Happy Endings: Dogs
“George is my seven year old chocolate Labrador who has been my constant companion from a puppy. Around a year ago he was diagnosed with canine arthritis in his hips and his mobility was limited, thanks to medication he is now fully mobile but still feels the cold! I made a pact with George the day he was diagnosed that as he'd always looked after me, I would care for him till his final days. For me and my partner George was not a pet, he was so much more... he was a much loved member of our family.
On a Thursday evening in Salisbury George went missing, we do not know how he managed to get out, or whether he was "helped" out but we do know that George was seen on the town's CCTV being taken away by a local homeless man with a rope around his neck. We were beside ourselves with worry, not knowing where he was or how he was but we had a lead, we had a description of the man that had George. In those first few hours myself, my partner and as many friends as we could enlist the help of, searched the town turning every corner and expecting to see him there waiting for us. I called the dog warden, and every vet and welfare organisation in the area. I kept my phone close at hand expecting a call to say that George had been handed over but that call did not come.
Within hours, we had every bus driver, taxi driver, traffic warden, police officer, bouncer, and paramedic keeping their eyes peeled. Every dog walker, and passer by in town were asked if they had seen him. Panic started to set in around midnight as the night started to draw in as did the cold. We were worried about his arthritis worsening with every hour that passed. We stayed out all night scouring every alley and street corner but there was no sign of George or the man that CCTV had spotted. As the morning came we were starting to feel helpless but our search continued. We knew that we had to get the story of George's disappearance out to as many people as we could and as quick as we could as with every passing minute George was without his much needed medication.
In the morning I set myself at a computer whilst my partner and as many helpers he could find continued the search. I utilised the help of facebook and twitter to get information of George's disappearance along with a photo out to as many people as I could, within hours his story was spreading across social networks at great speed. By the end of the day, his story had over eight thousand shares on facebook alone. I alerted petlog as George was chipped and reported him missing on Doglost. I printed flyers and posters and my friends passed them out to shoppers in the town centre and posted them in every shop and available window they could. The messages and phone calls began to roll in thick and fast not only with messages of support but information on possible sightings as well. Over the course of the two days, most of the leads were incoherient and lead us to a dead end. One however was extremely helpful in tracking George. One young lady saw George with the man fitting the right description at Salisbury train station getting on a train to Portsmouth. We called the local police there immediately. They informed us that two of their officers had seen a man fitting our description with a "brown dog" busking in Portsmouth city centre. My partner drove to Portsmouth immediately in the hope of finding George. Just after he left, the police phoned me back to inform me that they had picked George up and that he was waiting in custody. Half an hour later my partner picked him up and the reaction he gave to seeing him was more than enough proof for the officers on the case that it was George. George went wild and gave him lots of slobbery Labrador kisses upon being released from the holding cage.
George had been missing for two days and two nights and it only hit me a few days later once everything had calmed down how lucky we had been. During George's disappearance I had become emotionally and physically drained. I had not slept and eaten very little, the worry had taken its toll as had the guilt. I felt i had let him down or not done enough to keep him safe. I was plagued by what-ifs and the only thing that kept me going was to never stop looking for George. My partner was suffering too but in my weakness he was a mountain of strength for me. He was the only person that i would ask...."we will find him wont we" as he was the only person that understood how I felt so the only person that I believed when he answered "of course we will".
On George's return home the once bouncy and confident Labrador that we knew had disappeared and been replaced with a frightened and nervous one. His back legs were solid where the cold had inflamed his arthritis and he found it hard to walk. He was taken straight to the vets. We found George to have cuts and lacerations around his neck from the rope that had been wound around him. The open wounds had become infected and George was obviously in pain. His paws had been worn down and for some days after he would cry when he tried to wash them. Once George had received veterinary attention for his neck and paws we dosed him up on his arthritis medication, we made him a warm bed and rested him. He was exhausted and slept throughout the day and following night. The last two days had impacted George not only physically but mentally as well and it soon became obvious that the emotional scars ran much deeper. He would shy away from food when offered and run and hide when confronted with anyone or anything he felt he could not trust. In two days his trust and loyalty had been broken and we realised that we had a fight on our hands to build it back up again. It’s been over a week since George came back to us and with every day we are rewarded with small parts of our George being returned to us. His love of food and confidence in people is slowly returning. He has started to feel happy enough to join us for a cuddle on the couch and has started to take joy in playing with his toys or partake in his favourite game of fetch again.
