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Posts Tagged ‘Eagan’

Little Lady Lost – Absorbing It All

January 5, 2012 23 comments

Yesterday, I received a comment on one of my posts that touched me deeply. I could say I was surprised by this woman’s kind words and actions, but I’m not. It’s actually indicative of many of the kind notes, thoughts, words of encouragement, and prayers I received from so many wonderful people who helped and prayed for Lady’s safe return.

From Audrey:

“I think Lady impacted far more people than many realize.

I was delivering my many boxes to Operation Christmas Child daily, and I would always keep my eyes peeled to see if there was any movement or animals along the streets/roads. It got to be such a habit that I’d be driving in Eden Prairie and would be watching the ditches! I gave the offices of OCC your number just in case anyone else dropping off boxes would comment on seeing a stray dog. I know there are coyotes in that area, so I just kept praying that she would be protected from them.

Sometimes I’d wake up in the night and ask the Lord to protect her at that moment. And then there was the peace….I didn’t know that she’d been found yet, but I could relax…I knew she was safe and would be ok. We have four shelties and I can’t imagine one of them being gone even one night. Two of them were out once for about five minutes, and I was sure my husband was going into cardiac arrest.”

It’s been almost two months since Lady returned. Since that time I have been trying to just absorb the whole experience. It’s a bit overwhelming to have so many people invested in you and your missing dog. So many hopes and prayers – I swear I actually felt them. It was an awesome and overwhelming and larger-than-life experience that has left me thinking about a good many things.

My friend Lynn said the other day that “I count Lady’s story as one of the most significant to me in 2011. The drama of it all and the purely amazing manner in which she was ultimately brought home touched me more than I can describe… Frankly, I personally needed to see all of it unfold. It ‘renewed’ something in me. Hard to explain, but those 12 days made a big impact on me and I was more or less just a prayerful observer from afar.” I don’t think I fully understood it at the time, but I think I do now.

So much of my life was invested in seeing Lady come home, safe and sound, that I never even realized (perhaps because I was in the middle of it all) that so many others were too. But it seems like it’s even larger than that. From some, I have heard it was renewal of faith. For others, the creation of a sense of community, that we were all in this together, helping a little dog get home. For yet others, it was a need for some good news in a world where bad news leads the day. Perhaps there was more meant to be taken from this experience than I can even comprehend. All I know is that this has been a life-changing event for me and I am still trying to take it all in.

Little Lady Lost: An Update

January 2, 2012 41 comments

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over a month since Lady came back home.

On Sunday, I was driving through Eagan and passed many of the locations I had spent so many hours searching for Lady. It brought back a lot of memories for me. I am so glad I no longer have to worry about her being out there with the coyotes or dealing with the cold weather or getting hit by a car. Except for a bad haircut, you’d never guess that she had been missing for 12 whole days before she was found. I have many people ask how she is doing, so I thought I would give everyone an update.

As I mentioned in my post “Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again“, Lady came home a little dehydrated and completely encased in burrs. What I didn’t tell you was that she was so encased in burrs and feces that they couldn’t even take her temperature at the emergency vet clinic.

Other than making sure she was fine physically, we (me, Estelle and Karen) were most concerned in making sure Lady was comfortable. I couldn’t bear the thought of her having to deal with all those burrs in her coat and poking into her body for one minute longer, so when the veterinarian asked if we wanted to cut them to cut the burrs out, we said “Yes.” As a result, Lady ended up with a less than glamorous look.

Lady before she went missing

Lady after the burrs were cut out of her coat

Lady in her winter sweater to cover the bald spots and keep her warm


Honestly though, I could care less how Lady looks. At the time, I was more concerned with her physical and mental health. Did she eat something that could hurt her or make her sick? Would she be terrified and skittish after being out on her own for so long? She had been off her meds, specifically clomipramine, for nearly two weeks. (I was told that the last time she had been off them she had been an absolute mess, so I really worried about her mental state after this whole ordeal.)

We treated her health issues with fluids (for dehydration), antibiotics and de-wormer (in case she had eaten something that had given her worms), but her mental health seemed completely fine. She didn’t show any of the anxiety or nervousness I expected, but rather acted as she did before she went missing.

