|All About Pets
Lost dog’s tale: Best friends can disappear quickly
Have you been following the story of Andy, an 11-year-old corgi that ran off on New Year’s Eve frightened by fireworks? There is a “Bring Andy Home” Web site and videos of the dog on Youtube. It’s become quite the mission of his family, who has spent thousands of dollars advertising his plight. We recently had a similar situation locally. My friend’s corgi-mix ran off a couple of weeks ago after being chased by a protective momma deer (yes, the deer chased the dog, not the other way around).
Carla had adopted “Addie,” a shy, 10-month-old heeler/corgi mix just a couple of months ago from a rescue group. The dog was the result of a breeding “mistake” and was raised primarily in a kennel so was a little undersocialized, but very sweet. She was settling in nicely and bonding with Carla’s older dog and two kittens in the home.
Carla lives in a townhouse in the Pacheco Valley area of Novato and is surrounded by woods and open space. There is a ridge trail that goes for miles up the hill from her house and a creek bordering her property. Carla and her two dogs were talking to neighbors out in front of her home when the deer charged the group and sent the dogs running. The older dog ran into the garage, but Addie ran behind the house and then up the hill.
She was so freaked, we can only imagine that she sort of went into a survival mode and ran as fast as her short legs would take her. Hoping when Addie settled down she would just come home, Carla was concerned about her spending a night out on her own, but not terribly distraught. The next morning though, there was no sign of the dog and with miles of woods to hide in, finding her seemed like a daunting task.
Flyers were quickly made and posted at all trailheads leading up into the open space and all the neighbors were notified about the missing dog (the association had e-mail addresses and sent out regular e-mail alerts). Friends and neighbors walked the trails day after day, calling out for Addie and handing out flyers to all the hikers they came across.
There was a couple of sightings giving hope that the dog was still alive and in the immediate area. After a week, Carla was beginning to despair and could only think about all the horrible possible endings – there are certainly coyotes and other predators in the area, and the possibility of starvation, dehydration, injury, etc, was worrisome. The down side of having a shy dog is there is a smaller chance she would just come to anyone, and a sighting was really all we could ask of people.
Not really knowing where to even begin an organized search of this scope, Carla found a private investigator that had some experience with locating missing dogs. Alexis Routh, of ACR Investigations, coincidentally worked next door to Addie’s veterinary clinic and she agreed to help out. Alexis started planning a strategy and gave Carla hope. Then, after a week and a half of being out on her own, Carla got a call from a young woman whose property bordered the open space on the other side of the ridge. She had Addie in her yard. This story had a happy ending – but poor Andy is still missing after five months.
Would you know what to do if your pet ran off? I’ll follow up with tips learned from this adventure next week.
• Meet the Bunny, June 9, 1-5 p.m. at the shelter and every second Saturday of each month. Meet our adorable adoptable rabbits, have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable volunteers, bring your bunny for a free nail trim, and shop our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, fun toys and fabulous deals on supplies.
• Kidz ‘n Critters Summer Camp – first session starts soon, so enroll your little animal lover today. One-week sessions of fun and learning all about pets. Details available at rpanimalshelter.org or by stopping by the shelter.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor for the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be reached at email@example.com.