Yoshi... A tiny Pomeranian fends off a fox


A little dog's courage... A pet owner's FAITH...

Yoshi’s story is unique in many ways. Above all it brings to light the realistic outcomes that can be experienced in this situation. As skilled Private Investigators, we are not wizards with wands just humans with compassion, skills and awesome K9 partners.

The storm that hit Springfield in spring of 2007 blew down  trees, electrical lines and the gate to the Howell’s back yard where two much loved canine family members were frightened and spooked into the woods.

The treasured pooches were discovered missing within hours and Shadow, the larger of the two canines, was found the next day.  But the Howells knew their  feisty six pound Pomeranian, Yoshi, was in a perilous situation. As they struggled to control their panic and grief, the Howells searched for methods and suggestions to help them find the cherished pup.

After days of coaching by phone, the Howells asked Karin to bring in the dog team. From the beginning it did not look good for the little dog. Cade sprang into action immediately following the little dogs scent trail straight into the woods. Upon entering the heavily wooded forests, the trail  went to the river that was now running swiftly due to the recent storms.  Dodger alerted with a decomp or blood alert. Something had been injured or killed along the trail and spirits sank. The dogs tracked Yoshi's scent until the trail ended.

It appeared that Yoshi had met with a fox, (scat from a fox had been discovered along the trail the dogs were following), and most likely had not survived. But there was a chance that he was still alive as no physical evidence had been found.  Also the river was higher than when Yoshi went missing and the tracking dogs could not cross to the other side. The decision was made to leave the posters up and keep Yoshi in the forefront of the public’s awareness.

It was a crucial decision. Two days later a jogger called to say she thought she had seen a small fluffy dog under a bridge in the area where Cade and Dodger had tracked. Although the Howells were doubtful, Ken decided it was worth a look.

As he arrived at the bridge he noticed the water was much lower but he did not see a dog. He decided to wade into the river and approach the bridge from the riverside. As he waded up the river, a small puff of fur barked at him. He recognized his  small friend and tried to approach but the injured dog backed up into an opening under the bridge and eluded capture. After some wrangling and corralling,  Ken was able to get to Yoshi, grab him and hang on. He quickly gathered up the dog and headed to the vet.

The vet found that Yoshi had in fact been attacked by a predator and had injured his back. He was treated, shaved due to tick infestation and released. He was back being silly Yoshi within a month.

Yoshi's Case Study:

 Our goal is to help pet owners resolve their missing pet situation. Sometimes, events are outside our control like predators and swift flowing rivers. I prefer pet owners realize this rather than believe we come in and always save the day.

Here’s what most likely happened: It is most probable that Yoshi ran immediately into the woods. Once there he became confused and could not find his way back out. This is very common with many domestic dogs; Lassie finds home but many dogs do not. He wandered for a while, (roaming dog), and  at some point was  attacked by a small fox but his long fur made it difficult for the small predator to hang on and Yoshi got away. His neck was bruised and he received the back injury when the fox tried to roll him over. These are the typical injuries we find when an animal survives a coyote or fox attack. He could still walk and fend for himself and at some point he crossed the river which at the time was a dry river bottom.

When we arrived in Springfield eight days later,  the storms had filled the river to it banks and the tracking dogs could not get across. Cade had tried to enter the water and was most likely indicating the need to cross but with the depth of the swift current I had not allowed him to stay in the water. He then attempted to follow Yoshi's trail from the other side of the river until the scent ran out and he was forced to give a no scent alert.

Yoshi is home today and is a healthy, happy Pom with a new respect for the woods. Ken and Rise Howell believe strongly in the premise:

Never Give Up if there is even a small chance… and so do I -Karin


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