Every trappers worst nightmare, getting the call that a dog you have previously trapped escaped and is on the run again.
Many of you may remember sweet Huckleberry who was on the run for over two years and safely captured by BDRR back in September. This past Monday was to be the start of his happily ever after, he was in a foster to adopt home.
Huckleberry is a very easy going guy, so much so that it’s easy to forget he’s a flight risk.
The day after arriving at his new home, he was out in his beautiful new fenced in yard. The leash was taken off him and like a light switch, survival mode took over. He would not come to his new owner, the same owner he would snuggle up against and sleep in her bed with. All night long she worked to get him back inside, until he vanished.
I received the call Thursday that Huckleberry was out, this time in the middle of the vast Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, NY. I literally dropped everything and headed over. I walked the perimeter of the property and found the compromised spot in the chain link fence that he was able to pull up and claw his way under. Rule of thumb, if they can fit their head through, they can get their body through.
I knew this boys patterns and his behavior and was hopeful that once it was dark and all was quiet he would come back to the most familiar point. I made sure that no one was out searching and pushing him further away. Cameras and feeding station was set and at 3:30AM when the outdoor sensor lights went off Huckleberry appeared from the darkness.
When he was captured back in September he was quite leery of the trap and I knew he was not going to make this capture easy. To make matters more difficult, there was barely any cell service to monitor my cameras, so I stayed parked in my car with a cracked window, freezing my butt off laying in the back seat of the truck, waiting to hear the sound of the of the enclosure door slam shut. We made sure all the sensor lights on the property were turned off, even inside house lights… we wanted it pitch black.
The only good thing about the the time change, it now gets dark early so the dogs come out earlier. At 8:34 I heard rustling of the leaves, it was Huckleberry. He circled the enclosure for over an hour and finally went in for the rotisserie chicken that he loved so much. I ran over and sat by him and told him we had to stop meeting like this, lol. He was very happy to see me and I think remembered me. When one of his caretakers, Sandy from the shelter arrived he was overcome with joy wiggling and wagging his tail, a testament to the love and care the dogs receive at RBARI.
Please do not let your guard down with a flight risk dog or any newly adopted / foster dog or a dog in unfamiliar surroundings. I always try to educate that they should never be taken off leash even in a fenced in yard until they have had time to adjust, decompress and get to know their new environment and new people. Check every inch of the fence making sure there are no compromised spots. Remove all things near fence that could allow them to jump up and over. Dogs can also climb chain link fences. A fenced in yard is not fool proof.
Huckleberry is safe and sound once again….phewwwww!