Rose Shadow Ranch has had a MIRACLE happen!
March 16, 2014, a Sunday and a full moon, our sweet and beautiful black Norwegian Buhund dog Stormie got out of our fenced in yard and ran away! The next 8 weeks and 1 day tells a story that only she can truly tell, but since dogs can’t speak english, I will tell you about her amazing journey thru our eyes.
It was noon on Sunday March 16, 2014 and I asked our son to please go let the dogs out. He did as I asked and 5 minutes later (maybe 10) I asked him to let them back in. When he went to do so, he discovered that 3 of our 4 dogs were not in the yard! 3 of us ran in different directions calling for them. “Mo” was the first to respond and was only on the other side of the neighbor’s fence. “Lakota” was quickly close behind. She was 2 houses down running with another dog and chasing the horses. With both Mo and Lakota back safely in the house with Cherokee, we again went in different directions looking for “Stormie.” 3 hours later my Dad came to visit and started in on the search. He found Stormie on the railroad tracks and called to her. That’s when she started running! He called me and I flew down our dirt road at 60 mph trying to stop her from crossing N. Holly Rd. I could see her running at top speed right for the road and across it she went, up a hill thru deep snow and she was gone before I could even get close. At this point, she is already 1 mile from home! I drove back to the house and grabbed her buddy “Cherokee” (the only dog that didn’t escape the yard) I took Cherokee to the last spot I saw Stormie at and walked her pretty far back in a field thru VERY deep snow! The snow in some places was up to my thighs! My husband walked the woods that I saw her run in to. 30 minutes or so in, we decided we needed to go ahead of where she was headed, so out we went. We are now about 4-5 hours into the search for Stormie.
After I had to head home with the kids my husband continued to look and call for her until 4:30am Monday morning with no luck! At 7:00 am I searched for a little bit before I had to head to work, then my husband took over again. Now we were armed with flyers and we flagged down every person we came in contact with and those just driving along. Later Monday afternoon, my husband found someone who had seen her earlier in the morning around 8:30am standing at the corner of a road just over a mile from our house. She took off heading west and so the search began westward. Again, we searched day and night and I even took a pillow and 1 of our other dogs, and spent the night just parked in my van with it running and windows open (only a couple inches) because it was so cold this night, with a low of 5 degrees! The hope was that Stormie would smell us and approach the van to come home. It was a long cold night of nothing Monday night.
Tuesday March 18, 2014 It was about 7pm when I noticed a black figure moving in the distance. IT WAS HER!! She was in a field about 3 miles west of our home. I got out of my van and started calling her. She slowly started to come to me when a man and his son on 4 wheelers came up to help and scared her away. Again we searched day and night calling for her.
Thursday March 20, 2014. We learned she was seen crossing a lake and it seemed she was heading back towards home again. I had left a scent trail the night before of fur from the other dogs and kibble leading all the way back to our house, maybe she was following it. Now she’s a mile and a half or so away from home. Again, we searched day and night, calling out for her.
Tuesday March 25, 2014 (9 days into the search)
this time, I got to see her again after a lead from a caller came in as to her whereabouts and sure enough it was her! This time she was quite far from home (about 3 miles by the crow flies) and about to cross a main road for the first time in her journey. I was maybe 50 feet from her when she bolted again and so quickly she was out of my sight! About an hour later I spotted her again about a mile northeast of where she was seen in the field by the main road. Again, she bolted, crossed my path without my knowing it and headed back west towards that field I saw her in an hour earlier. My husband hiked the woods that her tracks lead in to and followed them until he couldn’t follow them anymore. Then we got another call that she was back on the road I spotted her on earlier. She was running circles around me this day. I had no idea at the time that this would be the last time I would see her until her homecoming.
Thursday March 27, 2014, we had 2 reported sightings of her in a small subdivision in town. She has now crossed that main road.
In between all of these reported sightings, we were trying to stay ahead of her with posting fliers everywhere!
Tuesday April1, 2014 she was sighted at a home where she took off running again! She is now farther south about 6-7 miles from home.
Saturday April 5, 2014 another reported sighting. Now she’s in a whole new town about a 15-20 minute drive from our home.
Wednesday April 9, 2014 sighted again about 2 miles from her last sighting still heading south.
By this time, we believed she was following the railroad tracks trying to get back to our old house 45 minutes south of where we live now. We were also concerned that she may have puppies out there with her. She was bred back in February and we did not know if she was indeed expecting when she ran away. The next few weeks get interesting because we thought there was a good chance she did have puppies and was sticking around the area. There was reported sightings on 4/17, 4/21, 4/25 and 5/2/2014 we later learned that a couple of these sightings that were on the same street were NOT her. A neighbor on that street has a dog that has a strong resemblance to our Stormie and is often out running around. At this point we realized our trail had run cold and we had no idea where to start again.
Again, in between all these sightings, we were still posting fliers and setting a live trap and we even started putting up flyers in areas we hadn’t visited yet in directions we really didn’t think she was, but we had to try anything to get back on track with her. We were also visiting and calling all shelters, animal rescues and controls, and veterinary hospitals. We had weird people starting to call and even got a couple scares. 1 was a road kill call on a highway and another was a coyote attack. You can’t even begin to imagine how we were feeling missing our girl.