Lady chewing on her Angry Bird toy


I had fully expected that she would be jumpy or timid or suffering from anxiety after her ordeal, especially since she had been off her meds for so long, but in fact, from the moment Lady has come home, she has acted as if she was never gone. She has played with her favorite toys, stolen the cat’s food, and even tried to engage Jasper in play, giving him playbows galore.

Disemboweling my new toy from my foster mom, Dawn.

In some ways, she seems even more normal than she did before she went missing. I know that probably sounds strange, but what I mean is that she is even more affectionate, more animated and playful, and somewhat calmer, than she was before she left. Maybe knowing that she is home is all that she needed to feel more comfortable in her skin or maybe the calm, predictable life at home is the exact opposite of what she experienced in those 12 days and she just feels more able to relax now that she is safe. Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see her so happy. As a result, I have chosen not to start her on clomipramine again, unless or until she shows signs that she needs it.

Since Lady has come home we have taken many excursions to the dog park. The first few times I kept her in her harness and a leash so I could be sure that she wouldn’t run if startled. Although, a little more skittish at first, she has done quite well ever since and loves to go for walks. In fact, she just recently (this past week) started taking treats from our friend Jill, a friend from the dog park. This is a huge step for her since she has always backed up when offered a treat before. She is also starting to check out some of our other dog park friends more closely, like Kellie and Kym.

While she does stop to sniff quite often, like she did before, she rarely lets me get too far before hurrying to catch up. She doesn’t like to be too far from me these days and that’s more than fine with me.

Lady back at the dog park again. Fur is starting to grow back too!

Lady also had her first bath since returning. She didn’t really like the experience all that much, but she handled it with class. She didn’t even get all goofy like Jasper did after his bath. Apparently, ladies just don’t act that way. :)

Lady after her bath

Lady chewing on her new bone


She still loves playing with toys and spends a lot of time chewing on the bone that Aunt Cindy got for her. She has also learned a few new commands since returning home: “down”, “watch me” and “stretch” (extend front legs and go into a bow) – and she has gotten even better at “sit”. She also loves taking long naps in her favorite spot near the toy basket and has claimed the new dog bed as her own. Jasper doesn’t seem to mind.

Lady sleeping in her favorite spot


All in all, I have to say that Lady has done quite well after her little adventure. The only lasting remnant as far as I can tell is a recognition of the sounds coyotes make. I ran across a video of some coyotes yipping while searching for funny videos on YouTube. When I played it, Lady immediately stood up and looked around, trying to find the source of the sounds. She looked quite unsettled and nervous. Jasper, on the other hand, had no reaction at all.

Estelle, from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, suggested it might be PTSD and I am inclined to agree. As silly as it sounds, it never occurred to me that she might recognize the sounds until I saw her reaction. It makes me sad to think of her sitting out in the dark woods somewhere and hearing those eerie sounds and being so very afraid. Needless to say, I will not be playing that video again. If you want to hear what they sound like, click on the video below. It gave me the heebie jeebies.

Lady and I want thank everyone who helped bring her home. I think she knows she is one lucky girl. She had so many people who helped her, whether they prayed, spread the word, set up traps, alerted the media, handed out fliers or called to report a sighting. In many ways, I consider what happened to be a miracle. I’m thinking we can all use a miracle now and then, can’t we?

As a last note, I mailed the adoption papers for Lady today. I had planned to submit them at Christmas time, but the holidays kind of took over. So now, Lady will not only be the first adoption of 2012, but she will also have an adoption anniversary that falls on the first new day of each year.

Lady

My thank you gift to you – Hartz Angry Birds Contest

December 14, 2011 26 comments

And the WINNERS are….
Geek HillBilly
Mary Haight
Karen Hollebrands
Debbie O’Halloran

I’ll be contacting you via email to get your addresses and to send your puppies their gifts! Congratulations!

Jasper's Angry Bird Obsession

It’s been a long couple of weeks. From the moment Lady first disappeared (and finally returned 12 days later), and through this past week of dealing with what I like to call The Crud, I haven’t really felt much like blogging.

Now that I am finally able to participate in the land of the living again I feel the need to thank all of you who helped in Lady’s search, offered kind words of support, tweeted or shared her story on Facebook, or just sent me healing thoughts. So today’s post is a giveaway of thanks.

On the day that Lady disappeared, a box appeared on my doorstep from Hartz (thank you Meagan!) loaded with some really cool toys from their Angry Birds line. I waited to open it until Lady was back home safe and sound and when she was I let her choose the first toy. The first one she took from the box was the little red plush Angry Bird and it’s been her favorite ever since.

Angry Bird - Lady's Favorite Toy

Hartz sent us a whole box full of toys and while I am sure my dogs would love to have all of them, I would rather share them with all of you in thanks for all your support. So I’m going to make this contest really easy.

Here are the rules for the giveaway:

1. Comment on this post by posting your dog’s name(s). That’s it! Post your dog’s name below and you are entered into the contest.

– The contest will run until midnight (12:00 AM Central Time), December 16, 2011.
– Four prize packs of 2 Hartz toys each will be awarded to 4 doggie families.
– Winners will be selected at random using Random.org.
– Winners will be notified via email.
– Winners will have three days to claim their prize, or another winner will be drawn from the entry pool.
– I will post the winner’s names on my blog on December 17th.

Good luck!




Worried you may not win? Enter Hartz’s Angry Birds Pet Toys Holiday Photo Contest on Facebook and win a free gift basket from Hartz!

Lady and her Angry Bird

Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

December 2, 2011 59 comments

Lost dog flier

I apologize up front for the length of this post, but What happened Wednesday night was nothing short of amazing. It was a miracle. And, I don’t ever want to forget it, especially knowing what happened on Monday.

Monday had been my first day back to work since Lady had disappeared. It was a strange feeling to be back. I had a hard time getting back into the groove, but by mid-afternoon I was focused and getting work done. That’s when it happened. I got this absolutely sick feeling in my stomach. I don’t know how to explain it except to say it was as if I had just received the very worst news and was doubled over with emotional pain. I almost started to cry and was feeling panicky. It was this awful feeling deep down in the pit of my stomach. I called Estelle from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue immediately and asked her if everything was okay because I felt something bad had happened. She reassured that all was well, but I couldn’t shake the feeling.

I decided to go for a walk to try and calm myself down. Suddenly, as I stood there, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. It infused my whole being. And then, I heard the words “Everything is going to be okay.” At the time I didn’t know what it meant, but for the first time in many days, I felt totally at peace. In my mind’s eye, I saw an image of Lady. She was barking and wagging her tail excitedly like she does when she knows we are going on a walk, or to the dog park. She seemed so happy. I thought to myself, “She’s gone. Lady is gone.” I was so certain that the sick feeling I had felt was the moment she had died, and yet, the image of her wagging her tail and happily barking made me less sad that I thought I would be. I heard the words, “I’m free! I’m free!” and I thought “Okay. She’s gone, but she’s not sad about it. How can I be sad if she’s not?” It was a very strange experience. One I cannot explain. I returned to work that day totally at peace. Sad, but comforted by the fact that Lady had seemed so happy. (I later learned that I was not the only one who had experienced that sick feeling at the same time. Perhaps Lady had been in danger and escaped it? I guess I’ll never know.)

That’s why I was surprised (and very much relieved) when we had two sightings the very next morning as I was on my way to work. I was so excited. She was less than a mile from home! I don’t know how I knew it then, but somehow I knew it was just a matter of time before she would be home.

Lady resting at home with her toy

On Wednesday I went to work knowing the Lady was alive. I tried to stay focused on work until I received a call around 2:30 PM. I answered my phone immediately knowing it could be a call about Lady. The man on the phone said “I’ve seen your dog.” My heart skipped a beat. “Where?” I asked? He told me he had seen her on the corner of Eagandale Boulevard and Lone Oak Road. My heart dropped. I was sure he had to be mistaken. That was several miles from where she had last been seen on Tuesday. “Are you sure?” I asked him. He said “Yes. I am sure it was your dog. I just ran to Rainbow to look at the flier and now I’m on my way back to see if she is still there.” Then he said, “There she is. She’s running down West Service Road now. I’m following her.” Oh my God I thought. I told him I was going to call people to come meet him there. I was shaking. We were so close!

I remember calling Meaghan from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue (MNSR) and then Cindy, a volunteer who had been helping since Lady was first lost, and then Estelle, also from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue. I was in a panic. I wanted to be there. I tried to give each of them directions to the man’s location but for some reason I couldn’t get Google Maps to work. Augh! Seriously? Why now?

I remember calling the man back to be absolutely certain that the dog he saw was in fact Lady. He said she looks just like a Minature Collie and I knew. It was her. He told me that he had her cornered in a fenced lot and that he was going to get out of the car. I asked him please to sit down if he got out and let her approach him. I told him she was afraid of people. He said, “I’m sitting down.” “God bless him!” I thought.

To be honest, I don’t remember much after that except throwing things in my bag, rushing out of work and hopping the first train home. What I know now is that as I was heading home, people had already started calling one another and many had already started arriving at Lady’s location. Deb from Springer Rescue, Estelle from MNSR, Cindy, and Stephen, another volunteer who had become involved in the search for Lady. They were all there.

Glad to be back home

I remember Stephen calling me and saying “Mel – I can see her.” I don’t know how to describe what that moment was like. Finally! I tried to hold it together as I told him that I was almost there, but the tears had already started. After all the sightings, false sightings and almost sightings, finally she was somewhere we could finally catch her. The drive to the location was sheer agony. What if I were too late? What if she bolted and got hit by a car? And then I remembered the peace I had felt on Monday, and how I had heard the words that everything would be okay, and I stopped panicking and let it all go. I knew that what was about to happen as not in my hands. I was not in control anymore.

I arrived to find several cars parked in a business driveway. I saw Estelle off in the distance near a large fenced area in the back. She waved me towards her. I parked my car and walked to the back of the building. It appeared to be some sort of docking area in the back, like a place where trucks could be loaded up with goods and sent out for delivery. The lot was huge and completely empty, except for Lady, who was sniffing around and pacing. People were blocking the exits on either side of the lot. “It’s her!” I whispered to Estelle. We watched as Lady headed towards the exit at the opposite end of the lot only to stop as Cindy or Stephen or Brad (the man I had spoken to on the phone) stood up. She would stare for a second and then trot back over towards Estelle and I. She was desperately looking for an escape route. I called out to her and even called her by name a couple of times. Each time she stopped as if she recognized my voice, but then she would start trotting off again. She was so scared. All we could do was watch helplessly as Lady trotted back and forth in fear. We didn’t have enough people to block the exits so I could go in and get her.

As each of us took turns keeping her from escaping, Estelle and I took turns calling people – friends, family, volunteers. Everyone was called in hopes they could come. Meaghan put out an all hands on deck alert via email and soon people began to arrive in from everywhere It was truly amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Emily, from Ruff Start Rescue, drove her car up near Estelle and I and blocked the exit while more volunteers took positions to the front and side of it. Finally, I entered the lot.

Darn burrs. Thankfully fur grows back.

I crossed the lot and sat down on a curb near a concrete barrier and waited. Lady watched from the other end of the lot and then trotted over near Estelle. She stared for a long time at the exit, now blocked by a car and more people. I could just see the wheels in her head turning. She’s going to make a break for it I thought. She was so desperate to get away.

After a few moments, she turned and passed within a few feet of me. I kept my body turned to the side and my head down so as to appear less threatening to her. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she started to walk by and then stopped. Her nose lifted to the air and she sniffed. She looked at me as I called out her name softly and asked her if she wanted to go home and see Daisy and Jasper. She stared at me. I could see she knew who I was talking about. She moved a few steps forward and sniffed. Then a couple of more. And then, a few more. She was just within reach! I reached out my hand and let her sniff it. Slowly, the look of recognition came into her eyes and she sighed. It was if she was saying “It’s you. It’s you. Oh thank God it’s you.” I could see the look of relief in her eyes and watched as she circled me and walked up on the curb and came next to me. I reached out my hand and stoked her face as I said her name softly. She seemed to just relax after that. I said “Let’s get your harness on” and she stood and waited as I put it on her, and with nearly frozen fingers, attached her leash. She knew. She was going home. I let out a sob, but choked it back so as not to scare her. We started to walk, but I couldn’t stand the thought of her not being in my arms and picked her up and started to sob quietly as I carried her towards Estelle and the other women standing guard.

I remember hearing a cheer and clapping. What a long journey all of us had been on, none more so than Lady. Tears were flowing everywhere. The day I had waited for had finally come – 12 days after I lost Lady, she was finally home.

A lot of what happened after that was a blur. I remember putting Lady in my car and hugging my friends Karen and Kym and so many of the MNSR staff and volunteers I had come to know so well over the past 12 days. So many kind people who had helped bring Lady home. I also remember waiting for the man who had first spotted Lady and who had called me to tell me he had seen my dog. I gave him a huge hug and thanked him. His name is Brad Wright and in my book, he’s a hero. What a man! He had sat there for over 2 hours, waiting for people to get in place so I could go in and get Lady. He never complained. He never left. He didn’t just drive by. He stepped in and chose to help. God bless him.

