Rumble Sightings
9/15/02 - 10/31/02
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9/15/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  We've been worried about the latest sighting report that Rumble was "very thin," although we know we shouldn't be surprised.  During our drives in the area we haven't seen much road-kill, so we've been wondering what Rumble could eat. The experts have given us some encouragement by telling us that lost dogs often raid vegetable gardens.  (If you find Rumble raiding your garden, we'll gladly pay you for anything he takes!)  Dogs also like apples, and Nelson County has lots of apple orchards.  We take some encouragement from this.  Rumble's brother and littermate "Ranger" (who lives in northern Virginia) likes vegetables and apples, so we're sure that if Rumble's hungry, he'll gladly eat these things too.  Ranger has been wearing a green ribbon tied to the back of his collar for his brother Rumble.  (See photo of Ranger in Rumble's Scrapbook.)

Rumble gazing

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9/16/02 (Mon) - No new sightings.  On Saturday, the Richmond Times Dispatch published an update on Rumble's progress. Yesterday, the Charlottesville Daily Progress also published an update. We so appreciate both articles as they have reminded people that Rumble may be at a critical point in his journey. We know that many people saw the articles because we received several calls letting us know that people are pulling for Rumble and are on the lookout for him. On Sunday, we took Bita, Rumble's mom, for a car ride. We took her to the areas through which we think Rumble will most likely travel. We walked her around the areas and showed her to people so they will have some idea of Rumble's size, markings and coat coloration. (See photo of Bita in Rumble's Scrapbook.)
 

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9/17/02 (Tue) - As a result of the weekend newspaper articles updating Rumble’s progress, we received several reports of possible Rumble sightings. Many folks have asked how we decide to which ones we’ll respond. The answer is that we try to respond to all of them! We don’t want to overlook a single possibility. Since Sunday, we’ve been checking out several reports, two of which appear to be quite promising. One was in the general location of the sightings reported on 9/07/02, and the other was several miles north of there. Since it's not possible for both to be Rumble, we'll wait for another sighting before we update the maps. We took Bita with us again yesterday when we went to check out the sightings. On the way home, we stopped at the Colleen Drive-in for soft-serve ice cream. Two women saw Bita and very nicely asked if she was "the lost dog." We explained that she was Rumble’s mom. They asked to pet her so we took Bita out of our car. The nice ladies fed Bita their soft-serve from a spoon! (See Bita's photos in Rumble's Scrapbook.)
 

bullet 9/18/02 (Wed) - No new sightings. For the past few days we've been intensively searching the area near the last sighting (see maps) since several recent reports came from there. We finally saw the dog that folks thought was Rumble. At a distance, we ourselves thought the dog could very well be our boy, but it was not. In addition to being saddened that we didn’t find Rumble, we were also saddened by the condition of the dog (Black Dog) we did see. Black Dog was accompanied to our food bait site by his buddy (Yellow Dog). Both dogs were emaciated. The sight of these poor dogs, desperate for food, was heartbreaking. Photos of Black Dog and Yellow Dog are in Rumble's Scrapbook. Maybe you know someone who's looking for them the same way we're looking for Rumble, and together we can help these two find their own families. Rumble's journey has been a journey of the heart, and Black Dog and Yellow Dog are part of that journey.
 
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9/19/02 (Thu) - No new sightings. Yesterday we showed photos of Black Dog (see Rumble's Scrapbook) to the person who believed he saw Rumble on 9/04/02 (see sighting report of 9/07/02) on Rt 657 (see maps). After studying the photos, the man said that the dog he saw was Black Dog, not our Rumble. We understand how difficult it can be to identify a dog. After all, we had to get close enough to Black Dog to be able to take photos before we could say the dog wasn’t Rumble. We have requested that the folks who believed they saw Rumble in Gladstone also take a look at the photos. We are still checking out one other Nelson County sighting from the weekend, but we’re preparing ourselves for the possibility that the last confirmed sighting may be the one east of the James River in the Yogaville area (see sighting report of 8/20/02). If this turns out to be the case, then, in all likelihood, Rumble is still east of the James River in Buckingham County, probably subsisting in the James River Wildlife Management Area. Several people who live in that vicinity have so kindly emailed and telephoned to assure us that folks there are aware of Rumble’s plight and are on the lookout for him. The maps will be adjusted to reflect whatever we learn. Knowing that so many folks care about our boy comforts and encourages us. The strength of our prayers for and faith in Rumble are matched only by Rumble's own spirit and courage to make it home.
 

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9/20/02 (Fri) – No new sightings. Although we've had no new sightings, we constantly keep in our minds that the August 16th sighting (reported 8/20/02) was accurate and that the glimpse gotten of Rumble showed him to be strong. Many wonderful people are helping raise public awareness that Rumble is somewhere in Central Virginia. We had an opportunity yesterday to meet a young lady whom we believe to be the youngest member of the “Rumble Helpers” team. Kali, five years old, stopped by with her mom to pick up flyers to distribute and post. We couldn’t let the moment pass without getting a picture or two of her with Raider, Rumble’s dad (photos below and in Rumble's Scrapbook). We want to thank Kali for her efforts in finding our boy!
 

