First, a HUGE thank you to friends Alexis, Tracey & Kevin, Cathy P, Lisa D, Nadine, and Carol who went out in the sweltering heat to put up flyers and/or search for Trouper. You're amazing and dear friends, and I can never repay your efforts adequately. But believe me, I'm there for you if you ever need me for anything, anything at all!
We'll never know for sure, but we think Trouper's journey went something like this: Trouper left our property at about 11am on Thursday (which happened to have been my birthday). With his slow and steady pace he eventually found and possibly followed a brook that runs down behind our house. In our area, we have houses behind houses - that's where the brook is, and it runs through some thick underbrush that we can't imagine him getting through. But, slow and steady as he is... He won that race. Maybe he picked up the brook farther along and was heading home, or maybe he was mired in the mud in that exact spot for days; we'll never know.
We searched the brook, believe it or not, VERY close to where he was found. There are so many man-made and natural obstacles, we couldn't picture him following it too far. There are stone walls, huge trees that are down, giant boulders, sticks and branches... As it turns out, the (very bad) joke was on us.
The problem was that we didn't know which direction he went - so we were searching in every direction possible. Then, we got a call on Friday (after Facebook notices were shared and flyers were put up) that someone saw a dog standing on the corner by the beach at about 9pm on Thursday night - about five miles away, or 3ish miles if he followed brooks/streams (lost dogs tend to follow water). The dog that was spotted dog was just standing there, barking, which sounds like something a lost dog would do. So when we got the message, we spent a good part of Friday searching that area and putting up flyers nearby.
Here's why the very bad joke was on us. As the bird flies, Trouper was found so close to home that I will blame myself for the rest of my days for not following the brook in that direction for just a few hundred feet more. This satellite photo shows exactly where he was lost and found. The photo is from the winter, so it looks like an easy trek - not so, with the underbrush and other obstacles. SO close to home.
|I'll never forgive myself - he was so close.|
We had just published a "Find Toto" alert to all surrounding houses within a 1-mile radius, and I was getting a few calls from good Samaritans who were headed out to look for him. Then the phone rang - and it was the amazing news that Trouper was found. They hadn't even gotten the Find Toto message yet. They happened to be outside and heard whimpering. THEY FOUND HIM! We raced to their house, pulled him from the side of the brook, and took him to our vet where they started working on him immediately. Another family to whom we are forever indebted!
He's at the vet now, getting top-notch care. We went back last night to see him, and he was out of it, between meds and exhaustion, but resting comfortably. The good news is that his blood work and x-rays checked out perfectly - not at all like a dog without food and water for two days! The vet called this morning and said he ate a bit (they're only feeding a little at a time because they don't want to further shock his system). He was up walking a little - not dancing a jig, but walking nonetheless. I hope to see him again today (they're closed to the public, but I hope to catch someone there) and if he continues on this path, he'll be home tomorrow. Home!
I am forever in the debt of the friends I mentioned above and the alert family who eventually found my Troupy. They'll never know how much their efforts meant to us.
Hug your pets a little tighter today!