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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48 Responses to A pause, a break, a breather

  1. Veronika says:

    I’ve been following your blog since not long after you started looking for Marisol. I’ve had cats all my life and have suffered the loss of missing pets and the joy of a returned pet. Your blog represents the hopes of everyone who has had a furry friend go missing and called out the door night after night for their return. It breaks my heart that you’ve come so far without her return. I can’t imagine how hard it’s been for you.

    It sounds like your decision to take a break is wise. The word is still out there, but you can’t devote the rest of your lives to looking for her and opening the same wounds. I will continue to check back, spread the word, and hope for Mari’s safe return. I wish you peace.

  2. Flannery says:

    My heart is breaking for you but I think this is such a brave, healthy move. It’s been such a rollercoaster as an outside observer, I can’t imagine living it every day.

    I’m still holding out hope that she’s out having a grand adventure and when she’s ready, she’ll come back home to you, big doggie grin and all.

  3. Cathy says:

    Like everyone else I hoped each day to read the joyous news that you were reunited with her.. Taking this break is a healthy decision for both of you, I cant imagine the pain that this journey has caused you.. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Andrew; and of course “Marisol”…. Who knows one day one of these sitings will bring your sweet girl home. ((((HUG)))) Cathy

  4. diane says:

    It is so heartbreaking to lose a beloved beast…..they are our families…..our kin. Please don’t give up, I’ve seen stories of dogs who’ve been reunited when they’ve been missing for 2+ years……

    Don’t think for one minute that Marisol doesn’t dream of you, think of you and miss you like crazy…..she is trying to find her way home…..and one can only hope that, if she doesn’t make it back, that some kind, loving family has taken her in, and is giving her the proper care she needs, and maybe just maybe, one day, they will see your postings. I pray you find her very soon.

    blessings to you and Marisol. xo

  5. beth hay says:

    I am incredibly sad, but feel that the break is the right thing to do for you and Andrew…Marisol will always be in my prayers…

  6. Abbie says:

    We will continue to keep an eye out for her while driving by or walking through the Fells. We will however ask one more time for you to please post where the last credible sightings of Mari were. In an area larger than 2,000 acres we often times feel like we’re wasting hours of our time walking in areas she may not be due to lack of corners/places she may actually be bedding down. Some of your experts said not to tell the army where those sightings are/were in order not to scare her out of that area but that plan has not worked so why not give people who still care as you do an opportunity to spend time where she may have been seen in recent or distant past. She may return to familiar areas soon or down the road. It may help to also share Mari’s attention getting phrases….ball, treat, cookie, etc. so that while peole walk they can holler those phrases once in a while. We won’t give up either.
    Abbie

  7. Natalie says:

    Even tho’ I live in British Columbia, Canada and cannot physically be of help or had been able to help in the search. I have followed your story and kept up with the goings on. I totally understand your need for a break and a pause. I appreciate you sharing your story. Marisol {as you of course know} is a wonderful and special pup :)

    I even created a folder esp. to keep up on your blog posts, goings, on and the search. Keeping a record of the fave pics you shared of your sol. I will still keep that folder, and I’m so glad you are keeping up your virtual site. Thank you Anita and Andrew for making us all part of your lives in some way in the search for Marisol. I will check in from time to time. Just coz I like reading about Marisol and looking at her cute pics.

    I will never lose faith and hope for that happy ending as you both do. In the meantime know that your friends and supporters always stand by and wish the best for you.

    Many hugs and smiles across the miles :0)

    Natalie

  8. Lauren says:

    I have been following your blog daily since the Globe posted Mari’s story and my heart breaks for the three of you and the reality of having to cross this bridge. I will continue to cross my fingers that there will be a Disney-style happy ending to this tale.

    Your story hit particularly home because my husband and I briefly lost our beloved dog-child of a dog in the Fells last summer. She was scampering on the trails with us, slightly ahead, and must have turned down a bike path in the few seconds she was out of sight. When the bike path circled back to the hiking trail, she panicked and turned the other way. For two wrenching hours we raced about – screaming, dialing my cell phone so she would possibly pick up the distinctive ring tone and hone in, and stopping everyone we crossed. In the end we were beyond lucky, as in the span of five minutes two bikers and a hiker reported seeing her running in reverse along the trail and then we got a call from a good samaritan in the parking lot that she had found her…sitting directly in front of our car. We had never been to the Fells before, so she was not at all familiar with the trails or layout, but she managed to reverse our eight mile hike and stake out next to our car in a crowded lot.