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9/21/02 (Sat) – No new sightings.  We would like to share with you some good news!  Remember the German Shepherd in the animal control facility near Atlanta that a friend of Rumble's notified us about because she thought he just might possibly be Rumble (see report of 9/10/02).  He was rescued!  Pleaserescueme.com wrote to us and said, "I received all kinds of emails from people all over the country wanting to help with "Justice" as he is now called.  "Justice" is safe in a foster home outside Atlanta and his foster mom says he's a wonderful boy.  He will be transported to the rescue organization as soon as they arrange transport for him.  Thank you so much for caring."  We wanted to share this good news, because you deserve thanks too!  Justice was rescued by the good folks at West Virginia GSD Rescue Co-op who now hope to find Justice his forever home.  We've created a special page just for Justice.  If together we could help Justice find a family to love him, that would be wonderful!  (See photo of Justice on Justice's page)
 

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9/22/02 (Sun) – No new sightings.  We've all been reflecting on how Rumble has managed to evade being caught, or even sighted more than briefly between western Chesterfield County and Buckingham County. We realized that, in fact, he comes by the ability naturally. Rumble's grandmother, Gypsy, often has been called the Houdini of the K9 world. Gypsy has quite a reputation for not staying anywhere she doesn't want to be. She also has a reputation as a great adventurer. Stories abound about Gypsy and her escapades. Vets particularly are curious about how so many of Gypsy's teeth have gotten broken. We know it's from Gypsy dismantling chain link fencing! A photo of Gypsy may be found in Rumble's Scrapbook.  
 

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9/23/02 (Mon) – No new sightings.  After we determined that the dog on Rt 657 was Black Dog and not Rumble (see 9/19/02 update above), we thought we should show Black Dog's photo to the folks in Gladstone who thought they saw Rumble (see 9/02/02 report). They now have looked at Black Dog's photo and said that the dog they saw was not Black Dog. Based on the descriptive information these nice people have provided and the direction in which Rumble was headed when last seen (see report of 8/20/02), we believe that the dog they saw was Rumble. They saw the dog around August 19. Rumble's human aunt, who owns Noah, Rumble's brother, has notified folks in that area that Rumble may be there or may have passed through there. Noah's photo may be seen in the collage of Rumble's immediate K9 family and in Rumble's Scrapbook.
 

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9/24/02 (Tue) – No new sightings.  Yesterday, we visited with the Gladstone folks (see 9/23/02 update above) who saw the dog that looked like Rumble. We took Bita and additional photos of Rumble. After looking at Bita and the photos, they were even firmer in their belief that the dog they saw was our boy. When the dog they saw left, it was traveling north. If the dog was Rumble and he continued north, he would have crossed Rt 60 onto the road that leads to Norwood where the Tye River empties into the James River (see maps). On our way home, we explored some of the back roads off of Rt 56 near home. We became so lost it took us over an hour to finally find the road home. The roads wind around and through the mountains and are intersected by many smaller roads that aren't on our maps. We couldn't help but think that if Rumble travels along any of these roads, it will take him much longer to reach home. Leaving the roadside to travel cross-country may take even more time because of the mountainous terrain.
 

bullet 9/25/02 (Wed) - No new sightings. While we wait for the next sighting or for our boy to arrive home, good things happen as demonstrated by the following email:

"Hello, First let me say that I don't have any information about Rumble. I don't want you to get your hopes up. I do want to let you know that 400+ elementary students in Richmond are pulling for Rumble. After reading the Times Dispatch piece on 9/14, I photocopied the story and distributed it to all of the teachers in my school. The principal and I thought that it would be a great "springboard" for journal writing as well as for a host of other learning tools (map skills, projections, measurement, etc.). Your website is amazing and the local interest of the events means something to our students. Personally, I am an animal lover and your update is the first thing that I check each morning. I know that it is hard not to lose hope, but hang in there! It is clear that Rumble has a wonderful home to return to, and I'm sure that this is what will keep him motivated to find you too. I bet you never thought that Rumble would become an integrated part of the Virginia SOLs!!"

Needless to say, we are thrilled that the efforts to find Rumble are being used as an educational tool for young people.
 

bullet 9/26/02 (Thu) - No new sightings. We received a telephone call last night of a possible sighting west of Lynchburg on Rt 501 (see maps) near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We spent the day handing out flyers and talking to folks in that area. Since no one was able to confirm seeing a large, mostly black dog in that area we are not calling it a sighting. However, the call did cause us to once again study Rumble's course. Our thinking has been that from Gladstone, he went north across Rt. 60 and deeper into Nelson County toward the Tye River. It's certainly possible that he turned around after leaving the yard where he was seen and followed the James River south and west. It would be an easy trek as railroad tracks run parallel to the river. We're now notifying as many folks as possible in that area about Rumble.
 
