We lost our dog, but this is how we got him back

Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Colt's Wild Adventure

February 12, 2018

I'm a dog mom to two awesome labs named Kona and Kai. At the moment, there are also two other dogs living at our place, and their names are Colt and Charly, my parents dogs. We're hanging onto my folks' pups while they build their house. I guess you can say it's a 24/7 dog party!

But the party was placed on hold last Thursday afternoon.


If you followed my social media at all over the last year, you probably know that Brad and I remodeled a house on 5+ acres. We constantly joke that we bought the property for the dogs, because it's absolute dog heaven out there with all of the trees and trails through our woods. Although we have a few fenced areas, we tend to walk the dogs all over the property off-leash, and they're always good about staying right with us. On only a few occasions one of them has wandered into the woods for 10 or 15 minutes, but they always come right back home. However on Thursday, that wasn't the case.


I received phone call from Brad right before my show on Thursday night saying that Colt, my parents' 11-year-old, EXTREMELY skittish German Wirehair/Griffon, had been gone since 2:30 that afternoon. He disappeared during one of our "woods walks", which we do 4 to 5 of every single day. He didn't tell me earlier than that, because he was afraid I'd try to get someone to cover my show and I'd end up driving north to help search. He and my dad searched and called for Colt for quite some time, and when they had no luck, I took to social media. I posted on my Facebook pages, the KISW page, and several Lost Pet groups on Facebook asking friends, family and neighbors in the area to keep an eye out for him. My mom sent around the information to their local Next Door group as well. When I got home at 11pm, I was sure he'd be there waiting for me. He was not, so my sister met me at our property and we kept looking. When he didn't turn up, we decided to get some sleep, leaving the door to their big outdoor dog run open with his bed and favorite blanket outside. Again, SURE he'd find his way home by morning. 


When we woke up, he was still missing and we were devastated. My parents met us at our place and we hit the road in two cars, with my mom staying behind to keep an eye out on the property. We canvassed MILES in and around our neighboring communities. We sent text messages, hung fliers and called every shelter in the area. Still nothing, and eventually I had to leave for work. I felt like I was abandoning him, and Friday night's show was absolutely painful to get through. When I got off work, I drove all the way home thinking FOR SURE if I drove slowly from the freeway and all the way home, he would hear me and come running from out of the woods somewhere. I had no such luck, and after talking to my crying mother on the phone, total panic set in as I saw the temperatures dropping below freezing. 


After another near-sleepless night, we woke up to news from my parents that someone thought they had spotted him at Kayak Landing near the reservoir by Kayak Point Golf Course. Alex from the golf course took one of the fliers and was kind enough to loan my dad a golf cart so he could look around. Still no Colt. But based on the description (super fast and skittish dog, etc) we KNEW he was out there, alive but terrified. So I drove through Kayak Landing, Kayak Estates, Kayak Point Golf Course, Warm Beach, Lake Goodwin, Happy Hollow and Silvana Terrace. He wasn't anywhere to be found, so I drove home, feeling helpless and defeated.


In the late afternoon, another tip came through. Steve from Kayak Point Golf Course called Brad and said he was pretty sure he'd seen Colt on the 9th hole! My mom and my sister drove straight there in one car, my dad in the other, as we waited patiently for a call with some good news. I hadn't heard anything for several minutes, so I called my mom... and literally the reunion was taking place as we were talking! My sister spotted him in Kayak Estates, and the second he recognized her he ran right over, tail wagging, and jumped in the car! First things first, he grabbed their bag of leftovers from breakfast and started trying to eat the bag! Colt was home. WOW. What a stressful 50 hours....



Oh, did I mention the golf course is nearly 7 miles from our place?! I wish we had some idea of what he was up to, where he slept, what he managed to eat... Since he came back home to our place, we have been giving him lots of extra treats, food, pets and rest. As an 11 year old dog, his body clearly took a beating. His joints are sore and he's totally wiped out, but so happy to be back with Kona, Kai and Charly! 


Based on our experience, I wanted to give a few pieces of advice for what to do and who to contact if you are ever in this kind of situation:


1. Take to social media immediately. Post a current picture of your pet with a description of breed/markings, whether or not they have a collar or ID tags, and whether or not they are microchipped. Give details of the last place the dog was seen and where they could potentially be headed.

2. Join any Lost Dog or Pet groups on Facebook in your area and let these incredible people help spread the word. We used Lost Dogs of Snohomish County #1, Lost and Found Pets of Snohomish County and Lost Dogs of Skagit Valley. These networks of people are total animal lovers, committed to getting information pushed out as far as possible. I can't tell you how many people we had run into while out looking who had seen our posts from these groups!!

3. Join the Nextdoor network in your community and share the details of your pet with your neighbors. We did this with Nextdoor Warm Beach

4. Submit an alert with Pawboost. This is a HUGE network of local people who help reunite lost pets with their families.

5. Contact local shelters. In our area alone, we contacted CASA, NOAH, the Everett Animal Shelter and PAWS in Lynnwood. 

6. Print and post fliers with photos and contact information. Post near the place your animal went missing, nearby neighborhoods or developments, gas stations, grocery stores and shelters. 


Thank you to everyone who helped us bring Colt home! My entire family is beyond grateful and truly touched by the support. My heart is so happy, and so is Colt's!


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly