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

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to 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 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’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

  1. Karen Hollebrands
    November 28, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    As absolutely exhausted as you must be, these updates and searching guidlines are very helpful. Thank you for continuing to post, Mel. Don’t forget to take time for yourself to recharge as much as you can. “Keep the faith!”

  2. Jill Johnson
    November 28, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Thanks so much for posting. You are doing everything possible to bring Lady home. She is so lucky to have you in her life. Hang in there. Something you are doing is going to bring her home.

  3. November 28, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    I am so sorry the search has been so hard. But if people keep seeing her then you know she is still out there. It is only a matter of time before she is found and caught. And thanks for sharing your experiences. It can’t be easy for you. Hopefully by posting what you have gone through, other dogs like Lady can be helped as well.
    I haven’t stopped rooting for you!

  4. November 28, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    I’m glad that there have been more sightings… keeping you in my thoughts!

  5. November 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Hang in there, Mel. I’ve been praying for strength for you, and for courage for Lady. I know you will be with Lady soon, and these posts will be such a great resource for someone else who experiences this heart wrenching situation.

  6. Jess
    November 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Continuing to say prayers for you and Lady

    • Jess
      November 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      PS. Never give up. Our kitty got past me 5 days after bringing her home. 6 weeks later someone found her with a broken leg but she recovered nicely. And has been with us ever since. It was a flyer that got us reunited. J.

      • Mel
        November 29, 2011 at 6:33 AM

        Thank you Jess. That truly gives me hope. Now I know why you can so closely relate to what I have been feeling. I’m so glad she made it home to you. 🙂

  7. November 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Big hugs to you Mel.

  8. Lisa
    November 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    I continue to hope that you and Lady will be safely reunited. I can only imagine how hard this is for you…

  9. November 28, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you, Mel. And, I see another gift Lady has given you – the spotlight to teach people about fearful dogs. So few people realize how their behavior frightens dogs, and because of that so many dogs suffer. Keep spreading the word, keep educating the people, and we’ll keep praying that Lady comes home.

  10. jeanne T.
    November 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    My Lady is fearful also, and would do the same thing. She is a chihuahua. I would be totally obsessed if anything ever happened (like this). When you get her back; which I think you will, I hope you will consider getting her one of those new tracking collars! I think they’re kind of epensive, but may be worth while in this case.

  11. November 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    My thoughts are with you. Great post, sorry how you got the experience to write it.

  12. November 28, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    thinking of you….and hoping somehow she gets HOME!

  13. November 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    I haven’t seen your posts coming up in Triberr. You might need to manually import them.

    I’m tweeting them manually but other folks have many more followers than I do.

    Hope all this effort brings her home soon.

  14. Sam
    November 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    We are still keeping paws crossed!


  15. Danielle
    November 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Idea: a trail cam near the water where she was last seen. She may go there for water. As I’m sure you know, those are the motion sensored cameras.

  16. November 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Thinking of you, Lady, and all the searchers. Keep your head up. She’ll find her way home soon.

  17. November 29, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    I’m so glad I found your site! I live in Eagan and I see your signs all over. I’m glad my family and I know what to do now if we spot Lady. I hope you are reunited soon!

    • Mel
      November 29, 2011 at 6:32 AM

      Oh Amy. Thank you! I so appreciate you looking for her. I hope we are reunited soon too. So glad you stopped by!

  18. Michele Richards-Shapiro
    November 29, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Drove around again today looking for her. I so hope she is found soon!! I checked all the heat vent areas around the restaurants and businesses in the Pilot Knob area by USBank. Checked out ponds/lakes too. Wish there was more I could do.

  19. November 29, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Thinking of you and Lady and saying a little prayer that she finds her way home safely 😉

  20. Danielle
    November 30, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    I am home all day and will be looking out the window often. Lone Oak and 13.Can’t quit thinking of her. Miracles do happen!

  1. November 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM

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