The 25 Mile Mystery – A Rescue Dog With A Difference
When you think of rescue dogs, you probably have images involving shelters and staff. Darryll R. Jones' rescue story is one with a difference. He literally rescued his dog, from more than one situation, before he even had her in the house. A dog on the loose, roaming Darryll's enormous estate and doing everything to evade capture - it was a stretch for him to even get the dog before persuading dissenting voices in his own home to take the dog in. He spent days trying to lure the dog to him, spent even longer persuading his wife to let him keep it, then the owner shows up.
Darryll R Jones takes up the story...
My wife and I live in southern Indiana in a semi-rural area with hundreds of acres behind us on a dead end road. This gives us plenty of room for privacy and room to raise our 2 Golden Retrievers. We have only 3 close neighbours. One day in early May our neighbour on the right came over and asked if we had seen the "fox" or small dog hanging around the area. I said I had not but would watch for it. I have hunted and trapped these hundreds of acres for years and generally know what's going on in the area.
The property is loaded with wild turkey, deer, fox, coyotes and one bobcat that we have seen. The next morning I saw the new guest. It looked exactly like a red fox but it had a 6' lead hanging from a collar. As I approached this dog, it ran from me so fast it was a blur. I have never seen an animal move that fast. I decided at that time it was going to be tough to catch this little guy.
The neighbours and I started "baiting" it with various types of food. If the dog saw you,it was gone This had to be the most cautious dog I had ever seen. It would never get closer than 100 foot at any time. It spent most of the day on top of a pile of dirt in my neighbour's back yard. This way it could see for hundreds of feet in all directions. It spent most of it's day around the houses making a high pitched whining noise. I observed the dog for more than one week before I decided to really get serious about capturing it.
First I lured it into our chain link fence area with food and waited until it was inside before I snuck out and closed the gate. Surprise! This dog was so cunning that when it saw me approach in the fenced area, it shot under the chain link fence like a snake. The next day trying the same tactic, it came under the chain link fence to take the food and fled the same way. Now, I was getting annoyed that this critter was outsmarting me. I went to our local veterinarian and explained the problem and purchased some "drugs" to add in it's food to make it drowsy so I would have another advantage. I gave the dog the "sleeping pills" and watched it for several hours. Finally I saw it lay down and put it's head down. I approached the dog and as I did,it sprang up, tripped and took off like a bullet. Another day wasted. This dog spent most of it's time circling the houses. It actually left a trail in our yards from dragging the leash.
One day the dog did not show up anywhere. I kind of got worried. I figured it must have moved on or someone else captured it. The next day it was back and I noticed the leash was shorter. The dog was hung up in the woods somewhere and had chewed the leash in two to get free. I was getting so involved with this capture I was neglecting my business and my wife was complaining. She said I should call animal control and let them take care of it. I told her to leave me alone. This dog has obviously been through a lot of terror sometime in it's life. I acts like it has been mistreated and deprived of food.
I was captivated by this dog. On the tenth morning ,my wife entered the house yelling,"come quick,it's hung up on the back patio". Sure enough, as I came out the back door here was this poor little dog tugging at it's leash that was hung up under a large flower crock. As I approached the dog, it cowered down and looked like it was going to faint. I grabbed the dogs collar hoping it would not bite and picked her up. She did not resist or fight me. The look in her eyes was terror ! After examining her on our grooming table, we took her directly to our local veterinarian.
The dog was skin and bones. It was so malnourished it was hard to hold her. This female was so full of ticks she felt like she had the pox. Some of the ticks were the size of dimes. The vet had her for two days and gave her three tick dips and removed 500 ticks from her body. The vet guessed the dog to be a small collie breed about ten months old. She was tested for lime disease that turned out negative. The vet still put her on antibiotics for the same. The female had not only ticks but whip worms and a bladder infection as well. This cost us several hundred dollars for the first round. I have fallen in love with this dog. After a couple of days at home recovering, the dog constantly showed signs of the worst type of skittish behaviour I have ever seen. She cowered and hid at any noise or fast movement. Both of our Golden Retriever males took to her and treated her like a sister. She would actually lay next to the younger male and sleep at his side.
