It was a beautiful fall day. “The perfect opportunity for a walk on the Ice Age Trail,” Jetta’s owner thought to herself. Jetta heard the “W” word and was overcome with joy. She followed her people out the door and off they went. As they were walking along the trail, Jetta’s owner took Jetta’s leash off and set her free to run with her daughters. Jetta’s owner took a moment to enjoy the scene, snapping pictures as her daughters made piles of leaves and Jetta ran through them.
When her daughter and Jetta ran a little farther ahead, Jetta’s owner called for them to come back. Her daughter returned but strangely, Jetta didn’t. Jetta was a hunting dog that always followed commands, and she’d never run off before, so Jetta’s owner was concerned. She began calling her name more loudly. An hour of searching passed and there was still no sign of Jetta. It was getting dark, so reluctantly, Jetta’s owner and her daughters headed home without their beloved dog. Her daughters were distraught. They’d just moved to the area a year before and Jetta was a comforting link to their previous home. Where had she gone, and would she come back?
Not long after Jetta disappeared, Jetta’s owner contacted Lost Dogs of Wisconsin for suggestions on how to find her. Lost Dogs encouraged Jetta’s owner to give the local Humane Society a description of Jetta. They also provided Jetta’s owner with flyers to hand out and posters to hang and encouraged her to spread the word on Facebook. They told Jetta’s owner to set up trail cameras in the woods where Jetta had gone missing and by their home in case Jetta tried to make her way back. Last, but certainly not least, they provided her with information on the best way to get a lost dog’s attention — keep your head low, don’t make eye contact, use a calm, low voice, and let the dog come to you. Jetta’s owner was saddened when she heard this news. She had caught a glimpse of Jetta on one of her searches and was so excited that she began calling her name. The excitement in her voice must have frightened Jetta, because she bolted back into the woods.
Ten days went by with no sign of Jetta and then Jetta’s owner caught a break. The local Humane Society called because a dog matching Jetta’s description was in their yard. Jetta’s owner hopped in the car while the Humane Society worked on luring the dog into the shelter. By the time Jetta’s owner arrived, Jetta had been detained and was able to go home with her family.
WELCOME HOME, JETTA!
Jetta was a loyal dog that obeyed commands; her owner never thought she would wander. We hear this story often at Lost Dogs, and we’ve learned that it can happen to anyone. The best thing you can do to prevent it from happening is to rely on a dependable harness and leash whenever you have your dogs in open, unfenced areas.
By Jami Radant, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin volunteer