    I have relived the emotions of that day every time I have opened your blog, and I cannot imagine the pain you have endured. For our parts, we were not able to talk about how life would have continued without our own creature without breaking down (and I fear my hypothetical future human children will suffer an unbearably overprotective mom as a direct result of that experience), so I feel for you in a very real way. I sincerely hope you are able to find peace in these weeks away.

    And…yet…I will never stop hoping that Mari finds a way back to you. She sounds like a sassy girl. Perhaps she just needs to do it on her own terms, when you least expect it. Just as she did when she found you at the start :-)

  9. Emily says:

    Thank you three, for helping me to remember that there really are good people out there. We hear so many sad stories about dogs and people, especially those of us involved in rescue, but your posts have lifted my spirit time and time again, and little Marisol has, too. I hope Marisol makes her way back to you, but I like to think of her as being happy wherever she is. I will continue to keep an eye out online since it has sort of become my norm. Sending love, admiration and tons of hope to you all.

  10. Monica says:

    Always in our thoughts. My little girls asks me every time we drive by the woods if Marisol is in there.

  11. Connie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and Marisol with us over these months. Please keep hope and faith alive. Mari is resourceful and smart — I always hope and expect that one day soon she will be back home with you. We understand your needing a break. If there is something Mari’s army can do, please let us know. We are still holding you, her and our hope for her return in our hearts. Take care of yourselves.

  12. Jane (the other Jane) says:

    Good luck and God bless you both. I will never stop hoping for a happy ending post one of these days. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and thank you so much for bringing Marisol to life for all of us out here who would otherwise not get to know her. Peace to you both and to that beautiful dog.

  13. Elisha says:

    I’ve been following your story for a long time. We all miss Marisol for you and still hope and pray she’ll come home to you soon. You will always be in our thoughts. Best wishes to you and may Mari return home someday soon:)

  14. Kate says:

    I must say I think Abbie raises some good points, I have often wondered about that as well.
    I will continue to look for Marisol because she is in my heart; I understand why you have posted this and I wish you both the best,
    Kate

  15. Gloucester Jane says:

    Like everyone else here, Marisol is in my heart now & I’ll continue to think of her every morning while walking with my dogs and visualize her returning home safely.
    I so relate to your wanting to remember all the happy, loving times and not just the sadness and loss. When unexpectedly I lost my last fabulous dog, Nora, to cancer, I made a rule that whenever I felt overwhelmed by grief I would remember a happy, fun time with her. Sometimes I failed and just felt sad but mostly it helped to remember how much she was loved and all the good times we had with her.
    I wish you all the best and hope we’ll hear good news and that you’ll also call on all of us for support if/when needed. Take care, Jane

  16. Leslie says:

    Your grace under pressure and your tender humor has been inspirational. The Marisol you have shared with us is such a resourceful and smart and quirky and hilarious creature. It has been a gift to get to know her through your writings. We will continue to keep our eyes out.

  17. Meredith R. says:

    I agree with Abbie. If you are taking a breather or pausing, then why do the “experts’” advice matter anymore? Please post where these sightings have been for the past 3 months so those of us who hike and drive in and around the fells everyday can keep an eye out. I still wish you would let the Mari army flood the fells on a Saturday to try to flush her out. If you are taking a break, then why would you care or want to stop us? It HAS worked finding lost dogs by flooding the area with people no matter how unique Mari is and no matter what all these new age experts say (just ask people who have had many dogs for many decades -perhaps we are experts too…).and still even in the end, you will not let the army try it. If you change your mind, then post the sightings and we will do the rest.

    Then again, you are probably not even reading this, so if the army wants to get together on a saturday and flood the southern fells, let me know. I’m in…

    • linda says:

      Meredith, If they read these comments or not… I think it was kind of rude of you to write the last paragraph above…they stated what they are doing and why…and I do not think anyone involved in this search should go against what Anindita and Andrew want. Everyone thinks they know best…but it up to them to decide what to do!!

