Rumble Sightings
6/28/02 - 9/14/02

  Updated Daily
(Note:  Reports consisting only of "No new sightings yesterday" will  not be retained on the log.)


Daily Sightings Reports
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6/28/02 (Fri), 1:45am - Lost near Paces Ferry Road in Chester, VA (Chesterfield County) near the intersection of Centralia
 

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6/28/02 (Fri) - Area around 288 and Jeff Davis Highway
 

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6/29/02 (Sat) - Near Chippenham/I-95
 

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7/2/02 (Tue), 7am - Near Chesterfield Animal Shelter (9300 Public Works Rd, Chesterfield)
 

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7/2/02 (Tue), afternoon - Just east of Pocahontas State Park
 

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7/4/02 (Thu) - Deer Run area (near Hull St (360) & North Spring Run Rd (662))
 

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7/4/02 (Thu), evening - At WaWa Station at Hull St (360) & Bailey Bridge Rd (651)

Rumble gazing

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7/6/02 (Sat), morning - On Belmont Stakes Drive in the Triple Crown/Deer Run subdivision
 

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7/6/02 (Sat), morning - On Gallant Fox Drive in the Triple Crown/Deer Run subdivision, headed toward Alberta Smith Elementary School on Bailey Bridge Rd (Rt 654)
 

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7/6/02 (Sat) - Several residents of Triple Crown subdivision in Midlothian reported hearing a mournful howling on the 3 previous nights.  Rumble is known to have a good howling voice.  If you live near the area and hear howling, please call us collect regardless of the time.  Thank you!
 

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7/10/02 (Wed) - Sightings reported West of Swift Creek Reservoir.
 

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7/12/02 (Fri), afternoon - Woodlake area of Midlothian. 
 

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7/16/02 (Tue) - Received unconfirmed report of Rumble west of Chesterfield County.
 

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7/17/02 (Wed) - Received a report that Rumble was sighted yesterday at 7:30pm in Charles City (SW of Richmond). [Note: Since we received two conflicting reports for Tuesday, maps will not be updated.]
 

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7/18/02 (Thu) - Received a report that Rumble was sighted 3 nights ago (Monday) at dusk on Buckingham Road in Powhatan County (Flat Rock area). 
 

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7/19/02 (Fri) - Received a report that a dog resembling Rumble was seen in Leesburg; however, because he could not have traveled that distance on his own, we will delay updating maps until a further sighting confirms his general location.   
 

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7/23/02 (Tue) - Rumble was reported seen today in Midlothian, west of Swift Creek Reservoir, in the Woodlake area.  He was sighted Tuesday afternoon near Woodlake Village Parkway and Gates Mill Road.  Rumble has been spotted in this area several times previously (most recently on July 12th). 
 

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7/26/02 (Fri) - Three possible sightings reported.  We are in the process of contacting the individuals to determine if these were probable Rumble sightings. 
 

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7/27/02 (Sat) - Update on Sightings Reported on 7/26/02.  We've ruled out two of the sightings.  (One of the dogs had been rescued, so we were able to actually visit it.)  However, one sighting sounds like it could be Rumble.  He was spotted on Thursday, July 25th at at the intersection of Routes 600 and 641 (south of Cumberland) headed north in the direction of Cumberland.
 

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7/28/02 (Sun) - Update on Midlothian Sighting of 7/23/02.  After having spent several days in the Woodlake area of Midlothian, we have decided that the 7/23/02 sighting there was probably not Rumble.  (Our maps have been revised to delete this sighting.)  A German Shepherd was lost in that same area at least a month before Rumble was lost.  We saw the German Shepherd and could understand how folks might confuse it for Rumble, although there are distinct differences between them.  (If you've lost a German Shepherd, this might be your dog.)  If you are in Woodlake and believe you've spotted Rumble, please don't automatically assume it's not Rumble!  Please look at the photos on this site.  If the dog looks like these photos, please call us immediately!  Thank you.
 

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7/30/02 (Tue) - Several possible sightings reported which we are still researching.
 

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7/31/02 (Wed) - This afternoon we were informed that the body of a "calf-sized" dog meeting Rumble’s description had been seen on Saturday near the intersection of Rt. 250 and Gum Springs in Goochland County.  Because the body had been exposed in 90o+ degree heat for 5 days, it was badly decomposed.  The kind folks at VDOT felt it could be Rumble.  However, this conflicts with the other sighting reports we received on 7/30/02, so maps will not be updated.
 