Sunday May 4, 2014 sighted yet again much more south and now, very much in the city with lots of very busy roads. No more woods and farmer’s fields, just residential neighborhood after neighborhood.
We would not have another call about her for 8 days!
Monday May 12, 2014 8 weeks and 1 day she’s been missing now! Just a few days away from 2 whole months on the run. It was dinner time, about 5:45 or so and I was at work when a woman called me and asked if I had seen a post from someone on facebook about a black dog that has been found in the next city over from us. I quickly hung up my smart phone so I could look into it. The second I saw the picture I knew it must be her! 5 minutes later I got another call rom a woman who said, “Hi Christa? I think I have your dog!” I asked her to describe her to me and knew in my soul IT WAS HER! I just broke down crying! I left work and raced to her home a half hour away from my work. In the meantime, my husband was on his way there and was closer then I was so I anxiously waited for him to call! According to my GPS, I was 2.5 miles away from her location when he called me to say, “IT’S HER! IT’S OUR STORMIE! SHE’S IN MY CAR AND WE ARE ON OUR WAY HOME!!” I was sobbing when I pulled over to turn around and race back home to see my girl.
At 6:30 Monday 5/12/14 My husband and children brought Stormie home! She was found by an Angel who Stormie knew would help her get home. The only person in this whole ordeal that was able to get Stormie to come to her. We don’t know why, other then this day was a bad weather day with heavy flooding rains and strong storms with high winds. Stormie hates the rain, was tired and had had enough. Her 8 week and 1 day adventure came to an end and we were reunited with our sweet baby girl. She was found 9.6 miles away from our home! An overwhelming joy and many tears of happiness were shed by all.
Tuesday, the day after she came home, we took her to the vet for a thorough exam after all that. $315 later we learned, she has fleas and 1 tick and nothing more! Not a scratch on her! It’s as if someone else was taking care of her. She was tested for lyme disease (among others) and vaccinated (she was due in a month anyway). She came home and had a nice bath and a venison dinner. She was finally reunited with the other 3 dogs that we were keeping her away from until she saw the vet just as a precautionary. The vet said she was in excellent condition for all she’s been thru! Her blood work did test positive for lyme disease and she is being medicated for that.
Those 8 weeks and 1 day were the hardest of my/our life! Not knowing from day to day if we would ever see her again! Not knowing if she was ok or even still alive! Not knowing anything really other then we missed her so much and she had ran away with big chunks of our hearts. We looked for her EVERYWHERE we went and swore we would never stop unless we had a body or enough years had passed for her to be dead of natural causes or the ultimate, her back home! I really wish she could tell us her story. Whether or not she could hear us all the times we called for her. I can only imagine the wild critters she encountered! From skunks to fox, raccoon to deer, horses to cows and even coyote, how did she manage to stay safe from them? How did she stay safe crossing all the roads? What was she eating? Oh the questions I would ask if only she could tell me. The most important thing anyone can do if ever faced with such a tragedy is NEVER GIVE UP!! Have faith that God will hear and answer your prayers in HIS time. Trust and believe!
We want to thank each and every one of you who helped in any way to get Stormie home! We are deeply touched by the generosity of time that those who came out to drive around and search gave. For my friend Nicole in Arizona who created and managed a twitter account for Stormie. For those who spent their own money printing out flyers and putting them up. To my Step Mom and Mom who both donated several flyers and my step mom who loaned us a high powered spotlight to help search the fields at night. To my friend Mickie who loaned us her coyote live trap. To my brother in law Ray who spent much time calling all the animal shelters and vets in the area to make a report. To everyone from the Louie facebook groups who helped us keep up with the posts and comments and for coming out to search. To our friend Terry who created the maps with her sighting pinpoints. To all the folks who prayed so diligently for her safe return. To the Oakland Press for covering Stormie’s story and getting the word out. To The Holly Express for doing the same. To all the people who allowed us to walk their property to search and to those who allowed us to put our trap on their property. To all the tipsters who called with leads. To everyone who shared the endless amount of sighting posts on their facebook pages. To everyone who offered encouraging words of hope. To all the mail carriers who kept her flyer in their trucks and some who even called with leads. To Ferguson Printing who printed flyers with last minute notice and allowed us to pick them up even when they were closed for business! To my friend Sheri and her husband who spent many hours searching with us. Sheri even willingly chased leads of a dead dog on the side of the highway and then offered to go look at a dog who had been killed by a coyote. Sheri was always there when we needed her and we had never met her before this nightmare began. You are a dear friend and we will never forget all you did for us! To Janice and her husband who was also very active in our search. To all the businesses who allowed us to post her flyer on their doors and bulletin boards, including my work. To all her Angels up above who guided her. Most importantly, thank you to the Angel named Melissa in Fenton who was the only person in all 8 weeks who was able to capture Stormie and return her to us! To God, you are an AWESOME God! Thank you for answering all our prayers and for protecting Stormie while she was lost. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone! There was so many people, complete strangers we have never met, who helped in so many ways! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!!!!!!