Saturday, October 4, 2014

Riley, beagle

Riley's Story
October 3, 2014
Find Riley (on Facebook)

Thank you all so much for the overwhelming support, both when Riley was missing and again today now that she has been found! Here's the story:

As I posted yesterday, it had been a week and we (Steve and Chelsea) had yet to hear any news of her whereabouts. We went searching every day and just posted new bright signs last night. We went to bed sure that we'd go another day without seeing our puppy.

Around 12:30 a.m. we got a phone call saying that someone saw our dog outside her building. We quickly gathered the supplies we needed: flashlights, treats, squeaky toys, a blanket, and her leash. 

The sighting was just down the street from our house, along a path Riley's dogwalker regularly took her, so we had a lot of hope that we'd see her! Unfortunately, after searching the immediate area thoroughly, we didn't see her and went home. Even though we didn't get her back at that moment, we felt a new optimism at our first sighting! If you saw the post, you probably could tell how excited I was!

Eventually we were able to fall back asleep, only to be woken up again around 4:30 a.m. from a neighbor to come outside immediately because he was pretty sure he saw Riley behind our building. This time we had left some of the things we needed in the car, but we didn't waste time and immediately ran out.

The next hour is a little bit of a blur, but here's what I remember. Riley had made her way back to our apartment building but was staying hidden in some thick forest/brush up high on a hill. I climbed up the hill as Steve and the neighbor stayed on the street to try and find her. The trees on the hill were too dense and there was a fence blocking much of it. I could hear her tags jingling, though, so I knew she was close! 

I ran back down onto the road in time to get a flash of her peeking out of the trees. She seemed like she recognized us but was a little scared. Eventually she made her way down the side of the hill and onto the street. 

That probably would have been the end of the story, but there was a locked gate standing between us and her! I tried to climb the gate but it was too high to jump down on the other side. I called to her and she came over, but someone walking across the street spooked her and she ran away again. I couldn't believe I had been so close to catching her only to see her run off.

Steve and I decided to stay out and wait. We are so thankful we did, because eventually she came back out of the trees. Steve sank down onto the ground and she ran down to see him and (basically) into his arms. 

I've already taken her to the vet and it looks like she is lucky - no major problems except weight loss. Lucky girl gets to eat extra for a few days!

THANK YOU EVERYONE for liking and sharing this page. We had so many eyes looking for her and without the help of our neighbors and friends we might not have had such a happy ending. I'll keep the page up for a few days so that everyone can see the good news. She's hooooooome!!!!


Friday, October 3, 2014


Nala's Story
Bill Pierce
Oct 3rd, 2014

Nala is a rescue that we adopted after moving to WA. When we found her on Pet Finder and contacted the rescue, we were told she was very timid and skittish and would be very difficult to place. My wife made regular visits to the rescue to try to bond with her before we attempted a trial adoption. 

After finally getting her home she started to become comfortable but was still scared of fast movement and loud noises (still is to an extent) but was settling in nicely. After about 3 weeks my wife took her for a walk with an extendable leash. While on the walk she slipped and fell on some ice causing her to drop the leash, and scaring Nala, causing her to bolt. And to make matters worse she had a large piece of plastic clanging along behind her, scaring her more. Well we found the leash about 5 hrs later but no Nala. She had gotten wrapped around a tree and had chewed through the string portion at the end of the leash.

We spent the next week walking the neighborhood, posting signs, which were removed almost immediately and all delivered back to us later that night, as apparently the HOAs in our area prohibited posting any signage.

I work overseas so I spent my remaining vacation time, carrying my grill out to the woods at midnight to 2 am to cook up some grub to hopefully draw her back, sure to have been an odd sight for the neighbors driving by. We had already received calls from people from signs posted in our complex and at the local stores of a dog matching her description in the neighborhood but was barking at people and running away. Nala had never barked previously in any situation, so we were unsure this was actually her.

We were able to find a dog tracking team, willing to drive up from Utah, to help search for her as the pups in our area with missing pet partnership were still in training. We were able to discern that she was staying within the few neighborhoods surrounding ours, and acting more like a cat instead of following her nose in a straight line.

The tracking team was able to figure out she had been making her home on the local private golf course, but we were refused access to look for her. We then located a hole in the fence of the next neighborhood where she was coming through to eat the food left for the local population of feral cats.

Because of Nala's fear of people and the initial reaction to chase after a loose dog, we were receiving several calls of missed chances and sightings.

We were given the use of a collarum trap that is normally used for coyotes, which launches a spring loaded collar about 3-5 feet after the bait is pulled, and were warned that it would most likely only work once. We set the trap and placed an infrared camera nearby to monitor it and within a few hours the trap had worked and we had Nala back.

So after 32 days she was back on a leash headed for home where she ran inside and jumped up on her spot on the couch like nothing had happened.

She is now 6.5 years old and has a "brother" we adopted a bit later to give her a dog to be around in addition to her humans. Even though she is still afraid of many things, she has a strong connection with my wife and loves to lay on us to watch movies and take a nap after her breakfast, and absolutely loves the dog park and playing with other dogs.

The background we received on her at the time of adoption was that she was the most fearful in the litter born to a skittish farm dog, where none of the puppies were not socialized with people at all and were outside at all times. The initial reaction from most people however is that she is abused.

It took a lot of time to bring her back home... Countless trips to all the local shelters and numerous nights spent in the car monitoring game cameras and walks through the woods.... But it's never too much to get a member of your family home.