Today’s post is by Guest Blogger Kate Townsend
In mid February I lost my dog on a hike in the foothills of the Rockies. She bolted after a deer, broke away from me, and vanished. Our group called for hours and hours, and when dusk settled in we rushed to the library to make lost dog posters. It felt so surreal, I couldn’t believe I was about to leave that park without my dog, I felt guilty, I felt helpless, knowing she could be anywhere.
The weeks that followed were filled with immense anxiety, sadness, and a rollercoaster of emotions. Between calls of sightings that didn’t pan out, driving up every day after work to where we lost her, and searching endlessly for her – time was in exhausting slow motion.
We printed hundreds of posters, put ads here on Craiglist, used the pet alert call system, gathered a search party, and shared it on facebook and via email threads. We tried leaving clothing with our scent on it where we last saw her, tried using a dog trap, tried doing a bacon burn to attract her to us – and we were getting nothing.
We never gave up hope but of course discouragement sets in, how can all this relentless hard work not pay off?
On April 1st I received a phone call from a woman who had been following my dog and I’s saga, and lived near the area she was lost. She had, like us, been searching for weeks in hopes to bring Blitz home. She was walking in her neighborhood when she noticed a small sign that read “Found” and had a picture eerily similar to Blitz’s. She rushed home to look up a photo of Blitz and was convinced it was her. She was so sweet and called me right away in tears of joy – certain she was about to reunite me with my dog. Sure enough, I phoned the number to leave a message of Blitz’s description and they returned my call asking what color collar she had on. I told them and heard the words I’d been waiting a month and a half for: “I think we have your dog.”
I rushed up to the house, rang the doorbell, and sure enough heard Blitz’s bark right before seeing her little head pop up at the door. Nothing short of miracle!! She had been lost in the wilderness for 44 days, defying all odds and making it to a family who brought her back to me. She is now home safe and sound – filled with unimaginable experiences of the outdoors.
I wanted to share this with those who have lost their pet, to encourage them not to give up. Your pet is out there somewhere, and if you can spread the word enough, they will come back to you.
- Check all surrounding shelters regularly, online and in person. Lots of dogs slip through the cracks this way because their owner doesn’t realize they are at the shelter.
- Call and leave descriptions at all surrounding vets, often times people who find dogs will bring them in to get checked for a microchip.
- Be sure to use social media – it is your friend! Colorado Lost and Found dogs and other animal rescues pages
- Craiglist is very useful – keep your posts constantly updated and at the forefront, on both the pets and lost and found pages – and make sure to read through the other posts so you don’t miss a post about your dog/cat/etc!
- Try leaving an article of clothing that was worn for a few days, heavy with your scent, where you last saw the dog, with a bowl of water. Check this spot as much as possible, often times dogs will be attracted back and wait for you at that spot.
- Create colorful posters, and talk to as many people in the area as you can, keep people thinking about it as much as you are. Canvass the entire area surrounding where your pet escaped.
- Utilize the FindToto or PetAmberAlert call system – these can be pricey but get the word out very quickly and efficiently
- Most importantly – DONT GIVE UP HOPE! – be diligent and keep doing everything you can to bring your pet home
Hope this helps reunite some pets to their loving families!
Thank you so much Kate, for sharing your story and for being such an inspiration to me as I was searching for my puppy!
~ Thankfully Exhausted