Your Inspirational Stories
Updat
ed 6/29/03, 12:45 pm
 

Rumble on the bank

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Several of you have very generously taken the time to write us to share your own inspirational stories of lost pets being reunited with their loving owners.  Your stories have given us great comfort and encouragement.  We'd like to share those stories here with the hope that they may encourage others who have lost their beloved pets too. 
(Stories have been edited to remove all personal references to fully preserve anonymity.)

Most recent additions:  "Nikki"  |  "Style" | "Kodi" | Black GSD | "Mac" | "Chica" | 2 Dogs in NC

White "Chocolate" Poodle
 

Our Favorite Quotes

"One should never stop searching for a lost pet, because it will never stop searching for you."
Pam of Richmond, Virginia

"The biggest obstacle to recovering a lost pet is that the owners give up too soon."
Debbie Hall of Boston, Massachusetts

"Därför gav vi aldrig upp hoppet."
["We never gave up hope."]

Nils-Eric Petersson, Sweden
 

 

 

Dobie Girl

"I have not seen Rumble; but I have a story of encouragement.  I was raised in a family that did not leave strays wandering on the streets and I normally rescue several every month.  About 10 years ago in the dead cold of January, my parents spotted a skittish Doberman Pinscher who would not let them get very close.  She was extremely thin and sick.  To make matters worse it was supposed to be 10 degrees that night. We left out food and water although the water froze almost immediately.  My father nailed some boards together to create a make-shift shelter, and we put hay and a blanket in the shelter.  We left and prayed that the dog would go into the shelter and eat.  The next morning she was alive and a little more receptive to my family.  We started calling every Vet clinic and animal organization.  A lady at one clinic my mother called at first said, "No, I don't know of anyone missing a Doberman."  About an hour later the phone rang and the lady from the Vet clinic said she remembered that 9 months earlier a man came in missing a Doberman.  She gave his number to my mother who called the man.  He asked my mother if the dog had a right paw flatter than the left paw because his dog had a car tire run over her paw as a puppy.  Sure enough, this was a fact. Everyone was excited, and we met the owner on a cold January night.  When the owner came within a 100 yards of the dog, the dog took off running toward him.  This sick frail animal practically knocked him down with love.  The owner said he prayed that she would come home and she did. I say a prayer every night for Rumble and all the other animals out there wandering on the streets. Good Luck!"

"Shadow" the Blind Cat

"I want to share a story of survival with you.  I had a wonderful black cat that was wise, brave and totally loving.  She was self-reliant and adventurous.  Her eyes were covered with solid robins egg blue cataracts. She had been totally blind since she was found as a small kitten. I lived in a large house on a large lot and she explored inside and out at will. Unfortunately, no one warned me that they were going to be topping the trees one day and Shadow disappeared.  I feared she was killed by falling treetops, which she could not see. My hope was that she had run from the sound of the saws and survived.  I was devastated with guilt and remorse. I notified all the local animal control and rescue groups, placed signs and searched, calling her name.  She was easy to describe. Three months later I got a call from the SPCA.  She had been found three blocks away.  She was so thin she looked like a full-grown kitten.  I do not know how she survived that experience or what she lived on.  I am glad to say we had many more years together. Shadow may have been as brave and determined as Rumble but she had a greater handicap.  Somehow she managed to survive, I am sure Rumble will too."

 

"Waldo" the Corgi

"Waldo, a little Corgi, was lost on July 27th at a family camp. Waldo was presumed dead, eaten, never seen since the day of his disappearance. Waldo belongs to a little wheelchair-confined boy from Maryland who was visiting family at the camp. The family didn't give up. They did everything possible to find Waldo. Three days ago Waldo was recovered. He had lost weight, but his thick, digging claws and long nose helped him survive, maybe by cornering, digging up and eating rodents."

 

"Jake" the Cattle-herding Dog

"Several years ago, my hubby and I were moving cattle over a very rocky ridge on a scorching day  with the help of our dog.  Jake, being smarter than us, decided it was too hot to be working and went to sit in the shade.  We had to push on, figuring he'd catch up.  When he didn't, we drove around the area, asked people along the roads to keep an eye out for him, then left my hubby's denim jacket and a supply of food near the pond where we'd left the truck - and went on home, 40 miles away.   Next day, when I went back, Jake was lying on the jacket, waiting for us to come and get him."

 

"Hobbes" the Cat

"Years ago, one of our neighbors was trapping cats and we lost one of ours.  Although we looked and looked for him, the neighbors said they "thought" they'd dumped him in the mountains.  We live in Colorado, at least an hour from the closest mountains.  To our surprise, Hobbes returned to our backyard after 14 months!  He was sitting on the picnic table one morning.  We were so shocked we had to compare him to old photos for confirmation that he was indeed our kitty.  So, incredible things do happen.  Rumble may take a while to come home, but never give up hope!"

 

"Kimba" the German Shepherd in Tennessee
Added 1/31/03, 12:07 am

Please click here to read Kimba's very special story - - and how Rumble helped...

 

"Gypsy" the Keeshonden

"My mother used to breed Keeshonden (1970s).  Her prized female, Gypsy, was released from her travel kennel by someone while being flown home from a breeding.  Gypsy was lost from the airport from May to November, and my Mom never stopped searching and posting notices.  Knowing what area our dog was in, my mother finally caught her with a specially made kennel-type trap.  I was only a child, but will never forget. The reunion was indescribable.  Please don't ever lose hope that you will find Rumble!!!"