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8/01/02 (Thu) - We have just received another sighting report of a "calf-sized" dog, this time in Albemarle County.  The person couldn't get close enough to the dog to be sure it was Rumble, but felt it could be.  The expert on tracking lost dogs who has been advising us says that lost dogs that can survive for two weeks usually have learned necessary survival skills, including how to cope with highways.  Because we have conflicting sightings and conflicting information, we will not update the maps.
 

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8/02/02 (Fri) - Sighting of "calf-sized" dog reported yesterday in Albemarle County which could be Rumble, but person couldn't get close enough to be sure.  We will delay updating maps until a further sighting confirms his general location.
 

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8/03/02 (Sat) - Update on 7/31/02 report of dead dog.  Yesterday we heard from someone else who had seen the same dead dog described on 7/31/02.  They said they were sure it was not Rumble.  They said it weighed around 60 pounds and had a shaggy coat.
 

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8/03/02 (Sat) - UPDATED  A Tuesday morning (7/30/02) sighting was phoned in to us early today.  The person saw a dog resembling Rumble going through her yard (in Cumberland County near Rt 45, eight miles north of Farmville).  At first she thought it was a "small black bear," but then realized it was a very large dog. 
 

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8/03/02 (Sat) - UPDATED  We have just received a report from someone who is pretty certain he saw Rumble at about 7:20am this morning He said he saw the dog on Rt 15 about 1/4 mile south of Rt 60 (at Sprouse's Corner) in Buckingham County.  He described the dog as being the most beautiful shepherd he'd ever seen, except much larger than any shepherd he'd seen before.  He said the dog was mostly black with cream or very light legs and feet and extremely large.  He judged the weight to be between 100 and 125 pounds.  He said the dog was trotting north on Rt 15.  This is about 10 miles from the Tuesday's sighting reported earlier today.  [We just received a question via e-mail asking if we were on-site searching.  Yes!  A group of us went immediately. Wish us luck.]  (Map showing exact location) 
 

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8/04/02 (Sun) - We searched Sprouse's Corner yesterday, but without luck.  We'll hope for better luck today.
 

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8/08/02 (Thu) - Received several reports today of possible Rumble sightings, some of which are in conflict.  We are in the process of checking them out and will delay updating maps until additional information is available.  (Since two reports came from Albemarle County, we'll add that to our Rumble Watch list.)
 

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8/11/02 (Sun) - Although there have been no new reportable sightings since 08/03/02, we expect few sightings when Rumble is traveling through less populated areas.  Our experts advise us that, based on his prior rate of travel, Rumble is most likely very near the James River (either western Buckingham County, southwestern Albemarle County, or eastern Nelson County).  However, because Rumble hasn't been sighted in a week, he could be anywhere.  Regardless of where you are in Virginia, if you see a dog you believe is Rumble, please call us collect as soon as possible.  Thank you!    
 

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8/15/02 (Thu) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  The experts have cautioned us to expect an extended period with no sightings because Rumble is now estimated to be somewhere within a 1,500 square mile area comprised mostly of forests, streams, pasture, and crops.  There aren't any bike or hiking trails until Rumble gets within 4 miles of home, which makes physical searches extremely difficult, but we still try!  (For example, Rumble's human Mom and Dad camped under some power lines near a path they hoped he'd take just a few days ago.)  But something very encouraging happened that we'd like to share with you.  One of Rumble's "cousins," who also lives in Nelson County and somewhat resembles Rumble, is named "Taylor."  Yesterday a wonderful woman was driving by Taylor's home and spotted Taylor.  She turned around, drove up the driveway, and said she felt compelled to check, because Taylor looked so much like the "missing dog"!  It is so comforting to know that people are keeping an eye out for Rumble!  We cannot thank you enough for caring and watching for him.  
 

bullet 8/15/02 (Thu) - UPDATED  We've had a sighting!  We received a report this morning that Rumble was seen at 10:45 pm last night off Route 604 in western Buckingham County.  The woman who saw him tried to get him, but as soon as he knew she was looking at him, he disappeared into the woods.  She tried to follow him, but it was dark and she lost sight of him.  As soon as we learned of the sighting, we immediately went to the scene and spoke to the woman.  We took Rumble's sister "Chili" who became quite excited at the spot where the dog had been.  The woman's description of the dog matched Rumble.  
 
