An email alert was sent
to the entire volunteer population. Immediately phones
started to ring – where does she live? I’m going down
there. Volunteers closest to Brandy’s home drove there
armed with flashlights, dog treats, and the determination
that she would be found that night.
In the meantime other
GRRI volunteers sprung into action. By the next morning,
all the animal shelters and police departments in the
surrounding vicinity had been notified; the Home Again
microchip company had been notified, missing dog notices
were posted on internet sites like Petfinder and Dog
Detective.com, animal communicators were engaged, and
local veterinary hospitals were contacted. An alert went
out on several internet Golden Retriever email lists. An
ad was placed, at GRRI’s expense, in the local newspaper,
and one local radio station posted a missing dog alert on
their community board. A $100 reward was posted by the
Board of Directors. Brandy’s family posted missing dog
posters all over town, and visited the shelters to make
sure she “really” wasn’t there.
But Brandy still wasn’t
More and more GRRI
volunteers and friends headed down to south Jersey to join
in the search – some coming from as far away as 2 hrs.
Brandy’s home became “command central”. Her family
opened their home up to total strangers, offering
refreshments, dry towels, bathroom facilities, and a place
to dry off.
Other GRRI adopters who
lived in the area heard about this missing Golden girl and
joined the search. Neighbors allowed access to their
expansive properties; the local community golf course
posted the flyer and drove a volunteer around the
perimeter of the course in a golf cart so she could check
under bushes, fences and trees.
Still no sign of
We were all getting
worried at this point. 24 hrs had gone by, it was getting
dark again, she had not eaten in 24-hrs, and more
importantly, she had not had her medication. We were
determined to find her. Another volunteer with a rescue
in Maryland offered to bring her search and rescue dogs up
the next day if Brandy hadn’t been found.
Then suddenly cell
phones started to ring – we found her….she came home by
herself ! Two of our volunteers stopped by the home for a
restroom break, and who was standing on the porch?
Brandy! She was muddy, but otherwise dry. And oh so happy
to see everyone.
Tears flowed, tails
wagged, and a lot of hugs were exchanged. Brandy was
immediately fed and given her medication, then checked by
GRRI volunteers to make sure there were no injuries.
Brandy loved all the attention. She got so excited she
started to do a happy dance, hopping from one foot to the
other. Wine flowed, pizza was eaten, and then it was time
to go home. Several volunteers accepted the hospitality
of Brandy’s family and spent the night.
The next morning she was
given a nice warm bath to rinse off all the mud from her
little escapade, and brushed and blown dry. She loved all
the attention. She was a little stiff from her 25 hours
outdoors but otherwise in good health. She bade a fond
farewell to all her new friends, and as we drove away, she
was standing in the doorway, wagging her tail.
Thinking back on all of
this now, we can’t help but think how overwhelmed Brandy’s
family must have been with all these people showing up on
their doorstep to help look for their dog. And it amazes
us still how our wonderful volunteers and friends dropped
everything they were doing and made Brandy their top
priority. Why? To quote one of our volunteers, “because
this is what we do”.