Summary: Marisol’s Story

Our dog, Marisol, was attacked by another dog on Nov. 2 and ran away from her dog walking group in the Fells Reservation near Medford, MA.


Call/text us at 781-334-8364 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after a sighting. Call or text any time, 24/7, if you think you’ve seen Marisol! [click to email]

—> Why shouldn’t I yell her name? How can I help?

—> I live nearby and want to volunteer. Sign me up!

—> I want to hang signs, what do I do?

—> If I happen to see Marisol, what should I do?

Most recent sighting: 5/16/12

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Sightings and contact

We’ve been quiet here for the most part because there hasn’t been much to post — in a lot of ways it feels like we’ve said everything already. Mari’s adoption day came and went on May 8th. It was the second time without her. I had the very strange realization that she has now been gone as long as she was with us — there’s an entire lifetime’s worth of experiences we don’t know about. Do her paws still smell of Fritos? Or does she need a couple of baths first? Does she go swimming at all? How many toy squirrels could she have gutted in this time?

Sightings are starting up again, as days are getting longer. There were a couple this month that the team is following up on. As I mentioned in a previous post, a couple of volunteers asked us if they could take the lead on the search. They approached us a couple of months ago with a plan, and we said yes. They’d already been helping with some of the toughest aspects of the search — Bella had taken over making the “roadkill calls” for me (which never got any easier, no matter how times I had to do this) — and the members of the team had already been helping us with feeding stations and postering for months.

Bella asked if I’d post her direct contact information here. If you see a lost dog who fits Mari’s description, please call or text 781-334-8364. Someone from the team will be at the sighting location asap. Bella’s email address is bellatrav [at] gmail [dot] com. If you’d like to help the team, please contact her by email.

Andrew and I are very grateful to her, Kevin, Donna, Mary, and Gail for their daily help and to everyone who has continued to check in and send positive thoughts. Mari’s a lucky girl to have such a loving army at her back.

Mari on adoption day, saying goodbye to Gloria, who saved her.

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Nothing Yet…

The header says it all — we don’t have anything definitive yet. We got two new leads based on all of the outreach. One turned out to be a neighborhood dog that had gotten loose and has since found its way home. The other many of you saw in the comments and forwarded to us — it’s a secondhand sighting so we’re trying to track down the person who thinks she saw Mari to get a firsthand account. As of now, the tail markings sound fox-like, but we’re following up on everything.

It’s good to have the phone ringing again, but we haven’t been able to confirm or eliminate the tip that Mari was picked up. I hope she was — I like the idea of her being indoors, getting regular meals and belly rubs rather than staying wary and hidden and cold and scavenging trash. She’s a lovable, loving, and loved creature who should be in someone’s home tearing squeakers out of stuffed toys and begging for hummus.

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Thank you!!

Wow — thank you all so much for your offers of help both here and by email! By the end of yesterday, we reached 30+ vets, animal hospitals, and shelters, and people are still going today! Many of the offices knew Mari well, even though we haven’t done outreach at this scale in a while, which was comforting. They appreciated having new information about her so they can continue to keep an eye out. Others said they would continue to spread the word to their colleagues to see if she was brought in. At this point, I think we’re all set with vet/shelter outreach (we have ACOs covered, as well Cathie arranged to have a fresh SABER alert issued to all ACOs in MA with updated sighting information) — thank you again!!

The biggest challenge with this lead is that if it’s true, we’ll hopefully find her through all of this outreach, but if it isn’t, it’s *really* hard to eliminate, so we’re just giving it our best shot and hoping to get some new information. There are two ways to approach this: 1) try to find the vet or vet tech who treated her if she was brought in or 2) try to find whoever helped her. For the latter, we’re just trying to spread the word as widely as possible, so any sort of Facebook or #marisolsearch Twitter posts would be terrific. And if she wasn’t brought in and this is a false lead? Hopefully we’ll find out through a fresh lead and can then close this one.

We’ve spent so much time wishing we could rewind the clock to that day and cancel Mari’s walk or do something different that would have changed the outcome of her getting lost. We’ve also spent so much time marveling at how kind and generous people have been and continue to be in this search. Loads of love are coming your way, Mari. And, if we can make it happen, piles of those stinky lamb and blueberry treats you love so much. With peanut butter.

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Following a lead

Thanks for continuing to check in here. I said that if we ever needed help, I’d post, and here we are!

For the past couple of months, a very small team has continued to work on Marisol search — they approached us with a plan, and we wanted to make sure we tried everything to get her back, so we said yes. I haven’t been posting regular updates here because it’s been the same cycle — a sighting, a cluster of sightings, something hopeful, and then nothing for weeks — and it’s really tough to constantly recount the same series of ups and downs — those moments of feeling close and then watching that slip away. We’re grateful for all of their efforts to follow up as thoroughly as possible with every lead and for how proactive they’ve been with the search.

The team has consulted with GSDR, and we brought a tracker in a couple of times. There was a solid set of sightings at the end of August/early September that we were able to confirm with a scent dog, but the description would’ve been enough — this was our best sighting since December 2010. We picked up Mari’s scent again after a November sighting and then it got quiet again. No sightings. No scents. We got one lead about a dog who was brought to a police station that sounded like a possibility, but it wasn’t her.

