(Feb 2018) This marked the beginning of a fight to save our *wandering* pooch. And again, Gina and Emily (IAR volunteers) offered to help, and came up with a plan: (1) we need to get him to come to the same location; (2) two Five Oaks neighbors (Barbara) will feed him at specific times twice day; (3) other than these two Neighbors, all others will stop feeding him; (4) he must be enticed to come to the same place and at the same time for food; (5) donations of food was welcomed; (6) thanked everyone for the outpouring of concerns for our Wanderer; (7) searching for a loving forever home. By law, all stray dogs must be surrendered to Animal Control for rabies testing, but with IAR’s involvement, he could be fostered from Animal Control as soon as he was approved for release. One problem! He had to be trapped first! He, indeed, started to come to the feeding area (loved hot dogs, but rather picky about his kibble). Now, a perfect trap was necessary! After jumping through hoops, a Missy Trap, although labor intensive to install, was finally in place at the feeding location.
(Mar 2018) One morning, our Wanderer was trapped, but only for fifteen (15) minutes. He actually dug his way out, and trotted off once again to wander. He did, however, return on several occasions ~~ no doubt looking for his turkey, and especially his hot dogs. It was decided a more traditional larger trap was necessary. And again, jumping through even more hoops, there was success with Orange County delivering a new trap. An alert was put out to avoid leashing him; he had to feel comfortable around people; he must maintain low stress levels (it was learned through these many weeks, that he certainly did not like being confined or touched). The food dish was placed half way into the new trap (the trap is triggered when he noses around the bowl to eat). But when he returned to the area to have his daily meal, this smart pooch actually pulled the dish completely out of the trap, before the trap could engage. He was again off to wander! The dish was then shoved to the back. We had the help of a Neighbor (who had an excellent view of the area where the trap was located); and she would report all the sightings of our pooch. There were also two ‘dead dog on the highway’ scares; one was a coyote and one was a deer. But each scare heightened the reminder of what was at stake ~ anxious time for the people manning the front line, as well as the Five Oaks Community and her sister Communities. It’s also to be noted here that every avenue possible was exhausted through these many weeks to find this guy’s owner, but sadly to no avail. Also, sadly, he was not micro-chipped!
(Mar 18, 2018) Volunteers, over several hours, attempted to get a leash on our Wanderer, but each time, although friendly (especially if they were accompanied by a dog), as soon as he spotted the leash, he would quietly back away, and trot off. He was a master of evasion. After a month and a half, all it took was Roxie (Wonder Dog), and Ron (Dog Whisperer). For some mysterious canine reason, he acted like a puppy around Ron ~~ his new favorite people. Ron was able to pet him, hold him, and ultimately simply pick him up and quietly place him in the crate. Ron had developed a good relationship with our Wanderer, saying he is a normal, affectionate pooch, who absolutely loves Roxie. With the help of Gina (IAR volunteer) and Barbara (Five Oaks), he was then delivered to the Orange County Animal Control. Our Wanderer was concerned, but calm and gentlemanly throughout.
(Mar 24, 2018) Barbara (Five Oaks) and Gina (IAR) delivered him to his foster home, with a huge fenced in yard (reinforced to thwart digging). Although through these many weeks, our Wanderer was referred to Skippy/Spotty, it was decided, Gina (IAR) had earned naming rights, and our Five Oaks Skippy/Spotty is certainly a *Trooper*. Trooper continues to thrive with his loving foster parents and many friends, where he continues to work on his social skills.
(May 2018) Trooper is now in his forever home. Ethan (a tall, slow moving quiet guy) and Erika (who has been working with Trooper at a Doggie Care Center) have officially adopted Trooper – and he is now known as Jayce. Similar to his relationship with Ron, he acts like a smitten puppy around Ethan. He has become a shameless lapdog ~~ dignity surrendered. He’s a happy boy, with two female doggie friends; and he also trots (or wanders) off daily to the Day Care Center with Erika. #HappyBoyHappyEnding!