A weekend expedition runs amuck...

when four month old DAX goes missing in the woods.


DAX and our daughter after his recovery!
An exhausted child rests after her puppy brother is found.

 On Sunday  we decided to take a one mile family trip  to the river on our 340 acres. Maggie,  my 4 year old Golden Retriever, and Nala, our 1 year old Golden/Tn. Walker hound mix,  were with us as was our  golden retriever puppy, DAX. 

On the way home, one of the four wheelers got stuck and we all joined in to get it out of the mud.  These situations always make me a little nervous and I decided we should take the gravel road home to avoid any other possible muddy areas. During all the excitement I lost my focus on the dogs. As we took off for home, I saw DAX running with the big dogs; I remember seeing him again as we neared the half way point on the way home. I never saw him again.

  The big dogs would go off  chasing rabbits and then return to the road with us.  I know I should have paid much closer attention to DAX as he doesn't know his  way home  and most likely couldn't keep up with the other dogs.
When we got home, we looked around and realized that the puppy  was not with us.   We first panicked and then  immediately started searching and retracing our steps. We searched until 3 A.M. but never heard or saw him. We were all just heartsick and after only two hours sleep,  we started to search again. 

 We all stayed home from work and the kids stayed home from school so we could all search for DAX. We contacted neighbors,  handed out fliers, posted  at the stores, and blanketed the area with volunteers searching from the river and all the way beyond where we thought he could possibly have wandered.  Still no DAX. I was petrified that the young dog might meet with a coyote or cougar and that thought although paralyzing kept me moving  from one task to the next.

Then  I contacted Karin and she encouraged me to see if  Nala could help in the search by  picking up DAX scent.  We spent several more hours  on Tuesday afternoon out in the field where DAX was last seen and Nala did a pretty good job in picking up the puppy's scent but she was inexperienced and would get side tracked but she did try and I think she understood what we were doing. She was so excited at this new game of hide and seek that she just kept barking as she tried to follow his scent. I encouraged her to keep  barking as she ran through the woods in hopes that the sound of her barking would help draw DAX back to us. 

It started to rain, so we took a break then  ran into another neighbor on the way home and told him more about DAX as well as where we thought he was lost.  This was fortuitous...  About 2 hours later while searching in a different area, I got a phone call from that  neighbor. They had went to look and  found a frightened DAX hiding under an old farm implement about 10 feet from where we last saw him!  He did not move they said, and they had to pull him out and carry him he was so scared and exhausted. I am convinced that he heard Nala's barking earlier and followed it to the spot where we had been searching only two hours earlier.

Dax was so happy to see us! He was hungry, very thirsty and really tired!  he began napping as soon as he got home and has been sleeping on and off  ever since... he's sleeping at my feet right now as as I tell you our great news! He wakes up to get a drink every 30 minutes or so and  I suspect he might also wake up to make sure that it's true that he is home, safe and sound!

Thanks so much for being there for me today Karin!  I'm thrilled to hear about your new  Golden Retriever, North.  I hope to hear more about him and how his training goes.  I would love to learn to train my goldens  to track. 

It's a wonderful thing that you do.  I'd be proud to have dogs that track and help people like that.

 Again - thank you for everything!

Tiffany Edmonds


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