Boomer - Survives Freezing Temperatures & Dangerous Odds
The call from Randall Orr was tinged with panic and grief. The family's tiny Shitzu had got out of a hole in the fence while visiting family. They had been searching for three days, when they found my web site on the Internet and were pleasantly surprised to find that I lived in Oklahoma just an hour from where Boomer went missing. And miracle of miracles... I was home in between cases when they reached me.
The next morning the dogs and I loaded up and headed for Oklahoma City. Right away, Dodger picked up the scent and headed in the direction witnesses confirmed. Dodger continued to an open field only four blocks from the point of escape. The large field bordered a school and a large open space with frozen swamps. Dodger looked back at me and began to head into the frozen wilderness ahead.
I pulled Dodge up and decided to check two witness sightings that had come in. Cade, Dodger and Twist scan witness sightings to confirm whether or not the dog that the witness saw is in fact the pet we are looking for. This is always a tough call when a working dog is on a trail but as a matter of practice we generally choose to work sightings over point of escape trails as the sightings are more recent and help us catch up with the wandering dog. Cade let me know that the first sighting was not Boomer but on the second one... Cade alerted, "This is our guy," and took off following what was now a two day old scent trail.
A utility crew alerted us that they had seen a dog they thought might be Boomer. They said they gave chase and the black and white dog dove head first into an icy creek and disappeared. The men called Randall and said they had seen Boomer but the family was hesitant to believe that this was their pampered little pet. Boomer hated water he would not jump in an icy stream on his own... would he? Randall calls and asks.. "Could we come and check this out?" The temperatures hovered in the low teens and we were all freezing but knowing that Boomer must also be cold we bundled up and my wonderful dogs dug in to look for the fluffy pooch.
Boomer's scent was at the creek and Dodger headed off into the wilds and the construction crew confirmed that this was the direction the panicked dog had gone. We now knew that the dog that jumped in the freezing water was Boomer. Dodger, my tough little Feist decided to forgo his fleece winter coat and tracking boots, and began tracking across the frozen swamps.
After a time we found ourselves in a commercial area with a residential neighborhood across the street. Dodge alerted under a trailer and we all stopped to search. It was an ominous effort as we knew we were being watched by coyotes as we searched. From our vantage point, we could see three dens not more than 100 feet away! The decision was made to set large humane traps with yummy food and step up the awareness in this location as I felt Dodger was trying to tell me of concentrated scent... Boomer was sleeping or hiding under this big trailer but he was not there now. The large trap was set and posters were strategically placed creating a perimeter around the area.
The next day... the call comes in.
A woman believes she has just seen Boomer... just three minutes ago! The family is less than five minutes away and they rush to the location. The woman has spotted Boomer less than two hundred feet from the trailer where Dodger alerted he was hiding. When Randall arrives he does not see Boomer and it takes Boomer's mom Linda, to coax Boomer to overcome his now feral instincts and venture out from underneath the porch.
Crying and laughing , Linda and Randall embrace the matted and tick infested little dog, relieved that their nightmare is over. After a trip to the vet, Boomer goes home.
Epilogue: Boomer survived tremendous environmental odds. Dogs by nature are very resilient and can survive incredible situations. I have known a Chihuahua survive three weeks in the snow and a Pomeranian fend off predators while injured. Pet owners should never give up on their missing pet because they believe the animal could not survive due to environmental odds. The one thing none of us ever know is how our pet responds and behaves when we are not around. Most dogs will step up to a challenge and survive. Even senior dogs with no teeth... it has happened!
Boomer like most dogs that return from the depths of their wild instinctual nature, did return with new traits and habits that his latent feral biology had to call forth in his quest to survive. When he first returned, he would sleep for short intervals taking only brief naps. Formerly a picky eater, he now gulps his food and was initially food aggressive upon his return. He was cautious and slightly aggressive towards his brother who has been his constant companion and best friend.
Most of Boomer's feral traits disappeared in the first month but Boomer is not the same little couch potato that left. Randall and Linda have a new respect for the tough little dog that survived the worst of what Oklahoma could throw at him.
This small dog serves as an example to all of us of what can be achieved when we are faced with challenges beyond what we ever thought possible... We will survive and in some cases thrive!
For the Quickest Response Call: 888-569-5775