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8/16/02 (Fri) - We had a Wednesday sighting reported yesterday.  See details above.  We expect Rumble will cross into Nelson County at any time.  Please especially watch for Rumble on the bridges across the James River.  These bridges pose a high risk.  If you see Rumble, please call us collect immediately and do not chase him.  We cannot stress how important this is.  We will happily take your call at 3am or any other time.  Thank you! 
 

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8/20/02 (Tue) - We'd like to share some very exciting news with you.  On Thursday night and again on Friday morning we had our first positively "confirmed" sightings of Rumble!  These sightings were confirmed by an incredible pair who came to assist us - - Sandra Lowery and her wonderful German Shepherd tracking dog, "Slady."  Slady is trained to track the scent of other dogs, and is very, very good at it!  We had a bag of Rumble's hair that we had combed out after his last bath, so Slady knew the smell she was looking for.  She "told" us on Thursday night that the sighting reported on 8/15/02 was indeed Rumble!  Friday morning, Slady and Sandy went out again.  Again Slady confirmed Rumble's presence, and this time Sandy actually saw Rumble herself!  Unfortunately they had to stop because Rumble knew they were following him and he was trying to run away. [We couldn't report this earlier because Sandy needed the area free of "contamination" from other scents.]  All of the sightings were in the same general area as the sighting reported on 8/15/02 (the Yogaville area of western Buckingham County).  Needless to say, we've been spending countless hours in the woods near the last sighting point calling for Rumble, but with no luck.  Please keep a close eye out for him if you're along the banks of the James River, and especially if you're driving the Wingina bridge.  To get home, Rumble must either: 1) Cross the James River on the Wingina bridge (visible in the TerraFly photo), or 2) Travel about 15 miles north and cross the James River on the Howardsville bridge (north of Latest Sighting on map), or 3) Wade the river, which isn't very deep right now.  If you're driving, please watch for Rumble.  This is a high-risk part of the trip for him.
 

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8/21/02 (Wed) - No new sightings yesterday to report.  However, we've had quite a few questions asking if Sandy Lowery, the superb tracker described above, was able to ascertain Rumble's physical condition when she saw him on Friday.  When she saw him, he was going up a long hill (1/10 mile) with a grade like a ski slope.  He was making good time, so we're assuming his physical condition is good.  He is quite a guy!
 

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8/22/02 (Thu) - No new sightings yesterday to report.  We believe these last 30 miles will pose some of the highest traffic risks of Rumble's entire 150 mile journey.  We're particularly worried about Rumble crossing the Wingina bridge and crossing Rt 29.  We feel it's important to remind motorists that they could encounter Rumble at any time.  For that reason, we've made up a new sign which we're asking folks to post near roadways.  In order to catch the eye of passing drivers, we're requesting that friends of Rumble staple or tape a green ribbon to the sign.  Any type, style, or shade of green ribbon would be fine!  (Rumble's ribbon color as a puppy was green, so that has special meaning for us.)  Please tie a green ribbon for Rumble!  Thank you.
 

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8/23/02 (Fri) - No new reportable sightings.  Several friends of Rumble have e-mailed us to recommend that we leave a "scent trail" for Rumble to follow home.  Thank you!  The experts have given the same advice, so for some time now we've been trying to do just that.  One of our favorite techniques is to distribute the contents of our home vacuum cleaner bag into breathable pouches which we hang from trees along the way.  (The experts say scent is more effective if it can be suspended high off the ground.)  In addition, we often take one of Rumble's siblings or parents with us and walk them along the path toward home so their scent will be there also.
 

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8/24/02 (Sat) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  Thanks so much to everyone who has written or called to say you're displaying our new "Watch for Rumble" sign and tying a green ribbon for him!  If you're in or near Nelson County, or if you're anywhere near Rt 29 (especially the part from Charlottesville to Lynchburg), we would be so grateful if you would post the sign to help us keep Rumble safe!  Rt 29 is our biggest worry of all.  Rumble's birthday is September 5th.  He'll turn two years old that day.  Our heart's desire is have him home safely by his birthday.  Thank you so much for helping us to make this happen. 
 