 

Saarloos-Wolfdog in the Netherlands

"We lost, [and found again !] a dog ourselves. She was a very, very shy grand-grand-grandchild of a mixture of a German Shepherd and a Russian wolf from de Rotterdam Zoo, a so-called "Saarloos-Wolfdog", after the breeder called Saarloos.  But...after three days she came back to our house herself. This was for "only" three days, but I never forget the fear we had, about the traffic..."

 

"Bandit" in Idaho

"I got this off a website for Idaho Humane Society in which a man located his dog who had been lost for SIX MONTHS.  I thought you would find it inspiring:
"Bandit disappeared six months ago in Boise. His owner spent three weeks looking for him in the desert to no avail.  He had a lost report filed at the Idaho Humane Society but because the dog had been missing for so long, he had given up trying to find him.  Besides, he traveled a lot and was not in the area to look for Bandit every day. His ex-wife happened to be looking at the IHS website and spotted Bandit on the "Dogs of the Week" page.  She was kind enough to get in touch with him.  He came in and found his long lost friend!  He has owned Bandit since Bandit was a puppy and Bandit has traveled everywhere with him throughout the years. Needless to say, this happy ending brought tears to all our eyes."

 

"Mac" in New Jersey (Lost in Pennsylvania)
Add
ed 4/02/03, 11:45 pm

"I read Rumble's update the first thing every morning.  I can't wait until the day I see Rumble is home instead of no new sightings.  I have another story of hope about a lost dog named Mac.  I first learned about Mac by a lost ad on petfinder.com.  His owner lived in NJ but Mac was staying with a friend of his owners for a few days right down the street from me in PA.  I called the owner and we met at a shopping center by my house.  I helped her pass out flyers, etc.  Mac got out of the friend's fence and took off.  There were a few sightings of Mac in the first few weeks. After that, there were none until two weeks ago, a little over six months later.  It turns out that a couple was trying to get a hold of Mac for over a month.  He kept coming into their yard and playing with their dog.  The couple had been feeding him.  They finally grabbed him and thankfully he still had his collar and tags on.  They called the owner and she went to pick him up immediately.  He was found only 2 miles from where he was lost.  Who knows how he survived for the first 5 months especially during one of the worst winter storms we had ever had.  I pray that you find Rumble and thank God there are people out there like you who care for animals as much as you do."

...and the follow-up email we received from Mac's human mom:

"Mac was 18 months old when he found his way out of the yard where my friends were babysitting because I had an emergency. He'd never been away from home before, and I can only assume he escaped to try to look for me because my friends said he cried all night long in their house.  I was fired from my job, too, because I took 2 vacation days to go look for him. I posted fliers in the county where he was lost, placed ads in newspapers, posted ads on lost/found websites, called every vet, animal control officer, shelter and rescue group in the county as well as did walk-throughs at shelters and handed out photos to mail carriers, police officers and firefighters. I eventually resigned myself to the idea that I would never see Mac again. I even adopted another dog from a shelter where I did a walk-through.  I was amazed when I received a call at 5-1/2 months later from a couple just 2 miles from where Mac ran away! They told me that Mac had spent the past month-and-a-half in their back yard. They had a hard time catching him (because he was skittish), but he liked playing with their dog and they had been feeding him. But, they'd finally coaxed him into their home and he was in their kitchen!  When I arrived, Mac looked at me with an expression of "I know you, but I can't place you." But, when he heard my voice, he knew exactly who I was and he knocked me over and started licking my face!!! I couldn't believe he remembered me after 5-1/2 months!!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry--so I just did both. As soon as he got into the car, he fell asleep! I pray that you find Rumble and get the same reaction I did from Mac. I also pray that Rumble is healthy--you never know...Mac gained 15 pounds on the run!!!!  One thing I did find is that Mac is not as self-assured as he used to be...possibly because a lot of people chased him away...when you get Rumble back...he'll need LOTS of LOVE. You're all in my prayers."

 

"Style" the Siberian Husky in Australia
Add
ed 2/24/03, 9:45 pm

 "A couple of years ago one of our Husky boys made a break for freedom.  Being a running dog by nature, he was gone in seconds, so by the time we arrived home from work we had no idea where to find him.  After making the normal phone calls to the local vets and animal shelters, we learnt that he had been spotted chasing a cat over a main freeway a couple of miles from our home.  We searched for hours and hours in and around this area.  Very sad and down, we came to realise that with night setting in, our chances were fading.  Driving home I had this thought of a person whom I had had cause to visit some six months prior who lived in this area.  Not knowing why this visit would pop into my head at this time, but understanding that I had to return to this area and go to where I had once visited, I turned the car around and went back. I drove past the house and up and down the street not seeing anything. I was about to give up for the night when I took a wrong turn into a dead-end which lead into deep bush.  As I turned to back the car out I looked up, and there was my "Style" walking out of the bushes up the road towards me. It took some coaching to get him to come to me.  With a huge fear he would turn and run into the bush again, I dropped to the ground leaving the car door open and telling him to jump in.  He loved the car. Style was still very cautious so I moved away from the car and sat on the ground talking to him.  After a few minutes he made a break for the car and jumped into the back seat as happy as larry. My heart just fell to my feet!  I had my beloved Style back safe and sound."

