Santa Fe Scoop

Amazing story of lost dog finding her way home today in Santa Fe

For those who have lost dogs in the past you may appreciate this story. I've been fostering a dog for about 3 months now and today took her to a potential adopter's home in Tierra Contenta (Airport Road and Country Club). They are a great young couple with another dog and a cat and I felt a GREAT home for this dog. We spent about 30 minutes there and I felt they needed a feel for how she'd do without me there so offered to leave her there for one hour while I ran an errand. That was the first time I've done that with a foster dog but at the time I felt the couple needed a better feel of the dog's personality without me there. 30 minutes later at noon they call and the dog had gotten spooked and scaled a wall. She'd never jumped a fence since I've had her. She was wearing a collar and bright pink and yellow scarfs so I was hopeful she'd be easily spotted. After searching for an hour I went home to print fliers, filed a lost dog report with the Shelter then spent the rest of the afternoon until 7pm posting fliers around Airport - Jaguar - Paseo del Sol - Meadows. At 2:30 she was spotted by two helpful teenagers at Airport and Paseo del Sol, but by the time I got there no sign.

For 7 hours today I was trying to think like this dog. Where would she go? Would she follow arroyos? Would she avoid neighborhoods and stay in the open spaces? She's very shy so I guessed she'd avoid people and playgrounds. She wasn't starving so she probably wouldn't be coaxed into a car with a stranger.

I live near Yucca and Rodeo which is nearly 6 miles away from where she got lost. At 7:30 tonight I pulled into my driveway and THERE SHE WAS! This dog who I've only had for 3 months who has never been west of Richards must have headed east down Airport Road, crossed Cerrillos, continued down Rodeo to Yucca then south and back to my house all in one afternoon.

So, I wanted to share a happy story. Shame on me for that momentary lapse in judgement. Lucky's still available for adoption (the couple are still thinking about it) and will be at the big multi-shelter adoption event at San Ysidro Plaza on June 14.

By the way, the people in the Tierra Contenta neighborhood were all very kind and helpful. Tomorrow I'll be back out there removing fliers.

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Comment by P. Price on June 11, 2009 at 9:45am
Amazing story.
Comment by Julie L on June 7, 2009 at 5:18pm
Claudia - I pulled all the fliers this morning - at least I think I got them all. I have a new employee looking for a home and when I see him tomorrow will encourage him to check out Tierra Contenta. Our office is moving to I-25/Hwy 599 this fall so it'd be very convenient. I love all the wildflowers, in yards and open spaces and it feels cozy and friendly. I ran into 2 women on a walk when posting fliers yesterday and they offered to walk the arroyo then called me last night to see if I'd found Lucky. Really nice community!
Comment by Claudia Inoue on June 7, 2009 at 10:11am
Yeah for Tierra Contenta, MY neighborhood. I am grateful for the happy ending!
Comment by Julie L on June 7, 2009 at 9:42am
Funny you should say this dog may have already found her forever home. This is very similar to what happened with a dog I fostered last year. She was adopted and escaped twice wiggling out of her collar when she was spooked on walks. Both times I found her on St Francis at St Michaels. The first time she was in traffic and the second time I found her (contemplating) before she got into traffic. She was returned to the Espanola Shelter (I didn't offer to take her back because my dog was dying of mast cell cancer and she didn't have much time left) and escaped her first night. I spent 2 days in Espanola posting fliers and searching while my dog was at the emergency vet. She returned to the Shelter on her own after 4 days. Staff couldn't catch her so I went up there and she jumped right into my car. My dog died a few days later so I ended up adopting Kisha, or she adopted me. I have fostered over 50 dogs and this really is not common for a foster dog to escape like this. I may provide the first good home some of these dogs have had, but once in a new adopted home after a few good meals and a feeling of being loved and wanted they'll realize this new adopted home is where they want to be.

Now I have 2 dogs of my own plus room for a foster. I had 5 at one time (3 of my own and 2 fosters) and had a bad experience so 3 is my limit. If I adopt Lucky that'd be the end of fostering, which may not be a bad thing as you've pointed out, it is tough and it is wearing on me. But still I'm hopeful I'll find Lucky's perfect fit. She's very sweet, loving, loyal and has a great sense of direction, she just needs a little extra time her first week or two to get settled in. AND I can throw in loaning out a wireless fence for a couple of weeks if necessary!
Comment by om on June 7, 2009 at 7:53am
Wow, what a great story! How do they do it? How could this dog have known? This makes me feel safer that my dogs who I walk all over the 'hood, would find their way home if needed. You sure this dog is not yours?
Comment by Ben Swan on June 7, 2009 at 12:23am
What a wonderful story. So many don't have great endings ... and it will be even better when she finds a forever home. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by CindyR on June 6, 2009 at 11:08pm
That IS an amazing story. Are you sure she hasn't already found her forever home with you? :-) I am deeply in awe of people that can foster. I think it very well may take even more love than adopting.

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