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8/25/02 (Sun) - No new sightings reported yesterday that we've been able to confirm.  Several friends of Rumble have e-mailed us to ask if Rumble has crossed the James River or Rt 29 yet.  We wish we knew!  We've received several calls, but nothing we've been able to report as a "sighting."  (This doesn't mean they're not accurate - - just that we don't have enough information to report them as "sightings" - - at least not yet.)  The last confirmed Rumble sighting was August 16th (reported 8/20/02), which has been 10 days ago now.  Since Rumble was running from Sandy and Slady at that time, we don't know if he's hiding, if he's still trying to find a way across the James River, or if he has safely crossed the James River and is just staying out of sight.  Right now the James River is low enough, that it wouldn't be difficult for him to wade across it; however, the width alone might be intimidating to him.  Please keep an eye out for our boy and call us right away if you see him.  Thank you!
 

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8/26/02 (Mon) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  As you know, our biggest fear is Rt 29.  It's a four-lane highway divided by a median.  The median is so broad in some places that thickets of trees actually grow on it.  Our fear is that Rumble will cross the first two lanes, enter the thicket and think he's across, then dash into the remaining two lanes (the southbound lanes) without looking.  Several friends of Rumble have written to suggest CB radio "chatter" to help alert truckers and other drivers along Rt 29.  We don't have a CB radio ourselves, but if anyone of you does and could help out, we would be so very grateful to you! 
 

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8/27/02 (Tue) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  Something we've observed is that virtually all Rumble sightings have been in the early morning or late afternoon or evening.  Our theory is that with the extreme heat we've had this summer, he probably finds a cool place in the woods to rest during the day.  Rumble's coat is officially described in Shiloh Shepherd terminology as "plush," which makes mid-day heat particularly uncomfortable for him.  Because he probably does his traveling during dawn, dusk, and nighttime, we're extra worried about traffic since his coat is mostly black.  As a hint, when it's dark out, the first thing that will catch your eye is the light color of Rumble's legs as they move. 
 

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8/28/02 (Wed) - No new sightings reported yesterday; however, our experts are advising us that perhaps some of the sightings reported to us at the end of last week and over the weekend could be Rumble (see report of 08/25/02).  One in particular provided a very detailed description, but we've been reluctant to report these as sightings because they don't fit Rumble's previous pattern at all.  They would reflect a tremendously faster rate of travel than he has had on his entire journey.  For this reason, we'll wait until we get another sighting before we update the maps.  (It's almost too much to hope for!)  
 

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8/29/02 (Thu) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  We're anxious about the length of time since the last reportable sighting, but we keep reminding ourselves that Rumble's in less populated areas now so we should expect fewer sightings.  We still don't know if the most recent unconfirmed sightings (northern half of Nelson County) were indeed Rumble.  If they were, his journey could be quite treacherous, maybe more so than getting across Rt 29.  He has steep ravines riddled with high cliffs yet to negotiate.  He must take his time through these forests or he will just simply walk out into thin air.  We're afraid to get our hopes up too high.  The stretch closest to home could be the riskiest. 
 

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8/30/02 (Fri) - No new sightings reported yesterday.  When Rumble was quite young, we tried to coach Rumble and his sister Chili to sing "on cue."  We never really pursued it, although Rumble always liked to howl and has a beautiful baritone voice!  With Rumble lost, we're again trying to encourage our other Shilohs to howl, hoping that might help Rumble find his way home.  (We've included a photo in Rumble's Scrapbook of an early singing lesson below taken when Rumble was just a puppy.)  Two nights ago when we did our nightly howling, we were answered by a bobcat's screams that seemed to go on forever.  The sound was eerie but beautiful.  Because of the drought, the animals that normally wouldn't come near our property are coming in for the water in the river in front of our house.  Lots of folks around here are seeing both bobcats and mountain lions.  We realize these pose some risk for Rumble, but believe he's big enough that they'll probably just want to avoid him. 
 