 

"Kodi" the Siberian Husky in Virginia
Add
ed 2/24/03, 9:45 pm

"Just had to add a note of agreement about catching loose (not necessarily lost) dogs.  For 12 wonderful years we were blessed with Kodi, a Siberian Husky.  As they are prone to run until they are lost, we knew he could not be trusted off-leash.  But there were a couple of times that he did get out the door.  We live in the suburbs outside a Virginia city, so his absolutely favorite thing to do was "take a walk."  Anytime he heard me say "Wanna take a walk?" he was overjoyed!  So one day when one of our boys accidentally left the garage door ajar, I looked out to see Kodi halfway down the driveway.  I called to him "Wanna take a walk?" over and over again, in the same excited tone I always used, and he came to me!   Needless to say, we both had a joyous walk immediately!  We also learned another lesson on 2 occasions when he got out after dark...he loved people, and no matter how much we called to him by driving around in the dark, he would not come to us...but very early the next morning all I had to do was cruise by the school bus stops and he was sure to be there getting love and attention from all the kids. I continue to hope with you for Rumble's safety and his return to you." 

 

Black German Shepherd in Maine
Add
ed 2/24/03, 11:15 pm

"Hi, I have a story about a dog running loose and how we caught him. One day my children and I were outside playing when a black GSD starting running for the busy road. I screamed as loud as I could which made the dog stop in his tracks right before he would have hit the car head on. I don't know if my scream got him to turn around and run into the woods, but I was so afraid he would head back to the road that I started to follow him, which only made him go deeper into the woods. My husband didn't want me to pursue him for fear I would get bitten but no, I always think I can save all animals. I don't know why I thought of this but I started throwing a stick saying the whole time, "Get it - bring back!  You want to play?"  this got the dog's attention and slowly he came to me. When he finally came up to me, he was so excited about playing with that stick that he must have forgotten he was afraid of me. Unfortunately he didn't have a collar on so we couldn't grab him.  We stayed playing with him until the police could come to bring him to the police station in case someone called looking for him. Two hours later someone called the station  looking for him and they were united with him!  They told the station he had jumped through their picture window. I will now try to play fetch with a lost dog if I ever see one again."

 

"Moochie" the Shepherd/Malamute

"A year and a half ago my partner in rescue and I lost a large Shepherd/Malamute mix.  His name was Moochie and we got him into rescue on Christmas Eve, 2000. Three days after Christmas he bolted from my partner's husband's car in an area that is about 15 minutes from our houses.  We spent the next 6 weeks trying to get him back.  His problem was the same as Rumble's, he was afraid of everybody. It was pretty much myself, my partner and her husband looking for him. My partner's sister manned the phones at home and relayed sightings to our cell phones. We occasionally got within 5 minutes of him but we never saw him. We'd keep layers of clothes by the door so we could make a fast exit if a call came in. He never left the area which was lucky for us.  It was very nerve-wracking, especially when a week or so would go by without a sighting. But there were funny times too.  We were always losing our cell phones in the car. We would have to use one to call the other one to see where it was. One night we were staking out a garbage dumpster behind a restaurant and the delivery guys thought we were cops looking for drugs. The good news is that after 6 weeks, we finally caught Moochie in a Have-A-Heart trap the day before we had to give the trap back.  Boy, was that a happy day!  My partner ended up adopting Moochie and now he goes off-leash hiking every day.  When I tell Moochie Rumble is lost and ask him if he knows where he is, Moochie barks his head off.  I wish I lived in an area closer to where Rumble is so I could help you look for him but since I don't I will continue to check the website and pray for his safe return."

 

"Moochie" the Shepherd/Malamute - Part II
 

"There were some really funny moments involved  - one afternoon a very kind man spotted Mooch near his yard and called our house.  My sister advised him to try and tempt the by now very hungry Moochie with some meat.  This dear man went inside and got an entire plate of ham, and then proceeded to warm it in the microwave so it would have more aroma.  We never remembered his name, but later found out that he is a doctor, so we have always fondly remembered him as Dr. HotHam.  Also, one night when my husband had the night shift of trap surveillance I thought for sure he was going to be arrested for vagrancy.  He was sitting in our old Nova (the dog car) wrapped in a blanket, half sleeping and keeping an eye on the spot where  Mooch had been spotted on several occasions.  He truly looked like a homeless guy sleeping in his car.  So many nice folks in the neighborhood closest to where he got lost tried to help.  One family always walked their dog with an extra leash and treats in their pockets in case they spotted him on their evening walk.  One other family would put their female husky on a tie out in the front yard to try and lure him there.

After Moochie was found, we removed the 350 "lost" posters and posted a few (not 350!) "FOUND!" posters in some key places.  I will always remember that the folks who worked at the First Virginia Bank (we had posters on their cash machine out front) they all clapped and gave a rousing cheer when we popped in to take down the signs and share our good news. These sort of things can really renew your faith in the good of our fellow human beings."

 

"Scooter" in Tennessee

"The owner of Scooter our little wandering toy in Knoxville TN called today....Scooter has been found!  Whoever on this list suggested we call schools - what a great idea. Turns out in this case, the flyer was picked up by a teacher who posted it in the gym and the cafeteria. A child saw the photo and went home and told her Mom that the little dog they had seen just found was indeed lost. The folks called the owners...and Scooter is home for Christmas."