  18. Mary says:

    Dear Anindita & Andrew: thank you for the great photos of Marisol and your heartfelt message. We care so much for the three of you and I hope you know that. Because of family illnesses, I haven’t been able to post/search as much as I would like but I will continue to do so as much as possible. Please consider letting us know the areas of the latest sightings.
    Marisol’s army is still out there and we want the best day in Mari’s life to be the one when she is reunited with you. I still expect a miracle and pray daily for the safe rescue of Marisol, Daisy and the other lost animals. Peace & love :)

  19. Meredith R. says:

    Linda,
    You think that I’m being rude? A total stranger who has never met this dog yet still wants to help, even after the owners want a break, is being rude?

    Okay.

    • Sharon says:

      I, too, have been a part of Marisol’s Army from day 1 – at first spending several hours searching in various parts of the Fells as requested by Anindita and Andrew, and then putting posters up every week for the past 8 months. And I, too, am frustrated and saddened that the search has not yet been successful. However, no matter how emotionally invested I am (and I have spent many nights worrying about Marisol, and have surprised myself by crying for a dog and her two owners whom I have never met), I remind myself that I am nowhere close to understanding the anguish Anindita and Andrew feel for their dog. And I remind myself that I volunteered to help because I wanted to help, which doesn’t give me the right to expect something in return. Ultimately, A & A have to feel that no matter what happens, they did the absolute best they could to bring Marisol home. The strategies they have used have been suggested to them from animal rescue experts (Animal Rescue League, for example), not “new age” type people – although, if they wanted try those too, it is, and should be, completely their decision. Anindita and Andrew, I am still here to help, if you decide to start the search again ( and I will continue to look on my own).

    • linda says:

      Meredith…. only the comment about them READING YOUR COMMENT and FLOODING THE SOUTHERN FELLS WITHOUT THEM!!!!! REALLY???? THEY STATED WHAT THEY ARE DOING !!. I go out everynight early morning hoping to SEE her or Daisy…….and nothing…

  20. Vincent says:

    Anindita & Andrew,
    I wish all the best for you and will continue to keep Marisol in my thoughts.
    -Vincent

  21. Abbie says:

    Thanks Kate and Mereith for agreeing with some of my comments. Those of us (the army) that have been emotionally and physically involved since day one get frustrated to think Mari may have been seen in sector one and we’re spending time walking and searching in sector 12. If the sightings are read then it’s wasting a lot of people’s time and energy to be searching 2,000 other acres. I’ve been involved in searches where dogs were found and the owners/dog officers always shared some information to keep searchers concentrated in an area the dog was seen. Who knows what will bring a dog out of hiding, seeing another dog, a friendly face, a kind voice or a holler of their favorite treat. If she’s in the Fells we all (owners and army) want to find her and it may take new methods.

  22. RH23 says:

    I’m in North Dakota and have been following your blog for quite a while, wishing I could help, hoping for good news. I foster dogs for a rescue and have pups of my own, what you have gone through breaks my heart. I hope your beautiful Sol wanders back in to your life someday.

  23. Beth G says:

    I want to echo what Veronika, Cathy and a few others said.

    Many of us have invested time and emotions in this search, but none of us can know what it’s like to walk in your shoes (of course, Augie and I will continue to keep a look-out on our daily Fells walks, and hope for a reunion, just in case).

    I wish all three of you the best.

  24. Lauren says:

    I continue to pray daily for an eventual reunion. In my heart of hearts, I believe your little girl is out there finding a way to survive. It is just a vast unknown territory with so many hiding spots and so much room to roam. I have to believe there will be a ‘perfect storm’ of events that will bring dear mari home to you. Maybe you and Andrew will be taking a walk through the fells and your little girl will remember those familiar scents and long to return home and run out with her pantaloons waving in the breeze… It’s my dream for you to all see each other. If the higher powers see fit for another fate, then I have to believe mari had more love in her time with you both than most dogs have in a lifetime. Maybe her love tank is so full that she can bask in those memories forever. We will never stop looking for her. In the meantime, I hope you all find peace. Please do stay in touch.

  25. Jane says:

    Beautifully said Sharon

  26. mindy says:

    While meredith’s tone may have sounded a bit harsh, I agree with the sediment. I’ve posted a few times, asking why something different is not tried, like disclosing the sightings locations, even to just a small number of people so we can focus. I don’t get to the fells often, but I would have happily gone to look for mari, had I known where there would be a better chance of spotting her. This little dog search has captured so many hearts, and saddened so many emotionally involved people, it feels a bit frustrating that we can’t do more. Given that following the previous advice hasn’t resulted in a found mari, I’m not sure I understand what can be lost by trying something else.