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9/27/02 (Fri) - No new sightings. Saturday, October 5 is the opening day for bow hunting in Virginia. We spent yesterday getting flyers and related supplies ready to take out this weekend to post in areas where bow hunters are likely to enter the woods. Next week, we will be notifying hunting clubs that our boy may be hiding in the woods where the hunters will be. While there is a serious risk to Rumble's safety during hunting season there also is a good chance that a hunter may spot him in the woods. Starting October 5, there probably will be more folks than ever in the woods across Virginia. We're viewing this as a good opportunity to find our boy. We hope Virginia's hunters will help us. If you know a hunter, please tell him or her about Rumble.
 

bullet 9/28/02 (Sat) - Yesterday we had some reports of sightings in the same area as those on August 16 (see report of 8/20/02 and maps). This area is the same one where Sladie and Sandy (Sladie's handler) saw Rumble. This afternoon, we're meeting the folks who saw the dog in the sighting area. (Our fingers crossed and we are saying so many prayers!)  On Wed., Oct. 2, we will be taking Raider and Bita (see Rumble's Scrapbook) to meet the students of Redd Elementary School (Richmond City Public School system).  Redd Elementary is the school that is using Rumble's website as an educational "springboard" (see 9/25/02 update).
 
bullet 9/29/02 (Sun) - We spent Saturday in the area where Rumble was seen on August 16 (see report of 8/20/02 and maps). We talked to folks who believe they have seen him twice in the same area within the last week. Although not everybody we talked with had seen a dog that looked like Rumble, everybody knew about him and wanted to help. A local family will be placing food in a specific spot at the same time every day for the next several days. We will be checking on the spot daily. If we believe that the dog is Rumble, then we'll be taking his sister, Chili (see photo in Rumble's Scrapbook) to the same area. Our lost dog recovery expert, Debbie Hall, has advised that one way to entice a dog out of hiding is to play with a dog that the lost dog knows.  Rumble sure knows (and loves) his sis. Yesterday we also stapled "Watch for Rumble" flyers to trees at the entrances to popular hunting areas. We'll be out posting more flyers tomorrow.
 
bullet 9/30/02 (Mon) - No new sightings. The food bait we put out on Saturday (see 9/29/02 update above) was gone yesterday. Sunday's food was put out at 3:00pm and was all gone by 5:00pm. We think it's unlikely that a cat has been taking the food because of the quantity: 1.5 cups of dog kibble and 1 small can of cat food. We're using cat food because its "scent" is so aromatic. We believe that we're close to having a feeding schedule set up now. It seems impossible for a schedule to be established so fast, but then we think about Black Dog and Yellow Dog (see 9/18/02 update) who returned to the food bait sight three times within an eight hour period because they were so hungry. We plan to take things very slowly with the current baiting plan. We want whoever (Rumble, we hope) is eating the food to drop some of the wariness as he comes to rely on a regular feeding schedule. Sometime later this week we will try to observe, from a vehicle, the food bowl and get a look at who's enjoying the dinners.
 
bullet 10/01/02 (Tue) - No new sightings. The cat food was gone from Monday's food bait. The kibble was left in the bowl. Tomorrow we will be replacing the cat food with a beef based, wet dog food. While the latter isn't as aromatic as cat food, we're told that raccoons, cats, squirrels, etc. will not be as interested in beef based, dog foods as in cat foods. We are determined as ever to find our boy. Our expert, Debbie Hall, has a saying: "the biggest obstacle to recovering a lost pet is that owners give up too soon." We were heartened in our persistence by a wonderful story today. 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. If we can get a photo of the little boy with his Waldo, we will.
 
bullet 10/02/02 (Wed) - No new sightings. We spent yesterday posting more flyers at the entrances to the private hunting areas. We also replaced the canned cat food with canned dog food. Many folks have written and called to suggest that we use a surveillance camera to determine what kind of critter is eating the food bait. We've ordered one, which should arrive within the next day or two. We want to thank everyone for the suggestion. On another note, we received an email from Straja, one of Rumble's human aunts. She is the human mom of Tangus, one of Rumble's brothers (see photo in Rumble's Scrapbook and collage of Rumble's immediate K9 family). Straja and her husband live with Tangus in Calgary, Canada. Straja, a therapist, specializes in animal assisted psychotherapy. Tangus is Straja's co-therapist. Tangus, along with teammate Straja, has received much heart-warming recognition in the Calgary area. Pictures of both as well as a description of their work may be seen on Straja's and Tangus' web page. Today we go with some of Rumble's K9 family to Redd Elementary School in Richmond, VA to meet the students (see 9/25/02 update above).
 
bullet 10/03/02 (Thu) - No new sightings. Food was put out at 3:30pm yesterday. It was gone by 5:30pm. The bowl had been licked clean and over turned. We're trying to not read too much into the over turned bowl, but Rumble loved to carry around his food bowl after he ate. We don't believe the bowl was the work of a cat. Our visit to Redd Elementary School was so much fun. The students loved seeing Rumble's family, and we truly enjoyed spending time with a group of young people so enthusiastic about finding our boy. Examples of their delightful work may be seen by clicking: Students Looking for Rumble. We want to thank Yvonne and Jamie Dingus (Thunder's human mom and dad) for bringing Thunder (Rumble's cousin and Aunt Ever's son). We also want to thank Phillip-Morris for giving Jamie the day off for the event!
 