 

"Pluto" in Virginia
 

A few years ago, a family lost their beloved German Shepherd, "Pluto," near their home in Arvonia.  They looked and looked but found no sign of Pluto. Then one day they received a call from West Virginia. The caller said that they had Pluto and read off all of the information on Pluto's collar. There was no doubt that the dog was Pluto. Before the owners could get to West Virginia, Pluto took off and they didn't hear anything else for a long time. Then they received a call from a woman in the Bent Creek area (Rt. 60 bridge crossing the James River). The woman had Pluto. Unfortunately, Pluto got away from the woman before the owners could get there. They drove up and down Bent Creek Rd. for hours calling to Pluto. Finally, he emerged from the forest. Pluto was very skinny and his foot pads were bruised and covered with sores, but he finally got to go home!  Pluto lived to a ripe old age with his "mom" and "dad."  The man who told us this story said, "Don't give up, you will find your boy."  This story has been an incredible source of comfort and encouragement for us.

 

Missing Only a Short Time in Canada
 

"I truly hope that your wonderful companion and friend will be spotted close by and he will be returned safely. Hopefully, I'll be able to view his return on your excellent and informative website very soon. My dogs mean the world to me and when one escaped and shot out the front door, I was frantic and was thrilled to know too that most of the neighbourhood helped a great deal in notifying me of his whereabouts. He was not gone long, but even a short time,... an hour or two is too long, so my heart goes out to you and yours and I will pray that Rumble is safely found and/or rescued."

 

White "Chocolate" Poodle
Added 6/29/03, 12:43 pm

Please don't give up on Rumble.  Years ago, my Mom found the most wretched looking poodle.  It was filthy (we thought it was a chocolate, but once cleaned she was actually white) and matted. The gas station attendant said it belonged to no one.  My Mom brought it home and was surprised to find a collar and tags under the mess.  My Mom called the number on her tags.  Seems this sweet little girl had been missing for almost 6 months and her owners had despaired of ever seeing her again.  She was over 50 miles from home.  How she got there no one knows.  But there was a very happy reunion.

 

"White Lab" in Virginia
Added 2/01/03, 11:07 am

"I just wanted to write you to let you know what happened to me this morning. I was driving home from breakfast with some friends when I saw a man jogging on Rt 10 in Chester, Va.  He had a beautiful white lab running with him.  Just as I saw the lab, she took a sharp left right into the lane I was in and crossed over to the passing lane. Speed limit in this area (right in front of Thomas Dale High School) is 35mph, and the first thing I thought was "this baby is history." My whole body tensed up and I slammed on the brakes, as did the car passing me on the left.  The car next to me slid about 20 feet and the doggie's head came within inches of the front tire as the car came to a stop.
The jogger looked over at the traffic; about 5 cars had to hit the brakes, and mouthed out the words "it's not my dog."  I pulled over to the parking lot on the right, stopped the car and got out.  The first thing I thought about was Rumble's Page.  How to approach a loose dog?  I got out of the car and sat on the pavement near the rear of the car and called out softly "come here baby" while I had my hand out low and not looking AT the dog. Luckily the doggie came over to me, very nervous, and sniffed my hand and started to lick. I slowly got hold of her collar and rubbed on her for a moment, then put her into the back seat of my car (she jumped right in).  I then slowly opened the door and got into the back with her and checked her collar.
Her home was about 1 mile away (I knew the street) and I drove her to the house and went to the door. A teenage girl answered the door and I asked her if she had a beautiful white lab.  She said yes and I proceeded to tell her what happened.  She was very relieved to see her lab and get her back, and thanked me for helping get her baby back.
As I left her home and looked up at them together I couldn't help but to think of Rumble and hoped that this will happen for you in the very near future.
In closing I want to thank you for your Rumble page, I'm not sure how I would have tried to approach the dog without thinking of her panicking and running back into the road."

 

"Nikki" the Shepherd/Golden/Collie/Pointer Mix Puppy in Virginia
Add
ed 2/24/03, 12:14 am

"Many years ago, my parents and I drove 20 miles up into the mountains of Virginia to pick up a Shepherd/Golden/Collie/Pointer mix puppy.  She was to be my first dog.  She was the type of puppy that you are told to avoid - shy, introverted, not a tail-wagger.  I'm sure she found the 40-50 minute trip back to our house traumatic, to say the least.  My experience with dogs was nil, but I tried to sooth her by talking to her.  Since she didn't have a name, I just called her Puppy over and over.  We chained her outside and went inside to prepare some food.  When I came back outside, she was gone.  I was horrified.  She was only about four months old and had no idea where she was.  Luckily, there was snow on the ground and I was able to track her for some distance.  Unfortunately, she went into thick pine woods and I lost the tracks.  How do you call a dog that has no name and has only known you for less than an hour?

I called, "Puppy, Puppy!  Come here, Puppy!" repeatedly.  I had little hope.  Suddenly I heard a whine and there she stood, looking so lost and alone.  I wanted to run to her, but I knew that would be a mistake.  I crouched down and kept calling to her, until she was close enough for me to get my arms around her.  I'd run out in such a hurry, I'd forgotten to get either her collar or a leash, so I carried her all the way home.  Nikki grew up to be an extremely intelligent, wise dog who lived to a ripe old age.  She loved to try to catch squirrels and she adored having her picture taken.  I miss her terribly. 