Lady spent one night at the emergency vet for dehydration and was clipped to remove the many burrs that had matted her coat. She’s in bad shape visually, but in fairly good shape physically. She even seems to have adjusted to life back at home pretty quickly. She was playing with her brother Jasper tonight. Who’d have thunk it? Certainly not me.

My many, many thanks to each and every person who helped in the search for Lady. You worked tirelessly to make this happen. If not for you, she would not be home now, but facing another winter storm out in the cold somewhere all by herself. And to Brad Wright, thank you. You may not consider yourself a hero, but I do.

Lady and Brad

If you want to see more of Brad and Lady, click here. It’s the story WCCO did on her and her hero.


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4: Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11 (This Post): Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Little Lady Lost – First day home

December 1, 2011 33 comments

My apologies to all my readers for not updating you on how Little Lady Lost finally came home. It’s been a crazy day today.

I promise that I will share the full story with you Friday evening. But until then, I thought I would share a few pictures of my girl. She slept most of the morning and early afternoon (I can’t imagine how tired she must be after such a harrowing adventure) and spent most of the late afternoon and evening trying to figure out a way to get onto my bed so she could eat the cat’s food. She’s never had a problem with that before, but I am sure she’s still not at full strength yet. If there is one thing I know about Little Lady, she is not one to be deterred long!

A very tired girl

Can you please let me on the bed so I can get that cat food?

As an added note, Lady had an interview with a reporter from WCCO this evening. She was quite calm for being a TV star. Even I was amazed at her ability to take it all in stride. She also met her rescuer, Brad Wright, again tonight and seemed happy to just lie on the couch next to him. Go figure! She also had a visit from her other foster mom, Dawn. She knew who she was as soon as she sniffed her and immediately started wagging her scrawny little tail. That made my evening.

Thank you so much for all the prayers, good wishes, good thoughts and kind words. And to all of you who helped spread the word and hep in the search for Lady. Thank you.

Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

November 30, 2011 49 comments

It’s late, but I couldn’t help but share the wonderful news. Around 5 PM Wednesday night, Lady was found! It’s a long and winding story, but it will have to wait until a little later (maybe Thursday evening) for me to tell. All I can say is that there are a LOT of people I have to thank. For all of you who handed out fliers tirelessly, put up signs in the cold, set traps and checked them daily (even letting out a cat and a raccoon), printed up the fliers, manned the phones, drove around in your car looking for her or sat on stakeout on a very cold day, or kept the search team updated daily and sometimes hourly via a Google map, shared on Facebook and/or Twitter or just offered support in some way… THANK YOU!!!

And for those of you who dropped everything and came to help tonight to ensure that Lady was safely returned home, my special thanks, most especially the staff, volunteers and board members of Minnesota Sheltie Rescue. You made my dreams come true.

Tonight, Lady is staying at the emergency vet to ensure that she is healthy before she comes home. She was home briefly and although she garnered a lot of sniffs from her brother Jasper and sister Daisy (she’s quite stinky), they were very happy to see her, as was I. She is going to look a little less Lady-like for a while (they had to cut out tons of burrs), she is still my girl.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. My thanks to all of you who prayed and offered words of encouragement. You are so awesome!

A blurry picture of me, carrying Lady, and Estelle - Going Home.

I was pretty much bawling by this point. I was afraid I would drop her because I was crying so much!.

My first meal at home in 12 days

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4: Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10 (This Post): Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

November 29, 2011 21 comments

Looking back on these past 11 days I can honestly say that I feel a distinct sense of before and after. There was my life before Lady was lost and then there is my life after.

That one night, Friday night, November 18th, seems sort of like a dream now (or maybe a nigtmare), but it also feels like a pivotal moment in my life. My life before I lost Lady was a routine. I followed the same schedule, did the same things, but it was fun. I loved spending time with my dogs – taking them for walks, working on obedience training, cuddling with them on the couch, etc. My life after has been so very different. It’s been chaotic and crazy and stressful and emotional. Every day has been filled with the search for Lady – handing out fliers, putting up signs, setting up and checking live traps, searching through woods and tall grass, moving live traps, driving around hoping to see her, racing to the location of the latest sighting… my life has been consumed with the never ending search for her.