bullet 10/04/02 (Fri) - No new sightings. We received the game-tracking camera late yesterday afternoon. Once we figure out how to work it, we will be placing it close to the food bait site as the food continues to be eaten every day. When we were observing the food bait site yesterday a tabby cat walked by but didn't even glance at the food. We're also going to increase the quantity of food. With the camera we should be able to get a photo of what is eating the food.
 
bullet 10/05/02 (Sat) - No new sightings. Several people have asked if our guys at home are continuing their daily howlings in the hopes that Rumble will hear them. The answer is a most affirmative "Yes."  Rumble's K9 family "sings" several times each day just for the joy of hearing their own voices.  When we were at Redd Elementary (see 10/03/02 update), we tried to get Rumble's family to howl but they were too interested in the new surroundings. Since the dogs wouldn't sing, we asked the students to give it a try. Their young voices were so beautiful that we wish we had recorded it.  We know it would be a compelling song to call Rumble home.  
 
bullet 10/06/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  We know we've thanked you before for your support, caring, encouragement, prayers, ideas, cross-posting, sharing Rumble's link, posting flyers, keeping your eyes open for Rumble as you drive or hike ... and all the other millions of little things so many of you have done to help us try to bring Rumble home safely... but we can never thank you enough.  A friend of Rumble's (which we consider all of you to be) recently wrote to say that the search for Rumble is not just about a particular dog or even a particular breed.  It's about loving and caring for our animals.  It's about not giving up when things seem hopeless.  It's about always being there for those you love, regardless of what happens.  It's about trying to make positives out of negatives.  And finally, it's about reaching out and helping each other in times of need.  Thank you - - from our hearts to yours.  
 
bullet 10/07/02 (Mon) - No new sightings.  We're still working on the technicalities of the game-tracking camera (see report of 10/04/02), so we have not been able to set it up yet.  Some friends of Rumble had written to warn us that this camera is a lot trickier to set up properly than one might expect!  One Rumble friend wrote that once it's set up, even focusing it correctly can be quite a challenge.  She mentioned that her husband had a similar camera and gave us some helpful suggestions.  Apparently if you're not very careful, the camera will focus on the wrong thing.  She described how her husband got down in front of the camera on his hands and knees to make sure the focus was in the right place.  Once we figure out the technical aspects of the camera, the hands-and-knees part should be simple! 
 
bullet 10/08/02 (Tue) - No new sightings.  A friend of Rumble's recently sent us the following wonderfully encouraging words:

"A friend's sister travels the Rt. 29 area every day on her way to work. As a matter of routine, she has been carrying Rumble's flyer, a cell phone, and dog food in her car during her commute. She also has many of her co-workers who live and travel all over this part of the state doing the same thing. Please be assured that these folks understand the need not to frighten Rumble by trying to catch him, but rather want to be prepared to at least have some food to put down if they should spot him while you are traveling to the site. The strategy is twofold: readily available food might keep him local until you reach him, and if nothing else, the guy would get a meal. (They also appreciate the caution re feeding long-lost dogs). So, there are many, many eyes looking for Rumble. I'm sure that someone will see him soon."

We cannot begin to tell you how much the support of wonderful people like this means to us.  Between our own efforts and the kindness of strangers, we know we will find Rumble!  He's out there somewhere, so it's only a matter of time, faith, and persistence.

bullet 10/09/02 (Wed) - No new sightings.  Several of you have asked about Rumble's coloring and have commented on how different the colors are just within Rumble's immediate family.  (See Family Collage.)  Rumble's background includes mostly German Shepherds (of just about every color, including solid blacks and solid whites), plus one Malamute.  We previously showed you pictures of Rumble's maternal grandparents, "London" and "Gypsy" (see photos in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Now we'd like to share with you a photo of Rumble's paternal grandparents (Raider's parents).  A "romantic" photo of Raider's Dad, "Shep" and Raider's Mom, "Trinka" is in Rumble's Scrapbook. 
 
bullet 10/10/02 (Thu) - No new sightings.  We mentioned in our update of 9/29/02 that our lost dog recovery expert, Debbie Hall, has advised us that one way to entice a dog out of hiding is to play with a dog that the lost dog knows.  Apparently the lost dog gets caught up in the moment, temporarily forgets to be so cautious, and doesn't want to miss out on the fun.  If we get the opportunity, we'd like to try out this approach with Rumble.  Rumble absolutely loves to play!  In fact, Rumble and all his bothers and sisters are notorious for their love of playing.  One of our favorite pictures is of some of Rumble's brothers and sisters playing when they were small puppies (see Rumble's Scrapbook).
 
