Baxters case illustrates the importance of not chasing a lost and frightened dog. Baxter went missing from Tatum Park after an off leash dog jumped on him. In most cases, dogs will return to the point of escape unless pursued and chased from the area. For the first two nights, Baxter returned to the point of escape but was eventually pushed out by swarms of well intentioned people doing search parties, calling, yelling his name and driving around flashing lights in to the woods. Posters went up but each time a sighting would come in people would flock to the area and again push him out further. Baxter was running from everyone including his family, he was in survival mode and on the move. Each day we would get sightings approximately three miles from the last.
Working with the owners advising them to keep all sightings quiet and off social media were instrumental in his recovery. We mapped his sightings and travel pattern, Baxter kept circling back to a specific area, feeding stations were in place but Baxter never stayed in one place long enough to find them. I had Baxters mom go door to door in the area that he was returning to and explain the importance of not chasing him or approaching him. Finally, the call came in that led to his homecoming, he was laying on a retaining wall in a back yard on the street that we had feeding stations set up on. The owners of the property did everything right, they did not go outside, they did not call out or approach him, instead they called Baxters mom, Kathy. Over the phone I advised Kathy to go over alone, very quietly with treats and a leash and sit on the ground to see if he would approach on his terms. Sure enough after a few minutes once he was allowed the time to recognized her without being pursued, he got up and ran in to his moms arms!! Welcome home Baxter and Happy Mothers Day Kathy, you were so dedicated to finding your boy.