Thanks to my friend Andrea at Iowa Dog Blog for sharing this blog post with me. Andrea knows how I like to try and help spread awareness for lost/missing pooches. So thank you, Andrea!
The search for Lady, my foster dog. How you can help.
I don’t know when I will be able to write another normal blog post again, but I felt that this one I had to write tonight.
On Friday night, my foster dog, Lady, got loose from her collar and disappeared. She is still missing. And, my heart is breaking.
Friday was like any normal day except that I went to work earlier than normal so I could get home early and take the dogs to the dog park (if only I had followed through on that plan). By the time we got near our favorite dog park, the clouds had moved in and made it darker much earlier than usual. I made the decision to skip the dog park and instead head to CHuck and Don’s Pet Food Outlet so I could pick up some dog food for the dogs.
Feeling guilty that the dogs hadn’t been able to go to the dog park, I decided to take them all inside to enjoy some of the smells and get more exposure to a new environment (Daisy and Jasper had been there before, but Lady had not). It was as we were leaving that everything went wrong.
Chuck and Don’s in Eagan has a weighted sign outside that lets visitors know that parking in certain spots is only allowed for 10 minutes. As we left, Daisy walked behind me (as she always does), but this time she went one way around the sign and I went the other. As her leash pulled against the sign, it began to move forward, which caused Daisy to panic and run and become entangled in it. This caused the sign to fall over and drag behind her. It scared all three dogs and they started to pull away from me in fear. Before I knew it all three dogs had pulled themselves out of their collars, something they have not done before, and were running in all different directions. Jasper ran like the wind and crossed a busy street, narrowly being missed by a car. Daisy ran around the busy parking lot, running left, then right and then left again. Lady took off to the left, running past a Walgreens. The staff ran out to help, but not knowing that I had three fearful dogs with me, they began to give chase. This was the absolute worst thing to do and I had to yell at them them to please stop. I screamed out Lady, Jasper and Daisy’s names. Hoping ti stop their running before they were gone or got hit by a car (not exactly smart either), but they kept running.
I finally was able to get Daisy and Jasper to come back to me (after I removed the fallen sign and they were both nearly hit) and I quickly loaded them into the car. Immediately, I took off after Lady. A staff person came running back saying she had last seen her rounding the corner of Walgreens and running off behind the mini-mall. I hopped in the car and drove in that direction while calling Dawn (her former foster mom of 4+ years, and the one who rehabbed Lady after she was originally rescued). She said she was on her way. I think I called Meghan from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue next, but to be honest, it’s all a blur. I just know that I was in an absolute panic because Lady was running scared and she was in one of the busiest, high-traffic areas in town.
I searched everywhere I could behind Walgreens and Chuck and Don’s. There is a wooded area back there and a pond. I thought Lady might go there to hide. I walked all along the area calling her name. I went back and got Daisy and Jasper and walked them all along the area, hoping that if Lady saw them she would come out, but I had no luck. In all honesty, I have no way of knowing she was even in that area, but I was so sure it would be where she would go first. Then, I hit each one of the businesses along there, gave them my name and number and asked them to keep an eye out for her. By this time I was crying. My little girl was out there scared and there were cars everywhere. She could be anywhere.
Behind the scenes, the Minnesota Sheltie Rescue folks had already mobilized. Before I knew it, the first person had arrived and started looking in the same area I had been searching. Before I knew it, a whole team of amazing people had arrived with signs and flyers, ready to help. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. We all canvased the area. Some took flyers to businesses, others posted signs at strategic locations in the area, others papered cars in the Walmart parking lot, and several of us canvased the area and put flyers in newspaper slots while we searched for Lady. Calls started to come in. She was behind Precision Tune. She was behind Papa Murphy’s. She was seen running along Denmark Road. We raced back and forth to each location hoping we would see her. No luck. After several hours, we decided to try again in the morning, but several people kept looking in their cars. Driving aroud, hoping to catch sight of her, but she was nowhere to be found.
In the morning, I headed out early. Calls started to come in. She was in this neighborhood the that neighborhood, she was running along Wescott Road, she was on the corner of Pilot Knob Road (a very, very busy street) and Wescott. My friend Kellie called to say she and two other people had just stopped traffic so Lady could cross over Pilot Knob. I didn’t even know she was out looking (Thank you Kellie!) for her. They had tracked her running behind the houses on King’s Pond Road and I joined the chase. I ran out onto the road hoping to see her and I did. running up a side street with no outlet. I called her name and she stopped for a second, looked back at me, and then kept running. That’s when my heart really sank. Because Lady wasn’t just scared, she was freaked out beyond belief and not likely to stop running. By the time I got to where she had been, she was gone. And, I haven’t seen her since. Neither has anyone else.
So many people came out to help: Minnesota Sheltie Rescue volunteers, my friends Karen and Kellie and Kym, complete strangers. All of them working so hard in cold weather and sleet to pass out flyers, drive around searching, and just tell people to watch out for her. I don’t even know all of them by name, but I am truly grateful.
Earlier tonight, Karen and Carol came out with live traps to set out for Lady. They drove in absolutely horrible and dangerous weather, to drop them off and help set them up. My friend Kym, who had already driven around for hours searching for Lady, came to help us. How do you thank people who take time out of their busy lives to help look for a lost foster dog? How do you thank them for driving in awful weather just to help you find her? How do you thank all of the people who called and let us know where she was and where she was going?
I don’t know, but I do know more are coming tomorrow and for that I am beyond grateful. It has renewed my faith in people. I thank God for each and every one of them. I have cried so many, many tears already for my little girl (lost, cold and alone), but I have cried just as many out of sheer gratitude for the people who have come to help. Thank you.
Tomorrow, I’ll be heading out to check the live traps early in the morning. Lady seems to be on the move at that time. I pray that Lady is in one of the traps, but if not I will keep looking. I will post updates when I can. Please pray that we find her safely. Please.
If you tweet, please retweet: Lost #Sheltie in #Eagan #Minnesota. Brown and white. Afraid of people. Tweet @melzpetpals if you see her.
If you are on Facebook, please ask your friends to share with their Minnesota friends a picture of Lady or refer them to her blog post from last weekend. I have pictures and video of Lady here.
12:52 PM CST, Sunday – No sightings of Lady since yesterday morning. Checked all the live traps today – nothing yet. Jasper, Daisy and I walked around several areas where she was last sighted and several volunteers, including Lady’s former foster mom Dawn, helped put fliers on cars in church parking lots and stores in the area. Came home to warm up a bit and then going to set another live trap and put fliers in mailboxes in my area as well. Thank you everyone for all your help! I so appreciate all that you have done to try and get the word out. I hope someone sees her soon.