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8/31/02 (Sat) - No new sightings.  The other day we had to take Rumble's father "Raider" to the vet due to a nasty spider bite on his nose.  (He's going to be fine.)  There were quite a few of us in the vet's waiting room.  After a short while, someone spoke up and said, "I just have to ask you about your dog.  He looks a lot like that lost dog."  We were so pleased!!  It was heartwarming to know that the person knew about Rumble and was concerned.  We explained that Raider was Rumble's daddy, and there certainly was a family resemblance.  (See Raider's photos in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Pretty soon the whole waiting room was talking about Rumble!  Seems everyone had heard of him.  That makes us so glad, because it means that many more eyes are on the look-out for our boy. 
 

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9/01/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  As Rumble's second birthday (September 5th) draws near, we reflect on how much we love him and miss him.  The rest of our canine family loves Rumble tremendously, too.  Of all our dogs, Rumble's sister Chili misses him the most.  They are littermates and have been close their whole lives.  (See photo of Chili and Rumble in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  When we received the initial call on August 15th about the Yogaville sighting, we took Chili out with us.  She sniffed the spot where Rumble supposedly had been seen and became visibly excited!  Of course Sandy and Slady, the superb tracking team, later confirmed that Rumble had indeed been at that very spot.  The best birthday present we could give Chili on the 5th would be to bring home her brother.  We're doing our very best to make that happen.  So many of you are helping too by posting flyers and sharing Rumble's website link.   We cannot thank you enough. 
 

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9/02/02 (Mon) - No new sightings.  However, we are investigating a two-week-old sighting that was just reported to us.  A wonderful "Rumble volunteer" was posting flyers when someone mentioned to her that they knew someone who had seen Rumble earlier but hadn't reported the sighting.  Even if it was Rumble, the sighting was so long ago, it doesn't tell us much about where Rumble is now.  The sighting was in the Gladstone area.  (The map in Rumble's Scrapbook shows Gladstone circled in red and the general area of the last known sighting of August 16th circled in green.)  Gladstone is very near the point where Buckingham, Nelson, Appomattox, and Amherst Counties meet.  The dog could have been Rumble, because when Sandy (the great tracker) last saw Rumble on August 16th, he was headed south.  As it turns out, there are two perfect places in the Gladstone area to cross the James River.  Our thinking is that if it was Rumble, he went south along the river until he found a place to cross and then headed back north again.  The dog that was seen was on the west side of the river and was headed north.  We had laid out a heavy scent trail in that area about four weeks ago.  Let's hope that was Rumble and he's crossed the James River! (Maps will not be updated until we get another sighting report that we can better verify.)
 

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9/03/02 (Tue) - No new sightings.  However, it's occurred to us that if the two-week-old sighting just reported (see above) is accurate, Rumble wouldn't have to go very far north before he'd hit the Tye River.  If he follows the Tye River north far enough, he'll end up in his own front yard!  Since the Tye runs in front of our home, we're hoping the river will somehow smell or seem familiar to him.  The Tye River goes through very sparsely populated areas, so it would be logical that there would be few sightings of him if he is indeed taking this route.  He still, however, must get across Rt 29.  The arrows on the map in Rumble's Scrapbook point to the Tye River.  Gladstone, where he may have crossed the James River, is circled.  We've also circled Crabtree Falls, which is near Rumble's home. 
 

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9/04/02 (Wed) - No new sightings.  Several of you have very generously offered to contribute toward our search for Rumble.  We truly appreciate your offers.  We ask instead that anyone wishing to donate consider giving to a no-kill shelter or a rescue group in Rumble's name.  During our search for Rumble, we've seen more than enough homeless pets to last a lifetime, and each one deserves a loving home too.  We've also encountered lots of wonderful people helping homeless animals.  Many have aided us with our search for Rumble.  The efforts of these folks in helping to reunite pets with their families and in finding new families for lost and abandoned pets is so valuable.   If only the world knew about the army of volunteers who work so hard and so selflessly to save the lives of these animals!  If you need a suggestion, we can recommend the rescue organizations and shelters listed at the bottom of Rumble's home page.  Many others are listed on his "With Gratitude" page.  Thank you. 
 