She was relaxed as long as she was with the boys. At the present time both of the retriever boys are going through a dominant stage. The two year old male has beat down the older one two times this month. We are a little concerned that the new female may be part of the cause. Now, my wife gets serious. She wants this dog's owner located and the dog returned, or given away to a good home. It left me with a heavy heart. She was angry. I believe it was mostly about the money I had spent on the dog. I love my wife. We have been married for 31 years. Now, I have found a new love. The female pup. Though I still love my Golden Retriever boys, this female struck me hard and I did not want to give her up. I finally got on the internet and found a lost dog site.
I put in all of the information I had and let it ride. The vet guessed the female to be approximately ten months old and to be a small Collie breed. I had an email answer in two days. It was from a man 25 miles from us that had purchased a "Shollie" from a lady about 2 weeks prior. A "Shollie" is bred between a Collie and a German Sheppard. When he got it home, it fled with a six foot lead still attached and he could never locate it again. It sounded like we had his dog but for one thing, the colour was not the same, and how did it get 25 miles from his house?
Boy, was I relieved ! My wife was not. I was once again trying to find her a new home. I talked to one of our neighbours about taking the dog and they decided they would. They are an older couple without a dog and decided to give her a home. I kind of felt okay about this because they are close and good people. They named her "Foxy" because she looked like a fox. They purchased a new crate, toys and food for her and prepared for her. They had her one day and returned her to us because they felt the stress would be too much for them. I had her back! They donated me the new crate and food for our troubles.
I had decided to keep her. My wife still said no. In all of my many years of owning retrievers, I had never owned any type of female dog. We learned several years back about the purchase of good retrievers. We only buy from the best breeders and pay high prices for dogs. This is one of the reasons my wife does not like this dog. It is a rescue, a "freebie" We are used to paying thousands for a dog. Well, I said, "we have hundreds invested in her already. Why not keep her? Not good enough to associate with our Retrievers?" The female was getting a little more at ease in our home. In about a week, the neighbour that was going to take the dog, had some news.
They had been to a local social meeting the night before and overheard another lady talking about a "new" dog she had for only one hour and it ran away. Out of curiosity my neighbour asked her where she lived and what type of dog it was. The lady owned a goat farm approximately a half mile from us and had bought the dog from a breeder for herding. They had it for one hour and it escaped with a six foot lead on it. She described the dog to a T. We contacted the lady and she came to our home the next day. It was the dog she had purchased. She did not want it back due to the fact that it was now an inside dog. She wanted a working dog for her goat farm. She did not like the fact that the dog was so skittish. She said we could keep her. I don't think this lady wanted to pay for the vet bill anyway. She had purchased the dog from a breeder 30 miles away . This breeder had taken these pups from another breeder that had abused them.
The pups were only five months old. Remember the guy that contacted me with his lost dog? He purchased it from the same breeder. Both dogs now 30 miles apart! Now things were coming together. This female is only a five month old pup. Not ten like our vet said. She was abused by the original breeder and sold by a second breeder. I now have a give month old Shollie female. After another week of my wife's complaining, I was just about ready to make any deal with her to keep the dog. To my surprise one morning,she walks into my office, stares at the female and says:" If we're going to keep her ,I want her named "Barbie"! I was relieved. My wife and I have been antique toy collectors for several years. Our Golden Retrievers are named after our hobby. The oldest one is four and a half years old. His name is "Hasbro". The youngest one is named "Disney" My wife has a large Barbie doll collection. She wins! As of this day, the female is now nearly eight months old. She is to be spayed next week.
She has doubled in weight and size. She has surpassed the mental capabilities of both of the Golden Retrievers. This female has more intelligence than any dog we have ever raised. She obeys any voice command, , learns easy and can even make decisions on physical commands. .She came to us semi-house broken, knew certain commands and was crate trained. How,I don't know. She now even jumps from the deck into our pool and swims with the Goldens. She rides in the trucks like a well behaved child. She rides in our boat like she has been in one before. As of November 2010 she has completed "puppy" class training. She will go much farther. She already tried some agility equipment and learned very fast.
One last thing, she is the exact same colour as the Goldens. She looks like an over-grown red fox. Look at the before and after pictures. She is a beauty. I love this girl. Her skittish behaviour is fading. She has found one of the best homes in the world and we are proud to be the people that rescued her. She will be with us as long as God permits. Welcome to your new home Barbie. God bless rescues.