Helene is safe AGAIN as of 12/09/15!!!! I trapped Helene now known as Polly early this morning. Poor Polly has been through so much and desperately wants to be with people, but just doesn’t know how to trust. She came from a high killer shelter in South Carolina on November 11/22/15 and went immediately to a foster home. The next day 11/23/15 she slipped her collar and took off. With much trickery and persuasion I was able to trap her on 11/24/15. She was extremely difficult to get trapped the first time.
After being trapped she found a wonderful new home and was adopted by a family on 11/27/15. On 12/03/15 I received a heartbreaking phone call. Helene got away, she was being walked with a retractable leash and she pulled out of the owners hand and took off. If you learn one lesson from this story, I beg anyone with a retractable leash to THROW THEM AWAY, they are dangerous and can cause injury to yourself and your dog as well as dogs breaking them and being able to escape. You have NO control with a retractable leash at all. When Polly was lost she actually chewed the retractable leash off.
Every morning and night since she has been gone I have been trying to get her back to her family. Working with her gaining her trust, sitting with her, talking to her, feeding her, playing with her and luring her into the trap. She would get within a foot of me and lay down, but you couldn’t reach for her. She would even lick my fingers. But, she was just too skittish to get a slip lead around her. The second I would move my arm up even an inch, she would finch and backup.
Polly is an INCREDIBLY smart dog which makes my job difficult. She is very aware of any change to her environment and would sniff everywhere I touched or stepped after I did it and circle us. I had to do everything opposite of what you would do to trap a lost dog, I was actually sitting in the trap last night feeding her luring her in. Every time we left for the night, she would run after our car….and it totally broke our hearts. She wanted so bad to be with people, just didn’t know how to trust them. Heartbreaking to see and watch, I ended my night in tears going home most nights. When we left, she would frantically circle and bark looking for us. She also circled the house at night barking and looking for her family.
She would go partly in the trap and just stretch as far as she could to reach the food without stepping on the pedal to close the door. Super smart girl and if she couldn’t reach it by stretching, then she rather not eat. We tried everything besides a trap including luring her into the house, I would get her to the doormat and she just wouldn’t go pass the doorway. She is actually very scared of anything over her head and doorways. I could see her fear and her mind working every time she looked at a doorway and sized it up.
Inch by inch I had to bait her into the trap for days. The little stinker actually managed to pull two food bowls out and her bandana that she lost out of the trap and not set the trap off. But, the last and final bowl got her and the door shut. Thank God!!! I knew I had to incredibly slowly build her trust with the trap as she was already trapped before and was very aware it was just a much larger trap this time.
Thank you to my hubby for coming with me EVERY night and helping with Helene, there were days we didn’t get home until 3 am and had to be up for work at 6 am. We were also running back and forth checking on Polly and Bailey every night. Thank you to Mary and Rob for trusting me to get their precious girl back to them. It is a long and I’m sure crazy and confusing experience for people that don’t do recovery. Thank you for loving Polly so much and for wanting her back so badly.
Love you Polly, be a good girl your life is changing for the better and you have no reason to be scared your new family loves you very much. I know it will take time for Polly to fully bond and trust, but once she does she is going to be an incredibly loyal, smart and awesome dog. Welcome home sweetheart!!! Love you so much!!!!