Updated: Jul 19
My very first experience with personal loss happened when I lost Kaiser, my dog, at the age of 14. A guest had left our house gate open, and he had wandered off. It wasn’t the first time that he had ventured out alone, but this time, he never came back. Worse than the pain of losing him, was the complete lack of knowledge about his fate. It was one of the toughest things that I’ve ever had to deal with, and not an experience I would wish on anybody.
Every dog parent has faced the fear of losing their dog at some point, and quite justifiably. There are many ways in which you could end up losing your loved one. It is not uncommon for dogs to get scared of noise (traffic, yells, loud music, fireworks) and just bolt. Maybe they are used to exploring on their own, but are unable to find their way back home for some reason. Even with dog walkers and boarding places, you can never be completely sure that a watchful, vigilant eye will be present!
When I adopted Jambi (my very adorable Indie dog :D), I knew that I never wanted to worry about losing him! Initially, I considered microchipping as a solution, but quickly realised that the microchip just contains a registration number of the pet. This meant that if Jambi got lost, someone would need to take him to a vet, get his ID number with a handheld RFID reader, look it up online and then contact me. A very unlikely scenario in India, and not something I could count on at all.
After turning my attention to commercially available GPS trackers, it became clear that they were either not of good quality or unreasonably priced. And that’s when me and some very good friends decided to build Wagr. Since it’s inception, Wagr has expanded in functionality to do a lot more than location tracking, but it still remains one of its very core features; its backbone.
The Wagr device clips on to your dog’s collar and the GPS chip inside immediately starts transmitting his or her location to our servers. You will then be able to see in realtime where he is, using the Wagr app. You can then start defining safe zones using the app by choosing any central location (your house, the park, your friend’s place etc) and defining a radius around it. The Wagr device will receive all of this info, and if your dog ever steps out of any of these safe zones, you immediately get an alert on the app, as well as an SMS.
After he steps out of the safe zone, the app will then allow you to navigate directly to him, even if he goes to the other side of town. It’s exactly like Google Maps 😀 The app will also show you the exact routes that your dog takes whenever he or she is taken for a walk. This ensures that you can keep tabs on your loved one, even if he or she is in someone else’s care. Now how does Wagr do all of this?