m guessing Wash Park.

From the start of collecting these posters, this one has stood out as being one of the best graphic illustrations of the medium. The bold weight of the lines and size of the fonts match the information provided. A clear description identifies marks of the cat in just two lines, made large enough to see from a distance. The name borders the photo, which is the most alluring piece of the poster. Not many people allow their own picture to overwhelm the pet pic, but this owner does, and it communicates her love and identification with her Yohji. One of the best in the Archive.

The color scheme of Blazer’s bounty poster stands out: the black outlined yellow block with bold blue shadowed letters spelling out LOST DOG in a vertical fun font at the top; the green block which may be a bit dark two-thirds of the way down the page; the red words scattered repeating LOST and begging PLEASE CALL. Blazer takes a nice picture, and the description is clear. Green dollar signs frame the requisite REWARD at the bottom. The sepia fading of this sign fills out its color wheel.

FOUND BLACK CAT! verges on the minimalist black and white poster that allures the passerby with its large bold letters and its stock silhouette of a cat. Found on Nov. 12 suggests this cat may have been working the Halloween trade for a few weeks. Found at the numeric center of Denver, where east-west and north-south register 00-00, we might call it Found Cat 0.

A nearly full-page color photo of this Chihuahua with a red collar gives the only information that matters: a telephone number, REWARD and a dollar sign, and an exquisite headshot. The poster is protected by a plastic sleeve, which signifies a significant cost at Office Max. 

People who find animals work at fitfully describing their new captures – lots of metaphors try to grab people’s, the owner’s, attention. This black fluffy cat was found at Kalamath and Alameda, a corner unfit for walkers and bicyclists, much less a young PURRY cat in heat. The unique traits of this cat, however, are his white markings near both ears, like Grandpa Munster or Bride of Frankenstein, and his HUGE THUMBS. The picture is adequate but the description is priceless. Kudos to the foster parent.

Monkey the Cat looks debonair in his blue fishbone cravat – the designer accoutrement no doubt bestowed by his owner. Grand color pictures and a poster preserved in an Office Depot plastic sleeve. A collar would be too common for such a looker.

Three centered black lines announce the heading Lost Cat in a cursive kind of font. Essential information includes Male Siamese with a crooked tail. “Here kitty, come to me Anjin.” Black on white; spare but effective.

This poster went through so many storms that the writing has all but disappeared – only a green asterisk is evident on its face; a number to call shows through the back, with other markings visible on the edges. With the full color photo of this black and brown and white calico cat resting in its luxurious bed, so big its toys scarcely fill the other side, next to an orange outdoor extension cord, there was hardly room to offer much information around the edges. Mind you, that border also represents the first line of deterioration. Why would this cat leave such a comfortable existence?

The MISSING Chester announcement was made October 29, eight days after he went missing. Usually you can call the police after a relative has been missing for a few days, but most cat lovers understand the independent streaks their animals harbor, and hope for their return without making much of a fuss for up to a week. Shawna has shown patience beyond the call of duty, and had crafted a striking poster with a close-up of Chester balanced in blue. I hope that they were reunited.

What a find: 2 Shit zu. Big black letters, address, two phone numbers. The proper spelling is “shih tzu” but I’m sure everyone gets it. To find two of these dogs wandering loose in Baker is startling. I’ve scarcely ever seen one on a walk in the neighborhood. The kind of toy dog that seldom leaves the lap of its owner or its pampered pooch bed, although they purportedly love to tear about. I expect the two were quickly reunited with the fretting parent.

Then there were the two German shepherds who wandered off…. The blue paper shouts the question, Have you seen these dogs ???  I’m not sure that the extra question marks spark added interest. Just a phone number and a photo, but written in Spanish is the original question, and thank you, please call.

$100 (Re)ward for a Lost Cat! Does anyone ever get a reward, or pay a reward? I wonder. Most pet lovers would be so happy to return a lost family member to its home and guardian. This cat is big and heavy, so you may need a wheelbarrow to get him back to 2nd and Inca. Anytime an address is listed makes me think the owners are especially desperate, or do they just want the finder to deposit the animal in the yard, and forfeit the reward.

$1000 REWARD! may be the largest bounty I’ve seen on a lost pet poster. She’s a Beloved Family Dog, Young, Female Shepherd Mix, No Questions Asked. Really? I can’t believe at that price the owner would ask nary a question. The picture presents a genuine beauty. Would someone have taken the dog to garner the money for its return? That would be my question.

Great picture of a small black and white spotted dog – seems to me Champion Jack Dupree sang a song about such a dog. He looks sheepish, a bit skittish, as though he’s wondering why he’s being booked and profiled. Nice folks who found him, who posted this picture preserved in a plastic sleeve. This dog probably needs more promotion than those two Shit zu.

Brand new layout for a “Missing!” pet sign, downloaded from a computer file, lets the user fill in the blanks. A personal note scrolls across the picture, which is distorted, but there are places for the name, Viki, a description, a date last seen, the address of the last sighting, dog gender, and contact information. Leslie also added her name, besides the required email address. The information is outlined, and the two-color format of orange and black on white is distinctive. Sounds like a young girl is looking for the dog that helps her dad out with his depression. Some of the fonts are too small, but overall it serves nicely as a fully informed plea for a pet.

The essentials are scribbled in black sharpie across this horizontal page: HELP, the name Little Man, type is Siamese, blue eyes, has a leopard collar, and he’s a Therapy Cat – probably helps with the owner’s depression. A number to ring, and the date posted. It’s all you need; computer not required.

FRAIKUS was probably a cat known to many customers of Twist and Shout when the store was on Alameda. Nice cut-out picture, an alluring question from the tabby, HAVE YOU SEEN ME? Two numbers, and no doubt a large crowd of detectives. I don’t know the outcome of any of these searches, since I usually only removed posters after they had been up for weeks.

“HAVE YOU SEEN MY WEINER?” is a great opening line for a pet poster if you happen to be missing a dachshund. I hope people found RUGRAT since he’s an oldster at 12 years. The picture makes him look friendlier than most dachshunds I’ve encountered.

(This is the end of the first installment of the Baker Archive; or the decline of western civilization.) MISSING CAT!!! The outlined letters on orange paper stand out. This neutered male cat – this is 45 for sure – is 20 lbs, furry & fluffy orange. No collar – or taxes – but he has a home, a golden dome in a field of green, I’m sure.