Pro tip: try not to do this, but in the event that you're dogsitting, take the dog on a walk and lose's what I learned:
  1. Panic.
  2. Tell the owner
    Who wouldn't? You don't want to be that owner who finds out your dog is gone from the Internet. Be sure to ask if the dog is microchipped.
  3. Call any emergency contacts the owner left with you
  4. Reach out to community blogs
    In my case, this included Popville, the Bloomingdale neighborhood blog and the Bloomingdale business association blog.
  5. Call the animal shelter and file a lost dog report
  6. Call all the local vets
  7. Make a flier
    Reach out to design friends for tips. Write "LOST" in the largest type and the rest can be in smaller, but still large, type that is readable from a distance. Keep it short and use one big photo to draw folks in. Printing in color helps too.
  8. Flier the neighborhood
    Then follow up with anyone you called/emailed with said flier.
  9. Create a Facebook page
    Absurd, I know. But it helps! The more people like and share your news, the wider search network you'll have. Plus, it's a great way to provide updates rather than fielding text after text and phone call after phone call.
  10. If desperate, hire a pet tracker
    Yes. I went there. It's expensive so think hard before you do this. Realistically, a tracker won't be able to find the dog but it'll help shed light on where you should focus your search efforts.
  11. Sit, feel helpless and wait for things to look up