Words of advice...now that we have Survived
this process of finding a wandering dog:
1. Be persistent. Do not give up.
As long as you have not received bad confirmed information that your dog is deceased, keep looking.
Your dog depends on your perseverance.
2. Every little bit counts. We ran ads in 3 local
newspapers, contacted about 15 different radio stations, (2 which we did get calls from).
Hang signs and pound signs on stakes all over your area and beyond, pass out fliers to residents and businesses. People will
talk. We found people out looking for our dog on their own, some we knew and some we didn't.
Make telephone calls to pertinent people in areas that you need to inform. Our dog was in one main county but headed for 3
more county lines. So for the 4 total counties, we alerted the County Humane Societies, County Sheriffs, and County Highway
Department. They all helped look. It also helps to get them on your side regarding tolerance of your signs along the county
roads. We also notified the local police departments of neighboring towns. All of these places had Lucy's fliers with her
pictures on it.
5. Find the main hub or communication hub of a community. For Mindoro,
it was the Cenex Coop. People would call their sightings into the lady who ran he Cenex. Then she would call us. It was awesome.
6. Always inform people of what you are doing. It helps so they understand about your trespassing and it
gets them on your side... and you need them on your side. They are the ones who will call you and tell you they have
seen your dog. You still have on their property. Be respectful and grateful.
7. Be prepared
to be ignored by your dog. Your dog is in a feral mode because this is what they do to protect themselves while wandering.
They don't wait to see what or who it was that called them, made noise or drove up... they just run when they hear the
first bit of noise of any kind.
8.. Inform people not to chase or try to catch your dog.
They all mean well, but it just causes your wandering dog to run further and faster and it puts their safety in jeopardy.
9. The longer your dog is gone, the more their looks change. Our dog lost 1/3 of it's body
weight. She was a plump strong athletic dog when we lost her. When we found her, she was bony, weak and tired. Her fur was
different. It was darker, so dark at first we had to look twice. And she was matted with burrs and ratty looking.
She was gone 2 weeks- I can only imagine how much the looks can change the longer they are gone.
10. Don't worry about what you can not change. Karin kept reminding me of this which is good. I was driving myself
crazy worrying about cars, coyotes, freezing temperatures, rain, ice, starvation, hypothermia, you name it. Karin reminded
me time and time again to not worry about what I had not control of. She reminded me that what my dog needed most from me
was a rested owner who did not get so tired and worn out that I could not look anymore for her. As a searching owner,
you still have to sleep, eat and take care of yourself. This is hard to do. I lost some pounds and lots of sleep. My husband
did not sleep much either including the nights he actually stayed out on stake out all night.
anyone needs to talk to an owner of a roaming/wandering dog for moral support, they are welcome to call us. We understand.
We know that you just have to keep on because you never know which one of the sightings will be your opportunity to connect
with your dog and to lure her in. We believe our timing was right because Lucy was trying to lay down to sleep so she was
tired. We had our dog Mickey along because Karin told us Lucy would be more likely to go to our dog than to us; we had bait
with us (ALWAYS have your bait with you); my husband was dedicated and patient beyond belief; and we had the will and
the drive that we wanted our Lucy back no matter what. Whether it was said or not, we knew we were working against time.
Everyday the sun sets, winter is always getting closer, everyday that Lucy was out there, the greater the chance of something
happening to her was greater...
Keep the faith... your dog is out there
PeriAnne & Mark
and of course... Lucy