I have been checking on Rumble's site nearly every day and told my husband to watch out for him when he drives on business.  I hope that you find him soon and there will be such rejoicing when the first page of the web-site reads, "FOUND!""

 

"Mandy" the German Shepherd in Vermont
 

"My husband and I were talking about Rumble and he mentioned an interesting situation that occurred with his German Shepherd Mandy years ago.  She was a purebred G.S. with the classic G.S. look.  She had disappeared and he searched and called and posted posters etc... for over 2 months.   Almost everyday he called the local Humane Society and they swore that she was not there.  This was in a fairly small town in Vermont.  Finally after about 2 months he called one day and a different person answered the phone and said that Mandy was there and had been for over a month!!!"

 

"Willow" in Wyoming
 

"I had a similar experience to yours however much shorter. We were living in the Wyoming wilderness and it was spring, there was still 6 feet of snow on the ground in the backcountry. I went down to my office til about 3pm and then decided to call the dogs in. I called and called with no success. I called my husband and he got the horn out (bull horn used to call them in). We kept calling and blowing with no success. Suddenly our Hound appeared from the trees looking incredibly tired and wet. No Willow. I was in hysterics and got in the car driving down the 5 mile dirt road to the highway screaming for him.  I stopped and asked campers if they had seen him and they reported that they had seen a bunch of people leaving on a hike from the trailhead by my home. I went home feeling a sense of loss and dread and didn't sleep at all that night. 3 days later I was sure that he was gone for good and I would never see my baby again. There was no way for us to track him that far into the backcountry as it is a very dangerous time of year. The 3rd day we received a call but it was a horrible connection I heard "Willow" through the static and then it cleared up. A woman said she was the leader of a NOLS Training Center Session on a satellite telephone. They were in the backcountry training for rescues etc and it was a 2 month trek. (From Willow's tags) she said "we have Willow" the best words I've ever heard in my life. Both of our dogs had followed them but the hound turned back. Because they were on a schedule they couldn't turn around and bring him back. We arranged to have their resupply group bring Willow out with them 10 days later. When we went to get him he was looking slim but healthy (they had fed him some rice & beans). We put him in the truck and a man handed us a folded up note. Willow wouldn't even look at us for awhile, he seemed to be saying hey I was doing fine why do I have to come back. Hurt my feelings. With Willows tail between his legs we drove home. I got Willow settled in and checked him over, paws were a little sore but otherwise fine. I opened the note and it was from one of the NOLS trainers. She went on to tell me how she really disliked dogs and went into the story of their journey. At the end of the note: "Willow has turned my life upside down, I absolutely love him and he has truly made me a dog-lover in the short time I have known him." I believe Willow was fated to make his journey to turn this woman around and show her how wonderful the love of a dog can be. I'm sorry it's such a long e-mail but there is always hope. Do not despair, Rumble is on a mission fated to him and he will return to you soon."

 

Black Lab Mix in England

"I lost my beautiful black lab mix, a number of years ago.  She was gone for 4 months and had been rehomed by the local dog shelter.  Having lost my dad just days before and coming home to find my home robbed, I sat on the doorstep very upset and down.  She appeared around the corner just when I needed her most.  We went on to have many more years together after that, and she never left my side again until the day she went to the Rainbow Bridge."

 

Childhood German Shepherd

"I was telling my friend about Rumble, and she had an story she wanted to share with you. When she was young, her mother adopted out the family's German Shepherd to a home a few states away.  Guess what?  After two or three months, the dog found its way back to my friend's yard!  They are truly incredible animals.  Rumble will be home some time; I just know it!"

 

Siberian Husky in Maryland

"I wanted to send a message to you to not give up home. It is surprising how long a dog can go, out in the wild, by themselves. I remember a friend telling me about a Siberian Husky breeder who was involved in a car accident with her dogs in the vehicle. One of the dogs escaped and could not be located. They remained in the area for 2 weeks and still no word of their Husky. Three months later, they received a phone call from a county SPCA telling them that they had a dog that resembled the description of a dog that they had lost (this SPCA still had the lost dog sign). Sure enough, it was their dog!"

 

Cat in Virginia

"One of my cats disappeared 14 years ago when the door was left open by a visitor. She had just nosed around the outside when a neighbor dog scared her and she took off running into the night.  She had never been outside before since I brought her home at 8 weeks. I put up flyers, ads, etc., searched every night.  I had just signed a contract on a house and didn't want to leave until I found her.  A month later she reappeared - - 14 years later, she and her sister are sunning themselves on the screened porch while I write this.  All this just shows an animal's love for their human companions. Rumble loves you so much he is finding his way back to you over an incredible journey."

 

German Shepherd Girl in Canada

"I had a young German Shepherd many years ago.  I had taken her to my vet to be boarded and spayed while I was out of town for a few days.  I had asked them to give her a big run so she would be able to get some exercise, well she did all right - - she scaled that pen and was out.  They couldn't catch her.  But when they came into work in the morning, she would be at the door, like she was waiting for me to come and get her.  That went on for 4 days.  They bought her meat and made her sandwiches,  left out water and kibble etc.  When I returned,  I  found out the story.  I thought she would come right to me.   I tried for over an hour,  but she was scared.   I went home and got my other dog.  She came to him,  I was able to get ahold of her, but it took a few hours.  My prayers are with you."