bullet 10/11/02 (Fri) - No new sightings.  On Wednesday, we finally were able to successfully set up the game-tracking camera (see report of 10/04/02).  We checked it yesterday morning and found it had taken two pictures of what seems to be a large, short-haired dog (see photo in Rumble's Scrapbook).  The dog appears to be a floppy-eared type of dog, perhaps with some Mastiff in it.  We naturally were disappointed it wasn't Rumble, but know we must be patient.  The camera is set up in the area of the last confirmed sighting in the Yogaville vicinity of western Buckingham County (see Rumble's Scrapbook).  While there, we spoke with the groundskeeper who said he had seen a "black or very dark dog" that morning who seems to fit Rumble's description.  Several other people in that area have said the same thing.  We believe that there are at least two dogs moving around in the Yogaville area: the one we caught in the photo, and one that resembles (or is) our boy.  We will continue with the food bait and try to get more pictures. 
 
bullet 10/12/02 (Sat) - No new sightings.  When we checked the food-bait site yesterday, the food was gone but the camera hadn't taken any pictures.  We set out the food-bait again and will hope for pictures when we check the site today.  The camera technology is really impressive!  The photos are taken on a memory card.  We take the laptop to the site and, using a little external, USB port cable, download the photos from the memory card directly to the laptop. We can view the photos right there in the field, make any adjustments to camera height, focus options, distance from the bowl, etc.  (An example of the first photo we got, which was of another dog, is in Rumble's Scrapbook.)
 
bullet 10/13/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  We had set up a second food-bait site, but no food was eaten at the second bait site.  We have discontinued both the first and second bait sites.  We set up a third food-bait site based where the dog resembling Rumble was recently seen.  We put out food Saturday morning and it was gone within two hours.  We found fresh footprints large enough to be Rumble's.  A man who has seen the dog resembling Rumble several times took us to the various sites where he had seen the dog.  All were sites we had personally visited previously, so they no doubt had our scent.  We found hair that could have been Rumble's caught in barbed wire at the spot where the man saw the dog going through a fence earlier this week.  Several friends of Rumble have expressed concern that since we spent so much time in the Yogaville area after the confirmed sighting of August 16th (see update of 8/20/02), Rumble may have waited there for us.  We are beginning to believe that is most likely what happened.  We think the dog in Yogaville is probably Rumble.  Maps have been updated. 
 
bullet 10/14/02 (Mon) - No new sightings.  We have spent most of the weekend in Yogaville hoping to spot Rumble.  The food at the third bait-site had not been eaten when we checked early Sunday morning, so we established a fourth bait-site nearer to where we believe Rumble has been "living."  (It's the area we had most heavily scented after the August 16th sighting.)  Although we went out very early in the morning on Sunday (4:30am), we didn't spot Rumble.  We realize that this could be another case of "mistaken identity," just like we had with Black Dog (see update of 9/18/02), but the various clues we're seeing, when put together, still make us believe that Rumble is probably here.  We extend our apologies to those of you who have sent us an email in the past few days.  On our short stops at home, between our visits to Yogaville, we've read all your messages.  We sincerely appreciate your good wishes and suggestions, but in order to get a little sleep, we haven't replied yet.  We promise we will, just as soon as we get a spare moment!  Thanks for understanding.  
 
bullet  10/15/02 (Tue) - No new sightings.  We recently re-read an inspirational story we received about "Jake" the cattle dog.  Jake became separated from his owners during a cattle drive, so they left a family member's jacket on the ground in an area where they thought Jake would go.  When they returned the next day, there was Jake, lying on the jacket!  We think Rumble may be doing a similar thing and staying near the areas we scented in Yogaville.  Although we spent all Sunday night sitting in our vehicle in Yogaville, we didn't see or hear anything.  Of course, it was completely dark where we were anyway.  However, it gave us an idea.  Since we can't yet bring Rumble home, we'll bring home to Rumble!  Yesterday we began making arrangements for a camper.  We'll take Raider, Bita, Chili, and Rumble's great-aunt "Sharona."  (See pictures of Raider, Bita, Chili, and Sharona in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Rumble adores his dad, Raider; he is soul mates with his sister, Chili; and his mom, Bita, and great aunt Sharona are great howlers.  We'll take metal food bowls, food, the works.  We can't get the camper until Friday, so until then, we'll continue with the food-bait stations and the game-tracking camera.  We'll also spend as much time as possible in Yogaville to keep our scent fresh.  Our goal is to keep Rumble safe in that area until we can bring him home. 
 
bullet 10/16/02 (Wed) - No new sightings.  We continue to spend most of our time in Yogaville and still believe that's probably where Rumble is.  One of the things that has given us the greatest comfort and encouragement is inspirational stories you have shared with us about being reunited with beloved, lost pets.  Your stories are heartwarming and are lessons in never giving up hope!  We've collected as many as we could locate and have added them to a new page (click here).  Also, in case you missed her, we added one more Shepherd to Rumble's "Just in case..." page the other day.  "Bridgett" actually looks more like Rumble than any "just in case" dog so far.  She is a beauty in an Ohio pound who truly deserves a loving home.  (Bridgett's pictures and contact information are on Rumble's "Just in case..." page.)
 
