Nearly a year ago I came onto the forum to share Mona's story (link above). I was so happy with her and loved having her around. Taking her for walks was really the highlight of my day. Unfortunately, she didn't fit in really well the rest of my family. She was aloof around my parents. Just could care less about them. She didn't like my brother. He never did anything to her, but Mona never liked him. She would bark when he walked into the room and would cower away when got close. I would get him to handle her as much as possible (i.e., feed her, take her outside for walks) in an effort to get her to overcome her fear.
It was October 13th, 2009 when I came home from school at 9 pm. I had been out of the house since early afternoon. My brother had met me at the door to say that when he took her out around 5, she got loose. I still don't quite understand how it happened, but somehow the door was open and he hadn't clipped on the leash. She ran out the door and never looked back. I spent only an hour looking for her, promising to start out early in the morning.
The next month I spent every single day looking for her. People would reply to posters, but it was always too late. She had already moved on. The calls stopped coming. I had to face the reality that I would never see her again.
In January, I adopted another dog. Jude came from St. Maarten (my clinic runs a rescue program where they bring dogs up to be adopted in Canada). He was going to just be a foster dog, but that label lasted until I saw a photo...then he became my dog. He was smaller than Mona and a much different personality.
Feb 6th, 2010. It was just about two weeks since Jude came home. There was a message on the machine. I don't remember all of what it said just "This is the Clarington Animal Shelter. We have a dog named Mona here..." I didn't hear the rest of it. I just started shaking and crying. I honestly don't think I have ever felt that happy ever. Soon we were in the car and driving the 40 minutes to the shelter.
I didn't recognize her when I first saw her. I was expecting her to look ragged and skinny, but instead she was fat and fluffy. Her limp was gone. My heart fell for a moment. There is no way this is my dog. But, no, her face...it was Mona's face. She was acting a little wild...pacing back and forth in the cage. I whistled to her. The recognition was immediate. She was on her way back home. Apparently she had made it to the area at the end of October and had been living in a forest. They knew she was there, but were unable to get close enough. They trapped her in a live trap in order to get her into the shelter. Even now, I can't fathom being outside during winter in Canada. She is certainly amazing.
Jude and her got along really well. I remember at the time I was terrified that they wouldn't get along and have to be kept apart. Now that they get along so well it seems silly that it was ever a question
Last month, the three of us (myself, Mona and Jude) accomplished something that was a mere dream...we traveled across the country to the west coast. I went by myself in my 17 year old Jeep SUV. It was certainly not the brightest thing I have ever done, but it was the most amazing thing. The dogs really loved it (basically car rides and hiking...what is better in a dogs world?). On Vancouver island I picked up a kitten along the way. A beautiful white longhair male with blue eyes. The dogs took that in stride. It was a month that I will never forget, but was WAY too short! Canada is too big to explore in that short amount of time. I guess just more to do next time
I'm having issues with posting photos right now, but later tonight I'll post photos of her coming home and of the trip.