Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Survial - for both of us
Okay Starskey. I am about to enter a different phase of my search for you. Since you don't seem to be irritating anyone enough for them to call the cops on you I am going to have to change my search tactics. You are probably out at night and hiding during the day. You are not a hunter but you are a good scrounge and/or thief. Stay off the road - the road kill isn't that good anyway.
I'll let you know up front that Ike is not going away - he is here for when you come home and to help me maintain my sanity. We will have to learn how to introduce the two of you when that time comes - but I have to find you first, since you don't seem to be making it home on your own. It is my guess that you have moved in to survival mode and my techniques for finding you are going to have to change.
First off - how much have you changed? Longer fur? Skinny or fat? Straight hair or wavy like your Mom's? You are still black and the star is still on your chest but have you taken on any more of your Mom's features and coloring? Are you covered in burrs? All that will affect the appearance of dog that I have to be looking for now. You are no longer the boy who disappeared in December.
Have you found a place for shelter during the day? Is it in the open under a tree or bush or on a hillside in long grass? Have you found a barn, shed, garage or even bales of hay where you can get in a corner and keep warm and feel safe? Where do I need to look now?
Are you hungry or have you found a source of food? Is somebody feeding cats or even dogs outside so you can sneak in and get some of that? Or are you living off nature like weeds and seeds or better yet - some horse poop? I kinda have to know what you're surviving on to know where it is best to begin to make it easier for you to find your way home.
If I put out some little cans of really stinky catfood (it's your favorite anyway) will you come eat it or will you let the raccoons and opossum have it? I am going to try that - just to see if you show up once in a while. I may even sprinkle some white stuff around on the ground so I can see your tracks better. It might even stick to your feet a little and give me an idea what direction you go when you leave.
I can't look for you the same way that I did when you first went missing because - even though you are still Starskey - you are probably a little afraid of people after all this time. I am sure that you have not heard anyone call your name for a very long time or you would be home by now. Are you by yourself or have you found a friend of some kind? Hey - if you found the horses or some cattle you've got many friends - and they aren't going to tell me where you are hiding all day.
I may have to use a live trap to catch you now, since people may scare you - even me. I am sorry about that but you are kind of blowing through your teens faster then you should have to. Survival may be making you closer to being an adult now. Hey - that is a change for both of us! It is sure not one either of us had planned for. I just want you to know that if I have to use a trap it is only because I love you and I do not want you to spend the rest of your life living like you have had to these past 4 months.
I have talked to a lady who knows about pets who have gotten in to survival mode. She has given me tips and ideas on how and where to begin looking again. She says I should not look for you like I did before - because I may just scare you away. Now I have to sort of fool you and try to get you to come to what is most important to you - and that is probably food. I also need to figure out where you might be taking shelter - not to look for you but to move the food closer to you.
I might have to use a night camera to be sure that it is a dog eating the food and then to try to be sure that you are the dog because I know that you look a little different now. That is a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around and it is even harder to imagine what you might look like now. I am not being rude but I bet you are pretty scroungy by now and you probably stink really bad too. Especially if you have kept warm in horse and cow poop piles. Go find a creek or pond and take a bath Dude!
I am not sure where I am going to start but I have some good ideas, based on some of the more reliable sightings of you. I should have a paycheck in a day or two so I can get the supplies I need to get started and then we will go from there. You'll be okay until then won't you?
This would be a really good time to be visiting places during the day so folks see you again. If you are staying with somebody - you need to get them to take you to the vet for something so the vet can check you over and find your chip.....nothing serious - fleas will do!! A check-up or Rabies shot update will work too.
I am going to try to let everyone else know that we have to deal with you differently now too. I don't want them scaring you away so we have to start looking for you all over again. You are going to have to come to us - on your own or in the trap. That is just where we are now. We are not without hope or resources - we just have to do things differently in order to get you home.
Oliver Alert has a saying that I like. It goes something like this; "Never give up looking for something that you can not stop thinking about every single day". Until I find you - I will never stop looking. If all I find is some bones and your collar I will be able to stop looking but since we haven't found that - I am still looking for a live black dog with a white 5 point star on his chest. Now you need to start looking for me again too.