I went to the US for 2.5 weeks in mid October, which required a lot of planning for my pets. Boarding and a petsitter for my own dogs and cats, walk-in foster dog adopted, a trial adoption for Duncan the foster puppy, and that left Ria.
Since Ria had only had one vaccination, she couldn’t go to the home for disabled dogs yet, so she went to a friend’s house along with two of my foster cats. My friend is elderly and has so many rescue pets, I should have realized it might be too much for her to handle, but since Ria is usually pretty quiet and well-behaved and was going to be indoors with the cats, I thought it would be okay.
Ria was happy enough when I was there with her, and I hoped she’d settle in well. My friend told me she was fine when I first asked about her. Then I was in rural Tennessee with no access to electricity and terrible reception when my friend called. I didn’t answer. Then she texted me that it’s urgent, about Ria. My heart sank. She said Ria was missing and asked if I could do a recording of my voice for 1-2 minutes that they could play to help find her. I tried, walking around behind the tents, shouting into my phone, “Ria, Ria, Ria! Come here, puppy! Come here!” for as long as I could, hoping the reception wouldn’t go out.
It went through! At least it was something they could use, but I couldn’t get any more updates for two days as my battery was rapidly dying. Once I was back in civilization again, there was no good news. Search parties were going out every day and Ria had been seen, but no one could catch her. They were shocked at how fast a three-legged dog could run!
As I was travelling around, didn’t have roaming, and there was a time difference of 12 hours from Malaysia, it was hard to keep up with what was going on. I got different stories from different rescuers and it seemed like chaos. The only good news was that Ria was staying in mostly the same place, the grounds of a school.
Finally, after she had been missing for more than 10 days, she was caught in a humane trap and brought to a vet. She was uninjured but according to one person, “angry.” I can understand why she would be!
She stayed at the vet for five days until I came back. Apparently she barked at everyone who came near her. She was in a cage, looking completely miserable. The she saw me and her eyes lit up and her tail started wagging. She knew she was going home.
I got her second vaccination that day, but I was in no hurry to send her to the home for disabled dogs. I knew I had to keep her with me where she feels safe until I can find her a real home. She still has a place there if she really needs it, but as long as I don’t have any neighbors complaining about her, I’ll keep her till she finds the right family who will love her and spoil her like she should be.