 

"Jean Paul" the Collie

"In past, I had two dogs stolen from me. I did, finally manage to track them down and found them living with loving families (who had not stolen them).  One was a minister.  My Collie had shown up on his doorstop after 3 months. The minister regretfully returned Jean Paul to me and JP lived to be 19 yrs old. I hope you take heart from these stories.  Rumble is such a beautiful dog - and knows about being loved." 

 

Beagle Girl

"We rescued an abandoned beagle a little over a year ago.  She was terribly underweight and by our best guess she was in the woods and on her own for about three months - January thru March (we could hear her cry but she wouldn't come near enough for us to gather her up).  Anyway, the vet told us she probably stayed alive by resorting to eating grass and leaves.  Regretfully she also ate dirt to stop the pain in her tummy.  To this day she will eat dirt if we don't get her food when she thinks she needs it!  Dogs are tough and have a tremendous survival instinct.  Don't you worry, Rumble will eat what he needs to keep going.  Dogs aren't fussy, they will eat bugs.  If this little 10 - 12 year old Beagle could hang in there, a strong young dog like Rumble will be a-o-k!

 

"Son" the German Shepherd

"As a very young girl our white German Shepherd got loose. I never gave up hope and still remember at night looking out the window and wondering where Son was.  Three months later we found him......"

 

Richmond Dog

"To give you a little hope, two months a go I spotted a dog in the James River Park in Richmond.  The owners in desperation had just put up signs in my area several miles from where they were looking. I called them and told them I saw him a few times and they found him two days later. After three WEEKS! and 15 miles from home. He was not too bad for the ordeal."

 

English Setters

"My dad used to hunt with English Setters.  When he would lose one of them, he'd leave his hunting jacket on the ground and the next day, he'd find the dog laying on it. Good luck!"

 

"Misty" the Irish Setter

"Years ago, I sold an adult Irish Setter to a really nice family.  Their fence blew down in a storm and Misty got out of their yard.  We looked and looked for her, put up signs, etc. You'll never guess how we found her.....  I knew that during the time I had her when my wind up alarm clock went off in the morning, Misty would have a huge barking fit.  So, we drove around the neighborhood late at night when all was pretty quiet and kept setting off the alarm. I'm sure people thought we were nuts, driving a block at a time and stopping the car to set off the alarm. It worked! We heard her barking in a backyard. After determining that it was Misty, we knocked on the door and questioned them. They wouldn't admit finding her until we told them she had a tattoo and that we'd call the police and prove it. Those people definitely had plans to keep Misty.  We had signs up everywhere. They had to have seen them. But, we got her back by using our knowledge of her personality. Because of this experience I had, I got really excited when I read about howling being heard this weekend.  Keep Bita and Sharona howling!  Don't give up!"

 

Smart Beagle Helped Recover Husky/Aussie

"We had a foster Husky/Aussie mix that got loose right off his leash.  Without our Beagle, I don't know if I'd have ever been able to get him back. She even "faked" an injury to get his attention and have him come over close enough for me to leash him again.  She fell down and yelped really loud. He came running to see if she was okay. As soon as I had him leashed up, she sprang up like nothing happened. Beagles are some of the smartest dogs around! Goodness, Rumble has to be too to be getting home on his own the way it seems!"

 

"Sarah" in Virginia

"Like so many other folks, I live in central Virginia and watch for Rumble on my daily commute. I also check your website every day. A year ago last month, I too lost a dog who ran into the woods at the vets office after being frightened by a vet tech who came up behind her.  She had never been separated from her two litter mates or her mother.  She also was NOT accustomed to traffic.  My instincts told me everything was against her survival. I (and wonderful friends) searched for Sarah for three weeks - during the day, at night, putting out food - leaving flyers in the neighborhood, all without success. Discouraged?  You bet.  I transposed my human emotions unto her and assumed she felt abandoned.  I felt like a failure.  On a Wednesday I got a call from her flyer - a landowner thought he had seen her drinking from his pond that morning but when he tried to get near her she ran away into the woods.  He told my friend and me we could go anywhere on his property to find her. I looked for hours until it was getting dark.  My friend headed to the car but something within me told me to take one last walk through those woods.  I walked slowly calling her name over and over again.  Out of nowhere shot a much smaller Sarah running so quickly that she crashed head first into my legs sending us both to the ground.  We rolled, we tumbled. Her tail wagged endlessly and I couldn't help crying for the sheer joy of finding her again.  I suppose it all comes down to endings.  There are happy ones and lost dogs ARE found again and go home where they're loved.  From one four dog owner to another I sincerely wish you all the best and I honestly believe he will be found.  You and Rumble are in my
thoughts and prayers for a speedy reunion. God Bless!!"

 

Shy Girl

"I wanted to share a story with you. I am a part of a rescue organization. At an adoption event in June 2001 one of our dogs that was very shy and had been at the shelter for over a year (she was brought in as a puppy) got loose and would not come back.  She was very timid as the shelter was all she knew. In August someone saw this dog at a site near where the adoption event occurred, so every day from that point on I  put food out. I saw her a few times but she would not come to me. Finally in November I convinced animal control to set a trap, and she was caught and brought to the shelter. My brother and his wife went the next day and adopted her.  Today marks her one year anniversary with them and their 3 other dogs. She was out on her own for over 6 months but survived and is doing great!!!  So please keep the faith and continue to search and never give up!!!"