And then there’s this, which one of the team members posted to GSDR’s FB page:

Marisol is a former PR Sato and she has been missing since Nov. 2010, when she went missing after a dog attack in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. We have solid information by way of a sighting that Marisol was still alive in September ’11 in Winchester MA. Based on more recent information, Marisol may have been picked up over the past 2-3 weeks by some Good Samaritans who took her to a local vet or vet hospital for care. Please contact (781) 334- 8364 with any information that will help us bring Marisol home. All information will remain confidential.

Until this point, we’ve been able to track down all of the leads and confirm or eliminate them (one of the team members is a retired state police officer, another’s a journalist — you don’t get more thorough follow up!). Several were coyotes/foxes. We also found more Mari lookalikes. But some of the sightings panned out, so we’re pursuing everything.

Now we can use help with outreach to try to verify or eliminate this lead.

Mari is not chipped. As of September, she still had her collar. I’m sure her tags have worn off if they haven’t fallen off, and I don’t know if she still has her collar.

I have a list of vets and shelters in the area. We’d like to get refresher posters to them and also call to see if any dogs were brought in within the time frame listed above who match Mari’s description.

Is there anyone who has time over the next few days to drop off a poster or make a couple of calls? If so, just leave a comment, let me know the town, and we can divide and (hopefully) conquer.

Also, please help spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, wherever. *Any* additional information would help at this point, whether through a vet’s office or a friend of a friend who knows someone who picked up a dog and thought she was a stray, not a lost dog whose owners have been trying to bring her home for over a year.

Mari survived blizzards, an earthquake, and a hurricane. Here’s hoping she’s still surviving and was brought in for some care.

Thanks for all of your continued thoughts for our pup. Hopefully she can sense the army at her back and will stay tough, smart, and strong.


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Lost Dog in Medford

ETA: Subotai was found! Full story (plus great photos) here.

I saw this lost dog notice go through a mailing list and wanted to give it a signal boost. There’s some overlap with Mari’s areas (apparently they share a vet!). Please keep an eye out and help spread the word!

I grabbed the text and photos from the family’s website:

Missing Beloved Family Dog: Subotai

Brown w/black muzzle
65 lb neutered lab/shephered/ chow mutt
2 years old , friendly, but may be hurt and scared

Please call 617-688-2372 immediately if seen.

Last seen Thursday December 8th, 2011 High and Sagamore Street, MA in West Medford

Familiar places include Mystic River, Fresh Pond, Middlesex Fells, Somerville (Washington St. + Beacon) Perry Park, Somerville Dog Parks, please see map above

No tag, but has a microchip

Enclosed is a pdf if you can print and post. Missing Subo


I hope Subotai’s found safe and sound very soon — my heart goes out to them.

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A year later

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and support and prayers and messages. Somehow, I never thought that a year later, we’d all still be here, and still without Mari.

When she was first lost, I couldn’t imagine her being gone overnight, and we kept marking time, thinking — she has to be back by the end of the week, by the end of the month, by winter, by Andrew’s birthday, by her adoption date, by my birthday, by her birthday, by the day she was lost. But time passes differently for dogs, who don’t know dates or anniversaries.

Today’s tough for her humans, and I can’t say much more beyond thank you for all of your help over the past year and for all of your thoughts and support. Marisol, wherever you are, I hope you find some bacon and enjoy today’s sunshine.

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[Edit: Found!] Dog Missing from Hyde Park

UPDATE Oct 5th: Buster has been recovered! Thank you for helping.

Download Missing Poster Here

We got a note from an ARL volunteer today asking for our help locating another lost dog. They have done so much for us that we wanted to try and return the favor as much as possible. Please spread the word and help get Buster home!:

Buster was adopted to a new family this past Sunday and went missing (escaped or stolen) the next day. Here at the shelter we all love Buster, he had been with us for 6 long months and we worked so hard to find a home for him. We are beside ourselves and if hurts to realize that a dog such as him (boxer mix, possibly pit bull mix) could have been stolen.

Buster is a 2 year old brindle and white boxer/pit bull mix. He is neutered, microchipped, and had a dark blue martingale collar on with his information on the tags when he went missing.

Buster is a love, he is so sweet and friendly, and he likes to play with other dogs. Buster went missing from the Highland Ave area of Hyde Park and we have had no sightings of him. Buster could be anywhere by now and the most helpful thing would be to have his picture everywhere.

Download Missing Poster Here

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A pause, a break, a breather

Andrew and I’ve been talking a lot about what to do about the Marisol search. We still get some sightings. We still follow up. We still don’t know for certain that these are Mari, but as long as there are credible sightings, it’s hard to say “Let’s stop now.”

We had two tough things happen, which made us pause to reevaluate. The first was something that came up in the comments — we got a call about a dog who was picked up whose size and coloring matched Mari’s. We went to the shelter, and it wasn’t her. We weren’t really expecting it to be, but it’s hard not to get your hopes up.

