We tracked jack for three days and 7 miles

As the mercury drops and winter takes hold... I want to share this story with all of you.

This exemplifies how even a small dog with no coat can  survive snowstorms, single digit temperatures and blizzard like winds.

Approximately 24 days ago, Jack a 2 year old rascally miniature pinscher went missing in Aurora, Co. The pet owner called me within a few days and we began the campaign to recover him.

My first steps are almost always K9 profiling and aerial location process. Most dogs are recovered in this way and we go no further. In Jack's case, I figured he was roaming and knew that Min Pins tend to travel further than most dogs and after the initial campaign there were still no sightings or leads.

An onsite search and investigation with the dog team was the next step. We arrived after Jack had been missing nine days and from the get-go we knew we were in for a long trail. It had snowed twice since the small dog had disappeared but this was of no consequence for Cade, Dodger & Twist... our dog team. We tracked Jack for over seven miles through neighborhoods, dumpsters, ditches and open spaces winding through Aurora. On the third day, now miles from the point of escape, we began another public awareness campaign in the new area with our professional posters strategically placed. I was concerned because we ended in the midst of a coyote hunting ground. I still felt it best that we pursue another campaign in the new area.

This morning almost nine days later... that call came in. A man and his neighbor had seen a skinny and weak black and tan dog and they had been able to catch him. They remembered seeing the poster and drove to it and called the pet owner who was reunited with her dog within the hour.

the pet owner barely recognized Jack as his collar which had been tight now hung loosely around his neck. He had lost not only his body fat but even some of his muscle mass but... Jack survived!

Those of you with tiny dogs missing in the dead of winter remember...

  • Many roaming dogs that do not allow a stranger to approach initially may allow approach in the second or third week out. My experience is however they only allow this once and if they escape from their rescuer they are very reticent to allow it again.
  • Small breeds like the Min Pin, Dachshund, Italian greyhound, Yorkshire terrier and Shih Tzu can be notorious roamers. I have experienced many long searches with each of these breeds but most often with Min Pins and dachshunds.
  • Most dogs can survive the weather and elements and unless clear evidence proves different... continue your search. In four years of doing this work, I have had only two dogs succumb due to the elements.
  • Ninety per cent of all dogs are found due to other people's eyes and ears... The more people that know your dog is missing... the better the chances of recovery. Do not under estimate the value of professional looking posters strategically placed based on traffic patterns and flow.

Tiny dogs with a short coat do survive. We sometimes forget that the littlest of lap dogs are tough and although we forget that they are related to the wolf and coyote... when survival demands that instinct surfaces and it all comes back to them.

Have faith....


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