That’s why going to work yesterday, the first time since Lady disappeared, was such a strange experience. For eleven days, my life has been consumed with the search for Lady and now here I was going off to work with her still missing. As I said in my previous post, part of me was relieved to get back to work. I craved the routine that would take me away from continuously worrying and wondering about her. Being busy is sometimes the best medicine to grief and worry. It’s an escape. But yesterday there was also a part of me that had a hard time letting go of the search. All day I wondered if there were any sightings or if the fliers were still being distributed (they were) or if she had had been caught in a live trap (sadly, she was not). Then yesterday afternoon, I felt a sense of peace overcome me and I just let it all go. I had the sense that everything would be okay. I don’t know why. I don’t even know what what it means, if it means anything at all, but it has erased all of the tension and worry and fear that I have felt every day since Lady disappeared. Maybe I’m truly letting go for the first time and just letting whatever is meant to be unfold as it is designed to do. Either way, I go to work today knowing that Lady is out there somewhere and that she is okay. We may not find her today or tomorrow, but we will find her. It’s just a matter of time.

Search update: There were no sightings of Lady yesterday. The live traps were empty as well. If she continues to stick to the general pattern she seems to have established for herself, I would expect a sighting today. But, I won’t hold onto that as a given. We just don’t know when she will appear again, or where. More wonderful people handed out fliers yesterday and new ones were made up (thank you Julie). I continue to watch for her and to hand out fliers when I can. Come home Lady.

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4: Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9 (This Post): Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

November 28, 2011 24 comments

I found it hard to write much of anything in the way of updates earlier this Sunday night. It’s been a very exhausting weekend.

As always, there have been a lot of ups and downs in the search for Lady. Unlike Saturday, there have been no sightings today, but I think now that this is not such a bad thing. It means Lady is hunkering down and staying quiet… and staying away from highways.

I’m beginning to see a pattern in her behavior. Every time she gets spooked she hunkers down for a day or two before coming out once again to search for food. The problem is how to prevent her from being spooked. There are cars and loud noises and well-meaning people for her to contend with each time she leaves the safety of her hiding spot. While many dogs might run to a stranger for food or attention, a fearful dog, like Lady, will avoid people and places that scare them – AT ALL COSTS. People approaching her, while well-intentioned I am sure, is leading her further and further away from me and deeper and deeper into hiding. It is frustrating.

And now I must go back to work, leaving the search for Lady to my morning and evening hours and to those who have the time to search. To be honest, part of me is relieved. I crave the every day normalcy of every day life. Routine is so much less stressful than spending every waking hour thinking about and searching for Lady. It also means that I feel some guilt at not being within easy reach if there is another sighting. However, what I do know now is that a sighting is unlikely to lead to a capture. Lady is too skittish now, too easily spooked. What I know now is that we need more sightings. Sightings that establish a pattern of behavior. A pattern of behavior can tell us so much about where she is moving, what is spooking her, what draws her out of hiding, and how we can best utilize this information to capture her.

If we can keep focused on handing out fliers and asking people to report their sightings of Lady, we will have a much better chance of bringing her home. But, this only works if she is not spooked – if people don’t go out chasing her down in the woods or calling out to her in areas where she was last sighted. I cannot stress this enough, chasing her down is the worst thing that anyone can do now. I know it seems so antithetical to what most people know about dogs, but everything most people know about dogs must be thrown out the window when it comes to fearful dogs. They do not act like most dogs.

If I could make a wishlist of Do’s and Don’ts for people in the search area, it would be as follows:

DO’s

DO watch for Lady and report any sightings of her.
DO program Minnesota Sheltie Rescue’s phone number, 612-616-7477, into your phone so you can report your sighting immediately.
DO take a picture of her if you have the time or the ability to do so.
DO continue to hand out fliers and share Lady’s story with your friends and family. The more eyes and ears we have out there the better.
DO drive the areas, if you have the time, and call in any sightings you may have.
DO report any behavior patterns that you notice – Examples: she comes through your yard at the same time every day, she sleeps in this location every day, etc.
DO consider leaving your fence gate open for Lady to enter. That way if she does enter your yard, you can shut it behind her, allowing us a much better chance of catching her.