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9/05/02 (Thu) - No new reportable sightings.  Today is Rumble's second birthday.  You are invited to join us in our special birthday tribute to Rumble.  We so wish he were home with us today, but we are confident he's on his way.  We've done a lot of analyzing of Rumble's rate of travel, and he has covered only about 10 miles a week.  (We know he must spend much of his time searching for food.)  We have concluded that if his rate remains consistent, the earliest he could possibly be home is Friday.  (And that's only if he crossed the James River the same day the tracker saw him.)  If he instead went south, crossed the James River at Gladstone, and is following the winding Tye River home, it will take quite a bit longer, but he will no doubt be safer.  (Where the Tye flows under Rt 29 is one of only two points where he could get across Rt 29 by going under it.)  Considering how sparsely populated the areas are where Rumble is traveling and that he has demonstrated he is trying to avoid people, we know it's unrealistic to expect sightings. 
 

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9/06/02 (Fri) - We dearly wish we could report that Rumble came home on his birthday yesterday, but that was not the case.  We are confident that with so many wonderful people from all over the world holding Rumble in their hearts and prayers, he will make it safely home.  The outpouring of caring and support has been overwhelming and has given us great comfort.  We would like to share with you excerpts from some of the hundreds of heartwarming wishes Rumble has received over the past two months.  (We have carefully edited the excerpts to remove all personal information to fully preserve anonymity.)  Please click here to view.
 

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9/07/02 (Sat) - We've had a sighting!  We believe this sighting to be credible, and it's in keeping with the sighting reported on 9/02/02 in the Gladstone area that we were unsure about earlier.  The dog was seen in Nelson County on Tuesday (9/03/02) and again on Wednesday (9/04/02) on Rt 657 just south of Rt 721.  The dog was traveling northwest on Rt 657.  The Wednesday sighting was at about 4pm in the afternoon and was about 1.5 miles further west than the Tuesday sighting.  We went to the area and visited the man who made the sightings.  We took Raider (Rumble's Dad).  The man said the dog was as tall as Raider, but didn't have as long a coat.  He also said the dog was more solid black with light legs and was very thin.  This accurately describes Rumble (assuming he's very thin by now).  As the man had internet access, we looked at the photos of Rumble online.  After carefully studying the photos, the man said he was 95% certain that the dog he saw was our boy.  We trust this man's observation skills and believe he indeed saw Rumble.  Maps have been updated.
 

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9/07/02 (Sat) - UPDATED.  If ever there was a day to post the "Watch for Rumble" flyers, today is the day!  Depending on his rate of travel, Rumble could be crossing Rt 29 today or tomorrow.  We hope he follows the Tye River under Rt 29, but we'd surely appreciate any help with posting flyers anywhere near Rt 29 (including access roads), especially the stretch between Lovingston and Amherst.  Thank you so much!! 
 

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9/08/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  Several of you have written to ask what Rumble is eating.  We've been wondering too.  The experts are advising us that he's probably scrounging for bits of thrown-out food in places where folks picnic, camp, or otherwise throw out food.  They also think that one of Rumble's main sources of food right now is road-kill.  That probably explains why he's been seen near roadways.  When the man saw him on Wednesday (report of 9/07/02), Rumble was on the shoulder with his head down sniffing the ground.  He was so intent on what he was doing that he didn't even look up when the man stopped his vehicle and called to him.  Rumble subsequently disappeared into the woods.  It's also possible that Rumble is hunting small things like mice and groundhogs.  Rumble's Mom "Bita" is a great mouser, and has taught both Rumble and his sister Chili how to catch mice.  (See photo of Bita and Chili in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Someone else who had a long-lost dog wrote to give us encouragement and said that their dog had been eating grain from farm animal feed (verified by subsequent stool samples), so Rumble may be doing that too.  It breaks our hearts to hear that Rumble has become so thin, but we know we shouldn't be surprised by this. 
 

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9/09/02 (Mon) - No new sightings.  We've spent the weekend posting flyers and laying scent trails.  We've gotten several questions asking how many more miles Rumble has to travel and his rate of travel.  As the crow flies, he's got about 20 miles to go.  However, if he follows the Tye River (which would be a safe route for him and a constant source of water), that distance could easily double because of all the switchbacks the river makes.  As we figure it, Rumble's effective rate of travel has been about 10 miles a week, or just under 1.5 miles a day.  If he sticks to that, he could be home as early as September 18th.   He's come a long way and who knows how many actual miles he travels for each forward mile of progress?  Fortunately, water is abundant in the area through which he is traveling despite our drought.  Finding food, on the other hand, is a more difficult task, causing him to follow a zigzag course.  He's very thin and may not have as much energy as he did in the beginning of his journey.  On the other hand, he may have more determination when he senses how close he is to home. 
 