bullet 10/17/02 (Thu) - No new sightings.  Yesterday we were pleased and honored to have two true friends of Rumble, Maxine and Larry, visit us.  (See their photo with Rumble's dad, Raider, in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Although we never knew them before, we treasure their new friendship.  They have been following Rumble's story from the beginning and are devoted to helping us find our boy.  Maxine knows the names of every dog that has been mentioned on Rumble's site.  She even remembers the context!  For example, she remembered that Gypsy is our "Houdini," Chili is Rumble's soul mate, Raider is his dad, etc. Maxine serves as "Rumble Central" for her office and for her friends who don't have computer access. They have helped to spread the word of Rumble and even have Rumble's flyer taped to the windows of their vehicles.  Thank you Maxine and Larry!  And thank you to so many of you whom we haven't met for all that you're doing too.
 
bullet 10/18/02 (Fri) - No new sightings.  We've been discouraged that there have been no new sightings, but still believe Rumble is in the Yogaville area.  We're hoping our recent re-scenting efforts, together with the food we've been putting out at the food-bait sites, will keep him in the vicinity.  Today is the day we get the camper so we can "bring home to Rumble" (see 10/15/02 update).  We're very fortunate that we are being joined by Debbie Hall, the lost dog expert who has been advising us all along.  If you haven't had an opportunity to read the glowing Boston Ledger article about Debbie published in May that we mention on Rumble's "With Gratitude" page, it's quite interesting.  To read the article, which is entitled "DOG DETECTIVE: Debbie Hall keeps up the ceaseless search for lost canines," click here.  Because we hope we're getting close to being able to see Rumble ourselves, we're very grateful to have Debbie's expertise and guidance to help us.  We have learned so much from her already!  We never before realized how the psychology of a long-lost dog is so different from one that is missing for just a short time.
 
bullet 10/19/02 (Sat) - Because we've been unable to be in Yogaville around the clock, we have a wonderful family there helping us with the food bowl at the food-bait site during the in-between times.  The lady of the family believes she saw Rumble in Yogaville on Wednesday morning as she was taking her children to school.  We picked up our lost dog expert, Debbie Hall, at the Richmond Airport yesterday and arrived home in Nelson County late last night.  We also picked up our rental camper yesterday.  We've been finishing our last-minute packing of the camper and will head to Yogaville this morning.  Our plan is to take turns sleeping so one of us will always be watching for Rumble.  After Debbie met the rest of Rumble's canine family (see photos of Rumble's family in Rumble's Scrapbook), she feels confident that we'll be able to find Rumble and bring him home.  She says the family characteristics include high intelligence, curiosity, and a strong sense of love and family, and these will help.  It's her guess that it will ultimately be one of our dogs that draws Rumble in, particularly due to their howling.  Debbie Hall says it's important to have as few new distractions (sights, sounds, and smells) as possible in the area where we'll be.  Several of you have kindly offered to help search.  We appreciate your offers so very much!  However, the best thing would be to not come to Yogaville at this time.  Our sincere thanks to all of you for your continuing prayers and warm thoughts.  We know they're helping! 
 
bullet 10/20/02 (Sun) - No new sightings.  We watched carefully during the day yesterday and all night long, but there was no sign of Rumble, although we saw deer and other animals.  We're pleased to report that our howlers (Sharona and Bita) came through for us and did a great job of howling - - especially Sharona!  (See photos of Sharona and Bita in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  When we checked our camera yesterday, it had several photos of a huge, beautiful, magnificent fox.  These are the first pictures we've gotten of an animal eating from the bowl since 10/11/02, although the food has been gone almost every day.  We know we must be patient.  We still believe Rumble is in the area.  (See sighting report of 10/19/02.)  We are camping on private property and obtained the landowner's permission, but it turns out we mistakenly parked our camper on a neighboring piece of property.  We'll be moving to a spot on the property where the very nice folks have given us permission.  It's actually better than where we are now and is closer to where Rumble has been sighted.  We all miss Rumble and want him home!  Rumble's brother "Noah," who lives in Pennsylvania, is wearing a green ribbon for Rumble.  (See photo of Noah in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  Looks to us like Noah is trying to call his brother home too! 
 
bullet 10/21/02 (Mon) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8pm yesterday.) No new sightings.  We're standing in a pitch black field.  We have placed cooked liver and fried chicken on top of the van.  (We picked liver because Rumble really loves it!)  We've placed the meats on the van's roof so the scent will carry.  There are lots of animals in the area, including a Black Bear.  We think something has already eaten the food from our food-bait site this evening, but it's too dark to tell for sure.  Sharona and Bita have been doing a super job of howling - - we're so proud of them!  Saturday we didn't hear any other dogs howling in return, but Sunday we did.  One definitely sounded like a large dog, but we can't be sure if it was Rumble.  Rumble has always been a howler himself and has a fine baritone voice.  On Sunday, Debbie Hall visited all the places Rumble had been spotted in Yogaville and concluded that if you have to be a lost dog, this is a pretty good place to be.  There are lots of sources of water, nice meadows, and plenty places to take shelter.  But if you're a lost dog, chances are your grandpa is hoping you'll come home!  Rumble's Grandpa "London," who lives in Pennsylvania, is wearing a green ribbon for Rumble.  (London is Bita's dad.)  At 140 lbs, he's one of the biggest Shilohs ever.  (See London's picture in Rumble's Scrapbook.) 
 
