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Monday, February 25, 2008

Lost Cattle Dog in Bellevue!

Hello Jan,
We met once last spring when I took my dog to Jane for some private training, and I'm hoping you can share some thoughts that might help me. My 18 month old cattle dog mix, Isabel, is missing in Bellevue. She was at work with my husband on Friday and a co-worker accidentally let her get out. She made the mistake of yelling and chasing Isabel which just sent her off in a full sprint. A witness saw her just a few blocks away in a grassy area and we found a stick that had been chewed (she loves sticks), but we were already an hour behind her by then. Another person thought she might have seen her later in the day, but her details weren't quite right. No one has seen her since.

We have put up ads on web sites, contacted animal control, visited local shelters and vets, papered the area with fliers (one is attached), and walked or driven most of the city. We've even walked her usual routes in case she made it anywhere closer to home (about 4 miles from where she was lost ). We walked other woodland trails through the area in case she was drawn to them (she is not used to traffic). We've also gone out calling for her at night but no success.

As someone familiar with dog behavior do you have any insight into how she might be reacting? She doesn't really like strangers but I'm sure she is cold and hungry, so we're wondering how much to comb busy streets and neighborhoods versus more grassy/wooded areas. How far would a dog likely travel in a day? How far should we expand our radius? Should we count on highways stopping her progress (containing our search in the area between 520/405/90)? Do dogs travel at night? Any thoughts you might have on how to continue our search would be greatly appreciated. We just won't give up!!

Thanks for listening,

Lori McMullen

My heart aches for you. I can't imagine anything worse than what you're going through.

I believe you are doing all you should, assuming you've also contacted all the shelters and radio/TV stations. Is there a special twist you can put on your story to compel the newspaper to run a feature story with a photo? (Not a classified ad).

She is likely to be very wary of strangers, so I would guess she would stick to naturally sheltered areas, not busy streets.

You're asking very good questions, but I just don't have the answers. Every situation is different, with so many variables. Anything can happen when a dog is lost. You heard about the dog in Iraq recently who tracked his soldier 65 miles. Miracles happen. Not often, but they do happen.

Cattle dogs like Isabel are survivors. They are tough and cunning. If anyone has a chance of getting through this and getting herself back to you, she does. For what it's worth, I'll put this on my blog immediately and..who knows? Maybe someone out there has seen her. Do not give up your search.

Be sure to locate the cattle dog rescues around the country too.

Remember that God knows where she is and will take care of her.


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