George cannot tell me what that man put him through but the physical and mental scars tell a story and its one which has filled me with not only sadness but anger. George suffered terrible abuse at the hands of that man and i still have moments where i sit and cry for what George has been put through. The one thing that helps though is seeing that tail wag more and more each day and there is no better medicine in the world to make me feel better then seeing his little face looking up at me in the morning and giving me a big wet Labrador kiss to start my day.”
Joe: How the Retrieva cllar helped one dog owner..
"Our dog Joe was lost and found on here a month ago. We bought a Retrieva GPS dog collar. On Monday, a balloon flew over and he went mad barking and jumping as he always does. Despite being shut in the garden and I was around, he managed to get out and ran off. We were on his case within minutes. Had to remember how to use the collar which took us several minutes as this was the first time of active use. Longish story but the collar took us to his exact location, in a totally overgrown stream, that you couldn't see, only hear, and he was sort of down a culvert. No one walks or goes there. He seemed stuck. Very unlikely he'd be found. We heard the water move, then a slight whimper. My husband had to climb over a fence and get through all the brambles etc to pull him out. What a stupid dog, but what a fantastic piece of technology round his neck. It told us he set off at 16kph, then slowed to 2kph, then for about an hour, 0kph. We thought it wasn't working as he wasn't moving. It was going dark and he was sort of stuck there. Highly recommend."
Neo, an Akita was stolen along with another Akita named Saskia.
The owners were alerted to a facebook post from an individual claming to be friends of the owners, offering to sell the two dogs. When the dog warden was alerted to go and recover the two dogs, Saskia was recovered, but the thieves stated Neo has "run off". This was not the case, Neo had in fact been sold.
Shortly after the owners alerted all their friends on facebook, and began to circulate images through social media, the owners were contacted by an individual out shopping in Preston who had been offered an Akita dog. On discussing the dog with his friends one of them had seen a facebook post regarding the missing Neo, and alerted the orginal owners of the sighting.Neo was quickly recovered by the orginal owners, and back where he belongs!
Harry the westie was stolen during a break-in at Karen & Lee McNaughton’s Hertfordshire home. Desperate for his return they turned to DogLost to help find him. Helpers posted all the local areas and turned out to search for him. Nine days later Harry walked into a pub nine miles away sporting a new colour and spotlessly clean. A drinker recognised Harry from his DogLost poster in his local pub and made the phone call that every owner prays for.
Candy the bichon frisee went missing from near her home in Buckinghamshire. DogLost volunteers helped owner Carol Williams for months without but Candy seemed have disappeared without trace. Three years later a Sussex dog warden picked up a bichon and was convinced she’d been stolen. She used DogLost to make a match to Candy and sent photos to Carol who was so convinced it was Candy that she made the 130 mile trip to be reunited.
Molly the black Labrador was travelling in her owner’s van when they were involved in a head-on collision in Leedstown, Cornwall. The door sprung open on impact and a shocked Molly fled the scene. Not knowing whether she was injured or not, her owners Dave and Aimee feared for the safety of their very sociable girl. DogLost contacted the local radio stations and put a call out to its local helpers. Bit by bit a few sightings came in from DogLost posters, but it was a full week of searching by helpers before the call come through that Molly had been found.
Mischievous Arnie the Basset Fauve de Bretagne escaped from his kennels in Coaltown of Balgonie and led his owners and DogLost a merry dance for two days as he romped around Glenrothes. Local helpers scoured the streets whilst DogLost circulated Arnie’s poster to every establishment in Glenrothes from emergency services, to schools, parks officers and transport bodies. After two days an elderly lady about four miles from his home grabbed him and made that important phone call.