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9/10/02 (Tue) - No new sightings.  We'd like to take a moment to share with you just how valuable your assistance is in helping us find Rumble.  Remember the "wonderful Rumble volunteer" we described in our report of 9/02/02?  When she was posting Rumble flyers on her vacation, she learned of a sighting that hadn't been reported to us, and she let us know about it.  (That was Gladstone, where Rumble probably crossed the James River.)  Ironically, it was one of the flyers she posted that also directly led to the latest sighting reported on 9/07/02!  We've asked her if we could share her name with you, and she's given her permission.  Thank you Jeannie Meade!  Without your effort, we would be in the dark right now.  We never know which flyer, email, discussion group posting, or web link may give us a breakthrough, and we value them all.  You are all wonderful!  For example, today a friend of Rumble's e-mailed us about a dog that's in an animal control facility near Atlanta, GA because she thought it just might possibly be Rumble.  It's not, but we do see a vague resemblance, and we truly appreciate her concern. We'd like to share the link with you in case you know anyone who might be able to give this boy the loving home he deserves.   (Click here.)
 

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9/11/02 (Wed) - No new sightings.  On this day, we pause to remember all those who died on September 11th last year and the loved ones who mourn their senseless loss.  In one way or another, September 11th touched us all.  We were attacked as a nation, but we stood united.  Peace-loving friends around the world stood with us.  In addition to the countless acts of heroism and generosity by so many people, over 250 canine search and rescue dogs worked around the clock at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon after the September 11th terrorist attacks. These heroes worked without the benefit of gas masks and protective clothing.  They climbed and searched places considered too dangerous for humans.  Please visit the photo tribute in their honor.
 

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9/12/02 (Thu) - No new sightings.  Whenever we worry about Rumble (which is always), we try to remind ourselves of the things he has in his favor.  We know for a fact he's smart and he's healthy (at least he was healthy when he started his journey).  Something else we think is an advantage is that he's so large.  That should make him more visible on roadways and less likely to be the target of other animals.  It also enables him to cross streams more easily and get over obstacles.  Rumble comes by his size honestly.  Rumble's Grandpa "London" (Bita's Dad) is one of the largest Shilohs ever at 140 lbs.  London is as gentle and loving as any dog you'll ever meet - - a true "gentle giant."  He lives in Pennsylvania and his owners also own Rumble's brother Noah.  (A photo of London is in Rumble's Scrapbook.)
 

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9/13/02 (Fri) - No new sightings.  Rumble has clearly sensed the general direction of home (just take a look at the maps!), but will that sense be strong enough to take him to our front door?  It is a lot easier for Rumble to just "go west" than to arrive at a particular location.  We confess we don't begin to understand how he has come so far in the right direction already, so we have no idea of just how fine-tuned his sense of direction is.  We've heard from people who have heard of stories of two different lost dogs (both many years ago) that amazingly found their way home, despite great distances.  One lived in Georgia and the other lived in Pennsylvania.  We're hoping Rumble will soon add Virginia to the list.
 

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9/14/02 (Sat) - No new sightings.  If Rumble keeps up his previous rate of travel, he could theoretically be home as early as Wednesday, September 18th.  (We've done the math a million times!)  We must not get our hopes too high though.  So many things could delay him.  Even if he does make it home by the 18th, we may not know it.  The experts have warned us that long-lost dogs don't come trotting up the driveway with their tails wagging, regardless of how close they were to their owners.  Apparently long-lost dogs have been operating in a survival-mentality mode for so long, that they will likely initially feel apprehension even of their own family.  Several people who have lost dogs themselves in the past have written to us and confirmed this has been their experience too.  Apparently, Rumble could hide in the woods around our home for days, and we'd never know it.  We're leaving food around our home and letting Rumble's family members outside frequently.  We've learned it's often other family dogs that will ultimately "break the ice" and draw the lost dog in.  If anyone can do it, we think Rumble's sister Chili can!  (See close-up photo of Chili in Rumble's Scrapbook.)
 

To view daily Sightings reports for 9/15/02 forward, please click here