    Alas, though, I’m sure there are reasons. I absolutley get the need for a break, but if you were willing to disclose more specific detail, I’d be happy to help. My thoughts are with you and I really do believe there will be a happy reunion.

  27. Jenn says:

    I can’t begin to imagine how hard this has been for you. Of course you should take a break if you need it. It doesn’t mean you are giving up on Mari.

    Everyone who cares about this tale of the missing girl will still be looking and hoping. I put your numbers in my phone long ago, even though I’m in Boston, JUST IN CASE.

    I don’t even know what else to say except your team of Mari hopers and lookers is going to keep hoping and looking and thinking of you. I really hope so much that you get your sweet girl home.

  28. Lauren says:

    Mari, find your little hiding spot and sit tight for the weekend. I know you don’t like rain very much so it might be a long few days. Just know it will be over soon and your army will be back out looking for your blessed little soul. Can’t stop thinking of you, try as I might. Be safe and let someone see you soon.

  29. Mary says:

    Hi Marisol: your army is still out there. The wonderful story of Willow the cat who was found in NYC after being missing from Colorado for five years gives us hope. You’re just as smart as any cat and your survival skills are legend.
    Just know that we are still searching and postering for the Queen of the Fells!

  30. Judy says:

    I hav been following you guys since the beginning, always hoping and praying that your dear dear Marisol would be found. That picture of her on the best day of her life brings a tear. You have loved and cared for her so much I wish the best for you and hope that she returns home soon. Judy

  31. Mary says:

    Marisol: our thoughts and prayers are with you. This member of your army is still out there hiking in the Fells, postering and talking about you. Today people were stopping to look at your poster in our car window. It was good to hear that most of them were aware of you but even better to tell your story to those who hadn’t heard about you. We’ll keep looking…..:)

    • Sue says:

      Mary, I’m so glad to hear the posters are still up and people are still looking. I wish I lived closer to help out, but Marisol continues to be close to my heart. I still think of her daily and pray for a happy ending. A&A I hope you’re hanging in there. xxxxx

  32. Lauren says:

    Still hoping for a miracle…wishing someone will see your little girl again and bring her home.

  33. Gail says:

    Echoing the thoughts of everyone who can’t get Mari out of their mind and can’t stop hoping that she’ll somehow return home. I keep a poster of her taped to the window of my car, and every morning when I get out of the car to go to work I say a little prayer for her: “May you find safe, warm, and dry shelter; may you find food and water; and may you, through the awakening of your own instincts or through the kindness of a stranger you can trust, find your way home to your beloved Anindita and Andrew, who miss you so much. May it be so. Amen.” I keep hoping that if I say it enough times, maybe it’ll actually come true…

    • Isabelle Anne says:

      A beautiful affirmation, Gail. I’m printing it & will say it too, for Marisol & all the lost & beloved out there…

  34. Mary says:

    I’d like to echo Isabelle Anne’s sentiment and affirm that I also pray daily that Marisol, Daisy and all the other lost little ones will be safe and find their way home to those who love them.

  35. Sharon says:

    I still think of Marisol every day as I drive by the Fells, and I still hope she will be found. I know we are nearing the one-year anniversary of her disappearance, and I hope you, Andrew and Anindita, are feeling well and have found some peace. Please keep me, keep all of us, posted if you have any news of her to share.

  36. Leslie says:

    Peace to you all. All of us in Marisol’s Army, near and far, have the three of you in our hearts. You are not alone.

  37. Jane says:

    I, too, am thinking of you both today. I think about Marisol everyday, picturing her safe and warm.

  38. Mary says:

    Another member of Marisol’s Army writing in to say that Marisol, Anindita and Andrew you are in our family’s thoughts and hearts and prayers always but in a special way today. Shalom

  39. Rosemary says:

    I think of Marisol, Anindita and Andrew often and am wishing you peace and comfort today and always.

  40. Gail says:

    Today I will light a candle on my altar for Marisol, and visualize her instincts awakening and leading her home. Anindita and Andrew, you and Marisol are always in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you both peace, and joy in the memories of your happy little girl and the wonderful home you provided for her. I still have hope that she will one day find her way back to it and to you.

  41. Dave Meuse says:

    I have kept every single post since day one and reposted them on facebook. I wish you the best and have said numerous prayers for you and Marisol. I will continue to do so. I give you both all the credit in the world for what you have done and how dedicated you are.

    God bless you both and God bless Marisol!

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