DON’Ts

DON’T approach Lady or chase her down. If you do, you will likely ruin any chance we have of catching her in the future or cause her to run out into busy traffic and get hit by a car.
DON’T call out to Lady and try to get her to come to you (she won’t). A fearful dog is not a typical dog. Even the people Lady knows quite well cannot approach her without her pulling back in fear. You are a complete stranger to her. She is not going to stick around long enough to let you approach.
DON’T visit or share the locations of any live traps. We have found that the more people that know where they are, the more activity we have with people checking them on a constant basis, and that diminishes the chance that Lady will ever come near it.
DON’T go searching the woods and fields, or the Minnesota River valley, for Lady. Not only will this cause Lady to go further and further into wooded areas or into the river valley, it also puts her in greater danger from coyotes.

I welcome any other do’s and don’ts from those who have searched for a fearful missing dog before or who have led similar searches. What would you add to this list?

You can read more about fearful dogs at my friend Debbie’s website Fearfuldogs.com or on her blog, Fearfuldogs’s blog.com.

Over the past 10 days I have met some amazing people. People who have been there every single day to hand out fliers, post signs, drive around and watch for Lady, spread the word by mouth and to just sit and watch for her. My many, many thanks to Estelle, Meaghan, Karen M, Jeff P, Karen C-H, Barb, Nancy and Dennis, Emily, Angela, Vicki, Stephen, Dena, Cindy, Mickey and Brian, Dan, Karen, Jeff and Francine, Pamela D and Wendy. for your help this weekend.

Videos of Lady:

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4: Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8 (This Post): Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

November 25, 2011 31 comments

I follow Positive Outlooks on Facebook, and tonight (Thanksgiving night) this particular post struck a chord with me.

The search for Lady over this past week has often felt like a chase. Every sighting has meant a quick jump in the car and a race to the location in hopes of finally bringing her home. When the outcome did not lead to the happy ending that I so very much desired, it was quite disappointing. I know many of you have felt that way because you have been out there searching too.

In some ways, I have been chasing the wrong things. My fear that I might miss that one clue or that one lead, or that I might miss that one chance to see Lady myself, led me to near exhaustion and a bit of craziness. The fear that I might be home sleeping or out on a walk when I could have been there at that exact moment she appeared was driving me crazy. Yes, there are volunteers out there searching when I am not. Yes, I know that people have seen the fliers and the signs and have read Lady’s story and are looking too, but somehow I felt that I needed to be the one person who was always out there looking for her. Somehow I thought that if I were out there she would just miraculously appear – for me. Silly huh? The mind does crazy things to you sometimes.

So, the last two days I have taken a step back from the search and disconnected. I took the dogs to the dog park. I worked for a bit. I actually had a real conversation with some friends. Uninterrupted. I had Thanksgiving dinner with my family and I played ball with Jasper and gave Daisy a belly rub. Along the way, I began to realize that I cannot be everywhere at once. I cannot make Lady come to me by sheer will or by constantly chasing after her.

That doesn’t mean I am not still looking. I was out with Estelle and Susan from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue this evening checking traps (according to Estelle, there is one very pissed off cat out there tonight) and leaving behind treats and things that smell like me. I put a few fliers in mailboxes too. But, I did not drive around for hours on end, searching every little corner of Eagan, nor did I stake out a location in hopes that Lady would appear just because I was there. The truth is that no one knows what will be the one thing that brings her home. What I do know is that chasing the wrong things is not going to bring Lady home any sooner.

So maybe if I stop chasing the wrong things and instead focus on the right things – spreading the word, sharing her story, handing out fliers (with the help from friends and volunteers), I can let Lady catch me on her own terms and in her own way.

One can hope. :)

Update: Today we had no sightings at all, but in some ways that is comforting. It means Lady is not crossing busy streets. She’s not putting her life in danger. It likely means she’s hunkered down somewhere and staying where she is – for now. And even though we had no sightings, does not mean that people were not our looking for her. There were volunteers and staff from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, Lady’s former foster mom, Dawn, and a client, Renee, and a reader, Jess, and many, many others. There were also the prayers of so many people. I still believe that those prayers will make the difference.

Tomorrow, we will be out canvasing the area again with more volunteers. We hope that we can zero in on her location or at least pass out more fliers in a much wider area to increase the chances that someone will see her.

