When we brought Daisy home so quickly after losing Betsy beagle, we did not want Daisy to be seen as a replacement dog. After all, Betsy was the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood and there’s no replacing a dog like that. Besides, Daisy’s personality is not nearly as big as Betsy’s was. We knew she’d figure out a way to make herself known–little did we know that she would do so in a front-page manner, nor quite so quickly.
Daisy slipped out the door last Thursday night when I had some girlfriends over. We know she is a slippery, otter dog – she took herself on a self-guided tour of Harrisonburg when we went to visit friends last month, jumping out the hatchback when Pat was unloading suitcases. She made it halfway across town in less than 10 minutes before stopping to pee in front of a cop, who seized the moment and picked her up.
So, we had some evidence that she was a runner. We figured that she would have to get tired and hungry enough to turn herself in, and with an identifying tag on her collar and a microchip, we’d get the call when she did. But in the meantime, I did all the things you do when a dog goes MIA these days – posted it all over social media.
After no word Friday night (and having not slept a wink on Thursday night), I just went to bed hoping tomorrow would be the day. Saturday morning, I woke up to news of a sighting. Friends helped hang flyers there and all over town. More sighting reports came in. It looked like Daisy was circumnavigating McIntire Park: first pin was on Birdwood at 7:30pm Friday night, second pin was a stroll down McIntire Road proper before ducking into the park at 9:30pm. Saturday morning she was spotted off Rio Road, creekside around 8am and then on Meadowbrook near Yorktown at 10:30am. All day Saturday, friends canvassed the various woods and paths in that vicinity, all on the lookout. There was a real “Save Ferris” energy to finding this lost dog. I’m not sure if it’s because I know a lot of people and most of my friends couldn’t stand the thought of us losing another dog this year (I mean, it was still April!), or because she’s a cute pup with an endearing rescue story, but the search really took on a life of its own. I am still completely floored by all the help that just showed up, without being asked. Thank you, all of you.
In the end, it wasn’t the social media storm, or any of the flyers, or even anyone I knew that brought her home. Around 10:30pm Saturday night, I got a phone call from a woman asking if I’d lost a beagle named Daisy after her boxer sniffed out this hungry little creature looking out from under a truck on St Charles, all the way across town. She just called the number on Daisy’s tag.
Pat picked up our wee wanderer and brought her home. She was fine – just tired, hungry, and filthy. She immediately got a bath and then put herself to bed, where she ended up eating dinner in full recline. She showed zero regret, and we’re not at all sure she’s learned her lesson. We however, have. We had gotten off easy with Betsy beagle – her early attempts at running always ended with her showing back up at home fairly soon after, even when we were at the lake and she was brand new with us. And in time, we were able to break Betsy of the habit of running off–she became that rare beagle that could be trusted off leash.
Daisy has a long way to go before that’s even a thought. Obviously.
Since her return, people have stopped us on our walk to say hello and to welcome her home. A neighbor came out of her house when we walked by the other exclaiming, “Is that Daisy? I have to meet her!” When I went to yoga Monday morning, a solid portion of the class had heard about the lost beagle in town, but not everyone knew it was my dog. She is, as someone said, a minor celebrity in town. The missing blue-eyed blonde of lost dogs; the one that gets all the attention. We (Daisy & myself) have even been asked to appear on a local media show to talk about adopting rescue dogs and finding lost dogs. I’m not kidding. “Save Ferris” indeed.
Daisy has definitely found a way to step out from under Betsy’s big shadow in a serious “hold my beer” move.
And that, friends, is why I insist on having a rescue beagle. It’s never a dull day with them. Although, definitely not for the fainthearted.