Many of you know that in addition to Hans, my GSD, my husband has a Hanging Tree Cowdog.
On Aug. 27, she just simply vanished.
She is always in her kennel while we are at work, but if either of us is home she is allowed out and has in almost five years, NEVER taken off.
For those of you who don't know her or for those who don't particularly like cattle dogs in general, I bet you'd love Belle. Almost any trainer or animal lover really appreciates a dog that is tough, biddable, high drive & energy and almost completely handler focused when learning something.
She will walk by you constantly watching to see what you might need from her.
I've also watched her encounter a problem, quickly switch gears and approach from a different angle.
She is sweet to everyone, including our kitties. She can run for miles by the 4-wheeler or sit on the porch in the evening relaxing. Being a working breed, she may give you a looong disgusted sigh first, lol, but she settles fine.
Did I mention how much we love her?
I was home on a sunny, beautiful day. Went to get something out of my truck and saw her in the yard. About 20 minutes later, it thundered, and because I know she hates thunder, I peeked out the window to make sure she came to the porch-just like she always does.
I yelled and yelled for her. Looked every place I could think of. Called my Husband and broke the news. He came home got on the 4-wheeler, hoping she would hear it and come in.
She's never run off in five years-thunder or no thunder. We began to wonder if someone took her.
We immediately called the animal shelter, gave them a picture, and let them know that she is microchipped and was wearing a collar with ID.
We also immediately ask some friends with a really good copier to make up a Missing Dog flyer, laminated so it could be stuck on road signs and anywhere else we could think of. Another friend put her on Facebook for us.
As the days passed, we drove around the community and if we saw someone out, we'd stop and drop a picture off.
People wanted to be helpful, but there were several sightings that ended up being dogs that looked absolutely nothing like her. It was getting so depressing. I really figured someone had stopped and picked her up and decided to keep her.
She is very lovable.
Finally, yesterday, I was at home and Hans alerted to something down in the valley below our house. To me, it sounded like Coyotes barking, but what if Belle was hurt/sick and they were after her? I grabbed a pistol and headed in the direction of the barking. As I got closer, all noise ceased. I looked for her and did not find her. I called my husband and he came home from work early so he could walk the area better.
While he was walking, I got a phone call from him and dreaded that he might tell me she was dead!
I held my breath as I listened...
Apparently, someone about 1-2 miles away (as the crow flies) called and was convinced they had our dog!!
With so many false sightings and bitter disappointments, I asked my husband not to get his hopes up, but he was already talking about how he'd need to take all of her posters down.
Well, this started me crying...and I never cry! He asked me to stop or else he would start too and he had to be the tough guy here
We saw the people standing on their porch and the little girl was holding an Aussie puppy??? WTH? I wasn't quite sure exactly what was going to come from my big mouth when we got to the porch. All of a sudden, the guy points to the polebarn door and says "She's in there".
And she was.
Skinny and a little rough looking with a skinned up front leg, but otherwise ok.
If you ever lose your dog, please don't give up-we nearly had.
And, yes, dang it, I cried all the way home, while my husband hugged Belle.