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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Found at last 


I love stories like this one, about Sam who was finally rescued after two years living by his wits. In his case, he had been neglected as a pup, and had only been with his new owners three weeks when he got loose. Luckily, he stayed in the area so his owners kept hearing about him. But he was spooked, so they had a hard time recapturing him.
Lost dogs spook easily and it doesn't take long for even a dog raised in a loving home to "go wild" -- I think it is some kind of primitive survival instinct.
Our dog, Mars, got away from a vet's office once and wandered the streets near the riverbank for several hours before we could find her. As we were driving back and forth, I spotted her just lying down on the grassy section of a boulevard. Driving up, I got out and opened the passenger door and called her to come -- she got up and just looked at me for a few seconds, sort of confused, like "do I know you?" before she finally responded to the "going for a ride" cues and jumped into the car. Then suddenly she DID know me and was wiggling all over with excitement and joy. We were a very relieved family that day, let me tell youl.
One of the greatest stories I ever heard was a friend of my sister, whose little Sheltie dog got away in Waskisiu provincial park. She spent weeks driving back and forth every weekend, putting up posters and looking for the dog. Finally, five weeks later and some 30 miles away from where the dog had been lost, she got a phone call from a cafe in a lakeside resort area where they had seen the dog scounging their garbage.
With her other two dogs, she drove up and started walking around the wood trails near the cafe, calling for her dog. At last she spotted her lost one in the bushes. Careful not to shout or leap or startle the dog, she just called the dog softly. He didn't run but he wouldn't come to her. So -- and I don't know how she managed to do this so calmly -- she just kept on walking. Finally, she turned around to find all three dogs walking with her, and she got all of them back to the car. Her lost sheltie was malnourished and took several weeks to fully recover but, amazingly, had nothing wlse wrong with him. She was convinced it was the other two dogs, as much as herself, who helped bring her dog home again. But I credit her devotion and persistence -- she wouldn't give up and she blanketed the area with her fliers -- the person who called her about the dog was the teenage son of the cafe owner, who had happened to see a flier with the dog's photo on it and finally convinced his parents that their stray was that particular dog.

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