bullet 10/22/02 (Tue) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8pm yesterday.) No new sightings.  It was raining all day yesterday, and most animals seemed to be taking shelter.  There was so little activity, that we used the opportunity to go home for a few hours for a hot shower and fresh provisions for the dogs and ourselves.  On our drive back, we were on Rt 56 in Nelson County (Crabtree Falls Highway), when we saw an elderly, beautiful, black Great Dane standing in the road.  She looked confused and was obviously lost.  We stopped the car and Debbie Hall coaxed her to us with a treat.  We were able to get a leash on her.  With the help of an "Angel of Mercy" from the Nelson County Humane Society who just happened to be passing by, we took her to our Vet in Lovingston.  They had kenneled a female, black Great Dane for a night during the Summer and thought this might be her.  In the hopes she was the same girl, they called that family.  She was!  They were so happy that she had been found and was safe.  We can imagine the joy they must have felt.
 
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10/23/02 (Wed) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8pm yesterday.) No new sightings. Tuesday we revisited all the places Rumble has been sighted in Yogaville.  We know we're focused on our mission, but we had to laugh at ourselves - - When we drove into town from the campsite, someone asked us why we were driving around with a tub of chicken on our roof!  Although Rumble hasn't been seen since last Wednesday (see report of 10/19/02), we're feeling encouraged.  We met with the nice lady who had gotten so close to Rumble last Wednesday that she could touch him.  We had Bita with us so the lady could see first-hand what Rumble looks like since he looks like a larger version of his mom.  (See photo of Bita below and in Rumble's Scrapbook.)  The lady and her family have owned dogs themselves, including German Shepherds and Rottweilers, so she knows large dogs well, and she was convinced after seeing Bita that the dog she had seen was indeed Rumble.  We also visited the barn where Rumble was sighted.  Debbie Hall, our lost dog expert, said that a dog definitely had been staying there, although she couldn't be sure how recently.  We've kept up two food-bait stations, but our main customers seem to be cats.
 

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10/24/02 (Thu) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8pm yesterday.) No new sightings, but we're very encouraged!  Wednesday we returned to the barn where Rumble had been sighted previously, and we saw fresh canine tracks the size of Rumble's!  They weren't there yesterday, and the tracks were huge.  To illustrate, Ranger's front, left paw outline is shown below and in Rumble's Scrapbook (click image to see actual size).  Rumble and Ranger are brothers and littermates, and are very similar in size.  (Ranger's human Mom placed Ranger's foot on a piece of paper and traced around the edges with a felt-tip marker.)   We put a bowl of food and one of Rumble's toys in the barn.  Unfortunately, we've been having memory card problems with the camera, or we'd place it there too.  We'll let you know tomorrow what we find! 
 

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10/25/02 (Fri) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8pm yesterday.) No new sightings, but we're still encouraged.  Thursday we left the campsite for several hours and went home for showers, fresh provisions, and to get the camera repaired.  For days we've left Rumble's human mom's sweatshirt draped over the "x-pen" that we have set up outside the camper.  (It's the same one she's wearing in the photo below and on Rumble's Photos page.)  When we returned, the sweatshirt was lying on the ground!  (There was no wind.)  We don't want to get our hopes up too high, but it's hard not to!  The food and the toy in the barn hadn't been touched, but we refuse to let that discourage us.  Thursday we also met another very nice family who said they had seen Rumble at almost the same time and same location as the other sighting (see report of 10/19/02).  They said he appeared to be looking for food along the road.  On Friday, we plan to remain hidden quietly in the camper and hope to see Rumble approaching it.  We'll also set up the camera in the barn near the food dish.  We feel we're getting close!
 

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10/26/02 (Sat) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite yesterday.) No new sightings that we've been able to confirm.  The food from the barn was eaten and we think there's a good chance it was Rumble who ate it.  We've suddenly gotten sighting reports from several different parts of Virginia.  We still really believe Rumble is in Yogaville, but it has always been our philosophy to "not leave any stone unturned," so we look into all sighting reports.  Until we ourselves see our boy, we can't be 100% positive where he is.  The most intriguing report is from Woodlake (just west of Richmond).  Last summer we received many reports from Woodlake and spent a tremendous amount of time there ourselves.  It turns out there's a long-lost, elusive German Shepherd there who looks similar to Rumble. (We call him the "Ghost Dog.")  We saw him ourselves and can understand how folks could be confused (see report of 7/28/02).  However, the lady who just called says she's well aware of Ghost Dog, and this is not him.  If you live near Woodlake, we'd be most grateful if you could keep an eye out for Rumble.  If you could manage to take a picture too, that would be tremendously helpful!
Rhodie (a cat from Pennsylvania) is wearing a green ribbon for Rumble!  (See photo in our new "Green Ribbons for Rumble" album.)
 