 

Three Little Dogs in Texas

"Two little Lhasa Apsos in Austin, Tx were found after a few weeks ... a tiny, tiny Chihuahua in Tx, lost for almost 80 days also made it home ... Rumble's turn is next, and our prayers continue in that regard.  Happy Thanksgiving from a Canadian friend."

 

"Jordi" the Lhasa Apso

"We first saw our Lhasa Apso Jordi in Oct. 1998 at the side of the road while on the way to the supermarket.  He had apparently been stray for some time as his coat was filthy and matted.  He was attempting to eat some black stuff by the side of the road.  We were unable to catch him but notified the police and he was caught 4 days later in a Have-A-Heart trap.  We then adopted him out of the shelter.  Estimates by animal control and shelter workers as to how long Jordi had been on his own ranged from 4 months to 1 year.  The vet estimated his age at 10 years.  Today, he is curled up by my side in his own little bed with his sister Brandy nearby.  He is perfectly healthy.  Do not lose hope - if a little 10 year old dog can survive on his own for 4 months to 1 year and come out healthy then so can Rumble!"                                                             

 

Dog Survived Despite Hardships

"Once, a dog of my family's was gone for two months.  Since he was probably never far from home, we are fairly certain that he spent most of that time caught in the tangled mess where a local hunter found him.  I know this may seem a little scary, but the part that I think my give you hope is that he went that long without access to food or water.  Though the ordeal was temporarily hard on him, he quickly regained his weight and went on to live 5 more years into his old age.  I know you are very worried about Rumble and concerned that he may not be able to make it through this, but I wanted to let you know dogs are very resilient and can overcome incredible hardships."

 

Home in Virginia After a Decade

"We had neighbors whose dog returned home after having been gone for a decade.  Apparently, he had been living at a house in a nearby neighborhood." 

 

"Chica" the Chihuahua in Texas

"Years ago I had a black and tan Chihuahua that I'd rescued and kept for my own named Chica.  Somehow she got out, slipped her collar, and I was panic stricken!  Even though I was hugely pregnant I walked the streets from sunup to sundown despite swelling ankles and aches crying, posting her picture, asking people if they'd seen her.  During one of these walks I saw a woman letting a little black dog out into her front yard.  I ran over yelling for her to wait just as she picked the dog up and was about to return inside.  It was my baby!  She was only one block away from home the whole time!  This woman had found her and taken her in out of the kindness of her heart hoping to find the owner she simply hadn't seen my posters yet.  Chica was only missing a few days but they were the longest few days of my life.  My heart aches for what you must be going through.  I know how horrible it is simply not knowing.  I'll be praying for Rumble and all of you."

 

Sheltie in New York

"I lost my dog a couple of years ago, and with a lot of great suggestions and friends, he was found 8 days later."

 

Two West Virginia Dogs

"I had 2 beloved dogs stolen in April and only prayer returned them!"

 

"Pooh Bear" the Microchipped Pomeranian

"Thirteen years ago, when Pooh Bear was a puppy, he was microchipped.  He was loved dearly by his family in Florida and went everywhere with them.  When Pooh Bear was seven, he disappeared.  His family was devastated.  For years they waited for good news or even a clue, but finally gave up hope.  Then in July 2002, a woman in Cincinnati found a dirty, matted Pomeranian wandering the streets and took him to a Vet.  The Vet scanned the chip - - it was Pooh Bear!  Thanks to the microchip, the Vet was able to trace the dog back to his family in Florida.  The family was ecstatic!  Pooh Bear and his family were happily reunited.  No one has any idea how Pooh Bear got from Florida to Ohio, but now, thanks to the microchip, he's home with his family."  (To read the full story in the St. Petersburg Times, click here.)

 

"Charlie" the Hound Dog Mix

"I'm sure you have heard your share of lost dog stories since you lost Rumble... I wanted to share ours with you if you have a minute or two... I discovered your web site when we lost our dog, Charlie, that we were "safe-housing."  He was rescued several months ago from a very bad situation and was a very scared and nervous hound dog mix, about 18 months to 2 years old.  Everything the dog saw was new to him, including human contact and affection.  But he was coming along well in our home with our three cats and we had hope that he would adjust well and be happy with us for the long-term.  We had only had him for one week when my husband had him out for a walk on his leash and he spooked and pulled his leash so hard, it slipped out of my husband's hand.  They both realized that Charlie was "free" at the same moment and Charlie bolted.  We immediately made signs and posted them all over the county.  We started receiving calls reporting sightings within a day, although a few times there were 4 or more days between sightings, which sure was discouraging - we just hoped he was hanging out away from the roads and staying on the farms.  The problem was that we couldn't imagine how any human being could "catch" him, as Charlie was so afraid of people, he certainly would never approach someone, probably not even for food.  We basically were able to determine that he seemed to be running in a 1.5 to 2 mile radius around our home.  (We actually saw him wander across our yard four days after he disappeared, but couldn't catch him for anything!)  
A farmer sighted Charlie on his farm several times, so the animal control office let us borrow a trap for a weekend to see if we could lure him into that.  No success.  We had to return the trap, but my husband ordered one to see if we could catch him on our own property.  We expected to catch every living creature, including everyone else's lost dogs before ever catching Charlie.  But to our surprise and delight, the second night we had the trap, we heard the bell that we had attached to the door go off and ran out to see and sure enough, there was Charlie!  
He is very thin, but has all his arms and legs and ears and teeth!  We think that he survived on the farms eating grain from the cows' troughs (stool samples can be very revealing...).  We hope we can give him a happy life with us - I'm sure it will take patience and lots of love, but hopefully he will come to believe that when a person approaches him it's for love and nothing else. I wanted to share our story with a happy ending to give you guys encouragement and so you know that there is hope.  I am certain that your Rumble will make it home too."

