Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lost... and FOUND!!!

   Early this morning, Dianne was walking Zoey, who got spooked by a simple manhole cover, and in a stroke of bad luck, Zoey pulled away & bolted. Zoey is FAST—Dianne wasn't able to see her for long, and she was gone like a flash. I got the call from her while I was out at the sports complex for The Color Run, and headed over to help.
   I stopped home to pick up my dogs, hoping if Zoey saw or heard them, she'd respond. We walked and drove around the neighborhood for 4 hours in 100+ heat, to no avail. I started out with the dogs on foot, then Dianne picked me up and drove us around. We saw a lot of her very pretty neighborhood in Olathe, a green heron at the edge of a lake... and Bev, who graciously came out to help in the search!
   The dogs were troopers, patiently riding from stop to stop in Zoe's cage, and then zonking out when we stopped at Dianne's house to cool down with some water. Taylor loved Zoe's bed, while Aki was happy just to have a nice rug.
   Kathy and her dog Rex went over there tonight to continue the search. (I had planned to, but was so exhausted from the heat that I accidentally crashed on the couch, and was awakened by my mom calling to check on me... thanks, Mom!)
   Kathy and Rex ended up finding Zoey, and she's okay!!! She was hiding just blocks from her new home, in a heavily wooded area, which is what we suspected. Kathy wisely brought a squeaky toy with them, and that brought Zoey out of hiding. What a relief!
   I somehow "knew" that we'd find her; it would be too awful to imagine something terrible happening to this girl, after she'd spent 10 months in a puppy mill, 15 months in rescue with MSIR (at 3 different foster homes), and had 5 surgeries to correct a genetic problem in her back legs. She just had to be okay. Dianne reported that she is safely back at home, drinking tons of water, with a huge smile on her face.
   Here's what I've learned from the lost dog experience—passing along in case it's useful (though I hope you won't ever need it):
- Call friends to help, especially if the dog knows them
- Bring treats, favorite toys (esp. if they make noise!), and a leash
- Canvas the area, and talk to everyone you see—you never know who will find the dog. Bring fliers with the dog's photo, name, physical description, & your cell phone.
- Put a sign in the dog owner's front yard, so that if someone finds the dog, they'll know where it lives
- Leave food at the house: front & back porch; leave back yard gate, garage door open in case they return
- ALWAYS have a collar, harness, and ID tags on your dog whenever it is outside (esp. this time of year when they could be spooked by fireworks)
- Get your dog microchipped in case its ID is lost
- Call nearby animal shelters & animal control to alert them
- TRAIN your dog to come to you; it could save their life
- Stay calm & have faith!
- Have a glass of wine available once the ordeal is over!

Here is an even more comprehensive list I found online. But our instincts led us to all the main ones—at it worked—yeah!!!