THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: Keep spreading the word. Email, mailing lists, talk to people. Tweet, Facebook. Newspaper and press are great if you have those connections. Fliers are available at the right – if you are in the area consider hanging one at work. The color ones are better than the B+W, but everything helps. Tell your friends and neighbors, hang a sign. REMEMBER: Please don’t annoy people. Respect private property, don’t hang fliers on trees. One or two well placed signs are better than a thousand that will make the neighbors angry (and likely to tear them down). If you already see a flier in an area, consider it covered.
WHAT WE’RE DOING AND WHY WE SHOULDN’T “SEARCH” FOR MARISOL
The expert we spoke with gave us a 3 step plan for how to recover Marisol. She said the most important thing to remember right now is that Marisol has been gone for more than a week, meaning she isn’t thinking like a pet but rather like a survivor. In this “mode” Mari is going to have a strong tendency to avoid and hang back cautiously. Lots of loud sound and commotion are likely to be interpreted as a threat, so she’ll likely avoid and possibly leave the area. THIS IS THE OPPOSITE of what we want. We need her to stay put as much as possible, so here’s the plan:
Step 1: Sightings!
DO: Keep an eye out during your usual hikes through the Fells. Call us if you spot something.
DO NOT: Search by yelling her name, chase her, make a ton of noise or try to catch her. If you don’t usually hike in the Fells, please don’t dash over after a recent sighting to see if you can find her — increasing traffic to a quiet area will drive her away.
Explanation: The more sightings we get, the better we can figure out Marisol’s pattern and predict where she will go. Tracking is terrific because it confirms sightings, but it tells us where a dog has been, not where she will go in the future. Signage and phone calls and letting local people know about Marisol are the most important steps right now so that more people call us when they see her (and know not to call out to her!).
Unfortunately this means heavy foot traffic and actively searching the area for her might have the opposite effect from what we want. Lots of sound and commotion might very well drive her off to a “safer” more quiet area, and we’ll need to start over again.
Step 2: Luring. Once we know her pattern, we can set up food/scent stations. We don’t have a strong enough sense of her travel pattern yet to pick a good spot for this, but it’s a great suggestion and one that’s coming up (I hope soon!). It’s important that these stations smell familiar, so please do not try to set one up yourself. It will likely just confuse her.
Step 3: Recovery. Once there’s traffic at the feeding station, we can stake it out or perhaps set a live trap depending on Marisol’s wariness. Again, this is a step that we will need to take for familiarity’s sake, but we’ll keep everyone posted about how things are going once we get to this stage.
All of the work posting fliers, handing out mini-fliers to people walking their dogs, and generally spreading the word about Marisol has been good, and you’ve helped tremendously in doing this. We just need to keep doing it and not all descend on her hiding spot at the same time. Hopefully as more people hear about Marisol, we’ll get more sightings, and she’ll feel safe enough to keep coming out to play.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll play with someone she considers safe who knows about Marisol in advance through all of the posting and postering, and this person will be able to slip a lead through her collar. If not, it sounds like we may have to go through a slightly longer process to recover her, but we’re fully on board to do it! We have a plan!
We miss our puppy and just want her safe at home.
Love and noselicks,
Andrew and Anindita (and Marisol)