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10/27/02 (Sun) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from the campsite at 8 pm yesterday.) No new sightings.  Yesterday marked a week that we've been camping, but we've had enough positive signs that we've decided to stay longer.  There were more paw-prints at the barn again today, and the food was gone!  Unfortunately the camera didn't take any pictures, so we've repositioned it.  Something else we've started doing is using "mug shots" when we talk to people who think they've seen Rumble.  We'll show them pictures of several similar-looking dogs (including Rumble) and ask them to pick out which dog they saw from the "line-up."  So far, everyone who believes they've seen Rumble has successfully identified his "mug shot"!  There's more good news we'd like to share with you.  In case you haven't had a chance to look at Rumble's "Just in Case" page lately, three of the dogs have been adopted or have adoptions pending!  One is "Justice," Rumble's very first "just in case" dog.  We are so happy for them!! 
 

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10/28/02 (Mon) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from Yogaville at 8 pm yesterday.) No new confirmed sightings; however, yesterday we learned that Saturday, at about 8pm, a dog matching Rumble's description was seen in Yogaville!  The person who saw the dog thinks it was Rumble, although because it was so dark outside, we won't officially label this as a "sighting."  We're hopeful it was our boy, but we've heard there's also a brown German Shepherd wandering around Yogaville, so we don't want to get our hopes too high.  Yesterday the food in the barn was again eaten.  Some even more exciting news - - we had hung Rumble's toy from a peg in the barn approximately 3 feet off the ground, and yesterday the toy had been removed from the peg and dragged about 8 feet!  (Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures because the glue that helps connect the camera strap had come apart.)  When we called in our report Sunday evening, we were quietly out of sight at the place of Saturday evening's sighting, hoping the dog would re-appear.  We'll let you know tomorrow if we saw anything!
 

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10/29/02 (Tue) - (This is the report called in by cell phone from Yogaville at 8 pm yesterday.)  No new sightings.  A man has rented the area around the barn for hunting, so there was a lot of activity there - - riding an all-terrain vehicle, taking down gates, etc.  We're not surprised there wasn't any sign that Rumble had been there yesterday.  We didn't see him when we were watching for him yesterday evening either.  We had spread out bits of meat and were frustrated that the possums kept trying to eat the meat!  However, that gave us a good idea.  Slurry!  We've just made up a "slurry" dish that we're going to use to tempt Rumble instead of spreading around bits of meat.  It's several different meats (including liver) mixed together with canola oil, then whirled in the blender.  We can pour the slurry - - sort of like leaving bread crumbs for Rumble to follow.  Because of its consistency, even if another animal eats it, bits will likely remain that a dog could try to lick up.  The scent will certainly remain!   By the way, several of you have sent us wonderful photos of your pets wearing green ribbons for Rumble.  Thank you!  We invite you to take a look at these super photos in the "Green Ribbons for Rumble" album.
 

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10/30/02 (Wed) -  No new sightings.  Yesterday we spread the "slurry" (see update of 10/29/02) in a line all the way from the location of the previous sighting to the camper.  We became instantly popular with local cats!  However, because of the oil base of the slurry, we're not worried.  It should leave a good scent trail even if the cats do eat a lot of it.  By evening it was raining so hard that we couldn't even see out the camper windows, so we decided to go home to Nelson County for the night.  That will also give us a chance to make up another batch of slurry to take to the campsite Wednesday morning.  Several friends of Rumble have written to us with a variety of excellent ideas.  Thank you!  We're also very touched to learn that some of you have been naming pets and other living things in honor of Rumble.  What a lovely gesture.  
 

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10/31/02 (Thu) -  (This is the report called in by cell phone from Yogaville at 8 pm yesterday.)  No new sightings.  No sign of Rumble at the barn.  No footprints, and the food and toy were untouched.  We're trying to figure out where Rumble might be!  We've spent days covering the same territory over and over.  Some folks have suggested that someone may have taken him into their home.  Another possibility is that he's moved on, especially since there are now hunters in the area.  We must remember that Rumble was pretty single-minded in his quest to get home until he hit the barrier of the James River.  He's already covered over 100 miles on a virtual bee-line from Chester toward our home in Nelson County.  He was confirmed to be in Yogaville by a trained tracking dog and her owner on August 16th, so we know for sure he's come this far on his homeward-bound trek already.  (See Maps.)  For a dog traveling on foot with no known sources of food and water, that takes an incredible amount of determination!  Perhaps, with all our drives across the bridge, we've left enough of a scent trail that he's finally crossed the Wingina Bridge and is continuing with his quest to make it home.  If there's one thing we've learned about Rumble, it's that we're not very good at second-guessing him!



 
LATEST  SIGHTING:  October 16th (report of 10/19/02)