A week later, the Daisy team got a photo of a dog on their feeding station camera who looked like Mari — enough so that Andrew was sure it was her — this was our first glimpse of our dog who we haven’t seen in 9 months! Our goal was to get this dog on camera again — the shots weren’t great, so we weren’t 100% positive — and then sure enough, we got more photos of the dog! And it was with a person. And from the far clearer photos, it was obvious this dog was much bigger and had a different face, even though the coloring and pantaloons matched.

Again, we had the roller coaster of hope followed by a crash which led to the inevitable question of “How long can we keep doing this?” It was tough for both of us but really devastating for Andrew who thought these were photos of sol.

So we’ve been talking instead of writing and trying figure out what we should do. Do we keep going? Do we stop? What about all of Mari’s Army who’ve been helping for so long?

Of all of the questions, we could make one easy decision: we’re going to keep this site up just in case. We still want her back. We still hope to get her back. We still want to have a virtual home for her.

At the same time, we  realized that it’s becoming hard to remember all of the good and happy memories of this quirky, spunky little creature we were so lucky to adopt when we’re spending so much time on the loss of her. So after several weeks of not knowing what to say here when we don’t have a ton of new information to post, we’ve decided to take a conscious pause, a break, a breather, and we encourage you to do the same, especially the volunteers who have been postering for so many months.

If something comes up that we can act on, we will absolutely contact you, but in the meantime, we just want to say thank you to everyone who has been helping and following Mari’s story for so long. We still hope we can  post a happy ending someday, but we can’t keep the daily/weekly search activities going indefinitely, and we don’t want to ask you to do so, either.

We’re still stunned and overwhelmed by the strength and generosity of the community that has come together around one dog (although we’ve always been sure Mari’s the best dog ever), and we’re very grateful for it. We couldn’t have made it this long without everyone’s help and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Here are some of the good times with the girl who’s inspired so much love and affection.

Marisol at Christmas

Marisol trying to convince Andrew to skip work

Marisol squidface

Mari on the best day of her life

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The past week

Thanks for your continued posts wishing Mari all the best. We’ve had a lot going on recently and no real updates, hence the quiet on our side. Andrew and I’ve been talking about our summer girl a lot because this is her season, and it always ends with, “She’s such a great girl. I miss her.” We had a bbq this weekend for my birthday, and we were remembering how she’d get into so much trouble at every one. I’ve mentioned the time she climbed onto a table and ate about 2 cups of leftover marinade at a friend’s bbq (this is the only time I’ve ever seen her walk away from her dinner). The last time we hosted one, she and her friend Murray escaped from our closed in yard. Mari’s the instigator and Murray’s a good-natured follower, so we knew who came up with this plan. They didn’t go anywhere, just sat on the other side of the barrier looking thoroughly pleased with themselves.

This past week we suddenly started getting sighting calls again, after several quiet weeks — and they’ve been tough to figure out. We got a note that someone saw Mari twice in one weekend in the same location. I followed up and didn’t hear back. I have the general area, but it’s big, and there are no specifics regarding when, where, or what this person saw. We’ve had fox sightings from this area, but we can’t compare our notes unless we hear back.

I received another sighting south of this area, but the caller wasn’t sure what she’d seen — if it was a fox, coyote, or dog. From the size description, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fox, but it’s tough to tell any more.

And then we got sightings on the other side of 93 — one was a dog that turned out to be twice Mari’s size, so we were able to rule that out. The same day we got a call about a dog that was Mari-sized, but it was so underweight, the caller said she had no idea if it was Mari or not. This dog ran into a yard. We got one other lead today that I’m following up on from the same side of 93, and I’ll hopefully have more information tomorrow.

These sightings are different from some of our more recent ones (recent being a relative term, of course) — these happened in the daytime and in residential areas south of the Fells — which makes it even harder to figure them out. Has she moved out of the Fells? Is she traveling further to find food? Are any of these even her? I wonder if we’ll ever know.

I found this photo in Andrew’s collection — it’s one of my favorites. We’re taking a break in the middle of a hike through the Fells.

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Thank you

I just wanted to post a thank you to the Daisy Team for having Marisol mini-fliers and a poster at their booth at the Stoneham Kiwanis dog show on Saturday and to Gail for arranging it.

I found a couple of photos I didn’t know we had — like when Andrew went to shoot a video of something and realized the last thing on the tape was Mari running away from the camera and then running up to nose it.

This is one that Andrew took. Mari wasn’t a fan of our computers, which meant no playing, but she was our constant coworker. She’d hang out in the same room, sometimes monitoring the window, sometimes sitting on our feet and licking our toes, and otherwise getting soooo bored. Here’s what she’d do:

When we’d look up and laugh, she’d thump her tail once or twice, and if we actually got up, the tip of her tail would begin to quiver. I was always surprised she didn’t make herself sneeze. She’d only lift her head if you got close enough to pet her, but if you happened to have a toy, she’d leap off the sofa and start bouncing for it.

Here’s something else she’d do:

Looks uncomfortable, right? Nope. Easy access. I could reach down and scratch her head between the ears — one of her favorite spots — without either of us having to stretch. She knew what she was doing!

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