 

"Hank" the Sheltie

"We moved into a new neighborhood in February.  We noticed that everywhere we went we saw signs/posters about Hank, a Sheltie who had been missing since the previous November.  Hank, who had been a very spoiled housedog all of his life, had escaped through the front door when a guest was leaving.   A pack of wild dogs just happened to be passing through at the time and Hank took off with them.  The frustrating thing to Hank's owners was that people in the immediate neighborhood kept calling to say that they had seen Hank (usually stealing from their trashcan or eating the cat's food) but by the time the owners got to where he had been seen, Hank was always gone.  
My husband and I decided that we had to help return Hank to his owners.  We had just built a huge pen in our backyard to house our two, brand new, golden retriever puppies.  Unfortunately, the pups were highly insulted that we wanted them to live in a pen - they decided on day one that they would be house dogs.  So we had this $700 pen with no tenant.  We put food out in the pen for them to eat but they flat-out refused to eat there.  So each evening there would be food left in the pen (while the Goldens slept peacefully in the den).  Every morning when we got up the food was gone.  We weren't sure who was eating the food but my husband just had a hunch that it was Hank.  So on Friday night he rigged up this long rope to the door of the pen and decided to stay up all night, if necessary, to see who was eating the food. Around 11:30 p.m. we saw an animal approaching the pen.  Unfortunately, we had set the food right by the pen door, so when my husband pulled the rope to close the door on the pen, it scared off the scavenger.  We were able to catch a quick glimpse and we were sure that it was Hank.  
We figured that we had blown it but we thought we would try one more time.  So we moved the food way back in the pen and proceeded to wait.  By now, it was approaching 1:30 a.m. and we were kind of giving up hope.  All of a sudden, we see this animal carefully creeping up towards the pen.   He cautiously steps inside the gate and slowly makes his way towards the food.  My husband quickly grabs the rope and slams the door on the pen.  We weren't sure what we had caught but we knew we had trapped something.  When we got down to the pen, this poor dog was so scared that we thought that he was going to jump over the seven foot fence.   At 2 a.m. in the morning, I called the number on the poster and told the folks that we felt sure that we had captured their dog.  (As it turned out
, they lived less than one mile from our house.)  Even though I could sense that they were a little skeptical, they said that they would be right over.   We turned on all of the spotlights in the backyard so that they could determine if this was indeed their boy Hank.  And sure enough, it was!  
What a beautiful reunion it was - we were all standing outside on a bitterly cold February morning with tears just streaming down our faces.   The elusive Hank had finally met his match!  His Mom later told me that she just knew that it would not be Hank (she had received so many calls over the three months that he was missing and none had ever turned out to be her boy).  It made it all worthwhile when we saw Hank shower his Mom and Dad with those big sloppy kisses! We just know that Rumble's story is going to have a happy ending and that he, too, will be reunited with his wonderful family!"

 

Two Dogs in North Carolina
Added 5/04/03, 11:14 pm

A couple in North Carolina recently got two young adult dogs.  After they had them only a few days, one dog managed to nose open a door as the man was entering.  As he tried to catch one dog's collar, the other dog slipped by him.  In the confusion, they both managed to get away.  Instantly they disappeared into the woods behind their home.  The couple gathered up some friends, and began trying to find the dogs in the woods.  As darkness fell, they knew their search efforts were going to fail. The friends left.  They continued to search in the dark.  Finally, they returned to the house.  At this point, they called a friend who was familiar with Rumble's site and Debbie Hall's "LostDogSearch Manual."  Referring to the "First Response, Immediate Duties of Searcher(s)" section, she advised them to lay a kibble and raw meat trail from the place where the dogs entered the woods back into the fenced yard. They also decided to put the dog crates in the back yard and put full food bowls in the crates along with the blankets the dogs slept on in the crates. They opened the fence gates all the way so as be flush with the fence. They also opened the garage door and door leading from the house to garage and put food in the garage.

They then turned off all of the lights in the house and turned on the outdoor light on the deck, which is attached to the house and within the fenced yard. They waited. In about 15 minutes the dogs appeared from the woods following the food trail, but veered off course to the side of the yard opposite the gate opening. Then the dogs again disappeared into the dark. Since his windows were open, the friend, with Debbie Hall's manual in hand, told them to go into the kitchen and noisily pour kibble into a metal pan, a sound which the dogs associated with feeding time. Suddenly the dogs appeared in the front yard. They continued around the house and entered the fenced backyard, having picked up again on the food trail. They went to their crates and began eating. The man slipped out the open door leading to the garage, out the already opened garage door and around the corner to the fence gates, which he quickly closed.  The dogs were safe!

 

We have received several more stories but are still going through the hundreds of e-mails Rumble has received to try to locate them.  As we find them, we will add them here.   (If you sent us a story about finding your lost pet that isn't posted here and would be willing to re-send your e-mail if you still have a copy, that would be welcome!)