How you can help:

Our MNSR FOSTER SHELTIE, Lady, is still LOST in EAGAN, MN. Call 612-616-7477 with any sightings (even if not recently). Program these numbers into your cell as you drive the area, in case you spot Lady. Please give time, exact location of sighting, and the direction the dog headed. DO NOT follow her, try to catch her or call out to her – this will spook her from the area and may cause her to run onto a busy road.

Possible sightings as recently as 11/22 near Pilot Knob Road; Duckwood, Kingswood Pond neighborhood, CrestRidge Lane and Denmark; Crestview and Duckwood; Monterey and Blackhawk Road, and possibly even Rosemount. Sighting/search info is available by visiting Minnesota Sheltie Rescue on Facebook and at our map.

We have distributed approximately 4000 flyers, put up signs, alerted police, impound, vet clinics, area businesses and colleges, the school bus company, city of Eagan, Eagan Chamber of commerce, used Robo-calls, posted online, cross-posted to other rescues, on Facebook, etc.-everything in our Lost Sheltie search tips. Live traps are set in areas where we think she may be holed up, and we respond to every possible sighting.

Contact us if you have a spare hour to do flyers. Sighting/search info here. It is not uncommon for some time to go by before we are successful, but we do not give up!

Minnesota Sheltie Rescue

Here are some additional photos of Lady.

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4: Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5 (This Post): Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

November 23, 2011 15 comments

Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and while you might not think that I could be grateful on a day when Lady is still missing, I am. There is so much to celebrate on this special holiday.

– All the volunteers with Minnesota Sheltie Rescue who have given up time in their day, and in their lives, to help search for Lady, hand out fliers, post signs, and manage the behind the scenes coordinating it takes to pull off a search this large.

– All my friends and family members who have offered support and encouragement when I was feeling at my lowest.

– All the “strangers”, who I now prefer to think of as friends, who have offered to help in any way they could to help find Lady – driving around where she was last seen, handing out fliers, sharing her story with friends on Facebook or Twitter, watching out for her as they drive through town, etc.

– All the people who took action and called us to let us know they had seen her and where she was headed and what she did. Every call is a clue to a much bigger puzzle and with every puzzle piece placed, we get closer to finding Lady.

– Warm weather. I might be totally wrong, after all I am not a meteorologist, but I don’t remember many Thanksgivings being this warm. It means I can breathe a little easier knowing Lady is not freezing cold or out there in the middle of a snowstorm.

– My puppy dogs. Last Friday was a freak accident, but I fully recognize that in all that chaos I could have lost all three dogs to a car or something just as bad. That none of them were hit is a miracle in itself. Lady may still be missing, but she is alive and people are watching out for her and praying for her. And when I am feeling down, Daisy and Jasper are there to comfort me. For all of that I am truly grateful.

Reading all your comments and heartfelt hopes and prayers has been very comforting to me. I know now that I don’t have control over what happens to Lady, or how long it will take to bring her home, but I do know that all of this good energy is not being put to waste. It’s making me, and I suspect you, feel grateful for what we do have and how blessed we truly are on this special day. Hug your dogs. Hug your family, and know that today is a day we can all be grateful for.


Latest update: No sightings of Lady today. Volunteers were out searching, checking traps and making new fliers with a side view of Lady. I, and it appears at least one other volunteer, staked out the Marriott tonight in hopes of seeing Lady. I sat on the ground for a while in the area nearest to where she had crossed Pilot Knob Road, but never saw her. After a while got too cold to stay and so I left behind some food and one of her favorite toys.

Not one to leave things be, I stopped off at Walgreens to buy some more dog food, Kibbles and Bits, to entice her out. I filled the food dish and then sat in my car at a distance to see if she would come out. No luck. But, I did get a sense of when traffic quiets down in that area and I think I’ll have a better idea of when to come next time.

I am really hoping the food will keep her on that side of Pilot Knob Road until we can move a trap closer to that area and add another live trap further down. I am hoping beyond hope that she will go into a trap on Thanksgiving Day and give us all something to celebrate.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Come home Lady.

You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.

Post #1: The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.

Post #2:Foster Dog Lady – Still Missing

Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest

Post #4 (This Post): Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost

Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things

Post #6: A Sunbeam of Hope? The Latest on Little Lady Lost

Post #7: Little Lady Lost – The Saturday Update

Post #8: Little Lady Lost – Latest Update & Do’s and Don’ts

Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace

Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!

Post #11: Little Lady Lost and How She Made It Home Again

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