7/6/02 (Sat), morning - On
Belmont Stakes Drive in the Triple Crown/Deer Run subdivision
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)
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
(Wed) - Sightings reported West of Swift Creek Reservoir.
7/12/02 (Fri), afternoon - Woodlake area of Midlothian.
7/16/02 (Tue) - Received unconfirmed report of Rumble west of
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.]
- Received a report that Rumble was sighted 3 nights ago
(Monday) at dusk on Buckingham Road in Powhatan County (Flat
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.
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).
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.
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.
Thursday, July 25th
at at the intersection of Routes 600 and 641 (south of
Cumberland) headed north in the direction of Cumberland.
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.
7/30/02 (Tue) - Several possible sightings reported which we
are still researching.
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.
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.
(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.
will delay updating maps until a further sighting confirms his
(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.
Tuesday morning (7/30/02)
sighting was phoned in to us
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.
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
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
(Sun) - We searched Sprouse's Corner yesterday, but without
luck. We'll hope for better luck today.
(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.)
(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.
(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.
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
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.
(Fri) - We had a Wednesday sighting reported yesterday. See
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
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!
- 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."
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
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.
(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
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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!
(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
(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.
(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!)
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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
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.
(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.)
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
- 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.
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
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!!
(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
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.
(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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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
(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.
(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