by Michelle Taute January 23, 2023

Duke and Jake "the escape artist" HoudiniJaclyn Riley describes her border collies, Jake and Duke, as toddlers. They’re smart, active and always need something to do. If they don’t have a job, they’ll invent one. Jake taught himself how to take off his jangly dog ID and learned to scale the 6-foot fence in the backyard. Not exactly a good combo.

“We should have named Jake, Houdini,” Riley says. “He’s an escape artist.” Over a two-year period, he scaled the backyard fence countless times. He’s terrified of thunderstorms and fireworks, and at the first sign of loud noises or storms, he’s over the fence and gone. Sometimes Jake scales the fence just because he can. Then runs around to the front of the house and chillaxes on the porch.

Luckily, Jake’s human mom is a runner who was already familiar with ROAD iD through the GPS-tracking app, which she uses when running alone, often early in the morning. This led her to discover the ROAD iD Pet ID, which even Jake hasn’t figured out how to remove from his collar. It’s an investment in better dog tags that have reunited Jake with his owners more than once.

“Once our dog disappeared for nine days and we thought he was dead and gone,” Riley says. “Then he showed up at somebody’s house who called us from his ROAD iD tag.” It turns out Jake was less than a mile from home, but Riley, her husband, and their two kids, live in a rural area in Oklahoma.

People dialing the number on Jake’s pet ID tag have brought him home roughly half a dozen times. He’s gotten as far as two miles from the house as the crow flies. One of his favorite destinations? The home of a woman who runs an animal rescue operation out of her house. Jake discovered she’d shower him with love and put her on his regular walkabout route.

Today Jake’s escape-artist career has largely come to an end. Duke, who doesn’t climb the fence, tattles on his brother. “We’ll hear him howling in the backyard,” Riley says. “It sounds like he’s saying, ‘Jake’s out.’” Plus, the family built a dog run with a 10-foot fence, and so far, Jake hasn’t figured out a way to make his great escape.

Riley and DaughterIronically, an incident with a free-range dog caused Riley to invest in a ROAD iD Shoe ID for herself. She was out marathon training at 5:30 a.m. when a small dog attacked her. “I’ve run that route a million times,” she says. “I never even saw that dog until it was attached to my arm. No warning bark. No nothing.”

She fought off the dog but then it attacked her leg. Riley fought it off again and kept walking. Then she called a friend who’d accompanied her on the first three miles of what she intended to be a 9-mile run. The friend cleaned up her wounds. Then Riley finished her run and filed a police report.

Shortly after, she invested in her Shoe ID. “I’d gotten overconfident about running,” she says. But now her ROAD iD gives her back some peace of mind. An important thing for someone who ran 18 half marathons in 2018. Go Jaclyn Riley!