Tino, one of our Spinone Italianos, had been last seen early Monday morning January 25, 2010. Late the night before I let the dogs out in case they needed to go because most are over age 10. Tino didn't come back and that is not like him. It was very warm 60 degrees for January. For those of you who have been here, we have a pond, so I took a flashlight and searched, thinking he got stuck since the pond was frozen over, and we had a lot of rain. . . No Tino. We do have a lot of land and preserved wetlands, so I searched the fields and still, no Tino. At 9 AM the next day, we got a call that our vet tech saw him on Readington Rd., which is about 2 miles from here. It was pouring rain, he looked confused and he ran when she tried to get him in her car. He is very shy, timid and wary of strangers. I would have never thought he would go that far, this area is all rural, hay and horse farms and an airport. The nearby roads are posted 35 mph, but what was he doing? We adopted Tino when he was six months because he wouldn't hunt, according to his previous owner. He did have seizures for awhile, though he hadn't had one for two years now. Did he have a seizure and is now lost? We searched all around the area. I always took Patrick (my Irish Setter) with me to help, and I thought I heard his bark near that area. There were so many sheds, barns and out buildings, but no Tino. I searched online and posted him as lost on many websites. One site I found was findtoto.com, and I needed the exact address of where he was last seen. They called everyone within a mile or so of the surrounding area, but no sightings. As part of our search, Phil would drive and I would walk most of the day and night. Thursday night (January 28th), I took Andy, one of the NH19, to pet therapy. I was in my driveway and a car pulls up; it's a neighbor who we helped find a home for their Lab. He said did you loose a dog? Yes! I replied, and he handed me what he thought was my dog. Well, how can someone be holding Tino. . . Tino is 90 lbs! I see black on this dog! It is dark out. I told my neighbor that is not my dog, but put him in the kennel, we will find his or her owners. It was border collie. So, now three days after Tino is lost, I am thinking: where do I begin? I called the shelters, police, animal control. We have a scanner, no micro-chip. As I am on the phone trying to explain to the police that I lost my dog and now have a found dog, the officer said let me check the records to see if anyone reported your dog. Sure enough, 12 hours ago, a large white dog was sighted roaming around on Pleasant Run Rd. WHAT!? Twelve hours ago and no one called me?! Phil knew this area better than I did, so he asked: where exactly, that area is huge! Also the properties go from 3-5 acres to more like 20+ acres and very rural. We left immediately even though it was dark and searched until midnight. Friday AM, I contacted the police again asking if I can speak to whoever had called, I really needed to find out if this is Tino, because this is now about 4 miles farther away! And if I move my search that far, I have to be sure it was him. Sure enough, I brought her Tino's picture: yes it was Tino! This is now Friday, and we searched until noon and came home. I was also trying to work to keep my mind occupied. A call comes in around 1:30 PM, he is my back yard exclaims the caller. We drive there immediately. . . a 15 min. drive felt like an hour. Of course, by the time we got there, no Tino! Patrick and I go one way by the creek, Phil and my Uncle head another way. Phil spots him, but he won't even go to him. I went one way, Phil one way, Patrick, then my Uncle, we tried to corner him. Patrick was the one who found him and then Tino came out to us. I am still shaking my head that he is home. I truly know now what folks go through; the 4 days felt like a year. Tino is fine, only some sap on his belly, not a scratch on him. Patrick got surf and turf for dinner! Even though we have the invisible fence, I am getting the GPS collars, if anyone has any ideas, let me know. I was going to get the PetSafe ones, but as of August they are discontinued due to the economy.
The cost of findtoto.com, $125,
the cost of petamberalert.com about $60,
the cost of having Tino in my arms in the truck like a baby = priceless!!!
So, remember, call the shelters, police, animal control. Tino was micro-chipped so Home Again also faxes the information to many local area vets, shelters and rescue groups. I went to one vet and they already had his poster up. I used an animal communicator also, she gave me many clues. I just seemed to be one day behind him. The communicator helped me the most by telling me he was fine, not hurt, and no one stole him. Call the Police back during different shifts, they all don't have dogs and they do have other jobs to do (editors comment: can you imagine anything more important than a lost dog?). Put up flyers at Walmart, food stores, pet stores, gyms, convenience stores, give them to the school bus drives, police, mailmen, UPS, FedEx, garbage men. Some websites that worked: findtoto.com. I also posted him on petfinder, craigslist, SettersL, on yahoo there is a k9ambertalert. I did put Reward on his posters. One animal communicator told me she had ended up finding dogs for sale on craigslist for $100. On his poster I put he had seizures and needed his thyroid meds. Also, bring binoculars, they helped us since there were no leaves on the trees, we could see far, but the hay is same color as Tino. Most of all: don't give up, keep your spirits high. It's funny I am trying to get a picture of Patrick and Tino together, but as of right now, I think Patrick is telling him if you EVER do that again..Patrick is 10, so he is surely the hero in this story! I was walking in the exact area, calling Tino's name so softly, and he would not come out. Patrick usually sleeps upstairs with us and he did not sleep upstairs until Tino was home. Tino is now in lockdown mode, leash walking only!
Some helpful sites, I am trying to keep this to two pages so folks will read it!