Why we SHOULDN’T search…

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.

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)

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54 Responses to Why we SHOULDN’T search…

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Why we SHOULDN’T search… | Help Find Marisol! -- Topsy.com

  2. Mindy says:

    Hi – I saw this through a facebook post, and I’m sharing as much as possible! Marisol looks gorgeous and adorable, and I’m heart broken for you. I have 2 cats and can’t imagine how frantic I’d be if I couldn’t find them. A friend of mine lost her dog around the Fells last summer, and he came running back to her after a week long adventure – right around where she lost him. She kept hearing of sightings – at a dump, following around a mailman, and playing with other dogs. Have you checked with the post office and sanitation department? She hears the majority of sitings through sanitation workers and postal workers. Please keep up the spreading of information and keep us posted!

    • anindita says:

      Thank you so much for posting, Mindy! Medford sanitation & the post office know (our postman told us that Mari’s flier is hanging right about their time clock, so they all know). We still need to post at Winchester’s town dump & their post office, which was closed when we stopped by today.

  3. Todd says:

    I came across your website and want to let you know that I am doing my best to spread the word about Marisol. I plan on taking my dog for a walk in the area soon…I look forward to reading on this website that Marisol has been found and is at home resting up!!!

  4. Pingback: Summary: Marisol’s Story | Help Find Marisol!

  5. Mindy says:

    Definitley check the dump, her dog was there quite a bit, according to spotters. I posted this on my facebook, linkedin, and emailed a friend who walks the Fells often (the woman who lost her dog last summer).

  6. pam sarno says:

    Marisol: Queen of the Fells :)

    But this sure isn’t beautiful Puerto Rico and it’s getting colder out there. Wouldn’t it be cool if she is so secure in your love that this is just an adventure, she knows her way home and will be along soon.

  7. Tessa says:

    Andrew & Anindita, my heart breaks for you- we lost Baxter for a day and it was the longest ever, I can’t imagine. (Bax & Mari actually met at Christian & Celeste baby shower in Andover.) We love our walks at the Fells so will head there this weekend, apparently with hot dogs in our pockets :) , and take a nice stroll. Best of luck, we’re spreading the word & sending the good juju your (& her) way. Tessa & Hamo

    • anindita says:

      Thank you guys so much! I’m glad you guys got Baxter back. Thanks for keeping an eye out for Mari & for the positive vibes.

  8. bella says:

    hello. i learned of marisol since becoming involved in looking for daisy. i am so sorry…i can imagine how worried you must be. the good news is you have recent confirmed sitings! i am out looking for daisy again tomorrow and will look for your marisol, too, when i’m in that area. i will post to everyone i know to keep an eye out for her as well…what i don’t understand (i have cats) is why these dogs can’t find their way home. is it because they are too frightened or are they genuinely lost? it’s so sad to think of them out there waiting to be brought home…good luck!

    • anindita says:

      Thanks, Bella! Mari actually didn’t run away from home — she was driven to the woods for a walk and was attacked by another dog and ran away, so she has no idea how to get between the two places. If she’d gotten lost in our neighborhood, I’m sure she could’ve found her way home.

      • bella says:

        I see anindita. I didn’t realize Mari was driven to the spot where she walked. I asked the same about Daisy today, who did run away. I was told that she was so frightened when she left and now that so much time has passed, she may have an ear infection and be confused, which is prohibiting her from finding her way home. Daisy is traveling 10 mile loops a day! Can you imagine? She gets close to her hometown, but not close enough. Your Mari will be found, I’m sure of it. There are so many folks on those trails, I imagine, and the word is out! I feel for you…I’ve contacted everyone I know of in the area with Mari’s story. I look forward to news that you’ve found her!

        • anindita says:

          Poor Daisy! She got scared during a thunderstorm, right? That used to happen to our friend’s dog, too.

          Thanks so much for telling people about Marisol!

  9. debbie says:

    I am praying for her safe return…my heart goes out to you..

  10. Ellie Wolf says:

    this is a link of search dogs. you should look these up. they can be hired to look for missing pets. BLOODHOUNDS ARE UNSTOPPABLE SMELLERS! they would be your best chance

    • anindita says:

      Thanks for the link, Ellie. Unfortunately, SAR dogs are trained to ignore all animal scents because they’re trained to find humans. We actually need a “MAR” dog, or “Missing Animal Response” dog, which is trained to ignore humans and focus on cat and dog smells. They’re pretty rare, and we’ve contacted a range of people from Dogs Finding Dogs to Animal Control to Missing Pet Partnership to see if there’s anyone local who does this… we had one NE dog-finding bloodhound referred to us, but sadly he passed away in September, so we’re still looking!

      • karen says:

        There is http://www.trackingclubofma.com/.
        If you download the application form there is an email address. If you look under tracking and scroll down there is a list of judges (one in Reading). Some dogs track animals. It is a sport and hunters use them too. I realize it may be awkward because their purpose is not rescue but perhaps they know of someone who might be interested in trying? Someone might be training a dog and would be willing? If you get anywhere you might ask about false positives. The dogs at Logan made a false positive a week or so ago. It can happen.

  11. Linda Davis says:

    I’ll post on my facebook page. Althought I live in Chelmsford it couldn’t hurt to post!

    • anindita says:

      Thank you! It definitely helps — we’ve had locals say they heard through Facebook from friends in NY, NH, even CA, and Chelmsford is much closer.

  12. john says:

    this is why you shouldn’t have dog walkers walk your dog, especially not in areas that are NOT your neighborhood.. dogs, if treated well at home, will always come back home when lost.

    i wish you the best of luck. if i spot her near medford i’ll let you know.

    good luck

    • anindita says:

      This wasn’t the dog walker’s fault at all! This could have happened to anyone walking their own dog. Any blame goes to the person who brought a dog with a history of aggression to a public space without either a collar or leash. We found out later that this same dog attacked another at Sheepfold just a few months earlier, so the owner knew his dog was aggressive and still let her run ahead of him with no way of restraining her.

      Thanks for keeping an eye out for Marisol! We appreciate it.

  13. Sharon says:

    I have to disagree with you. Marisol’s being lost has nothing to do with her dog walker OR with how she was treated at home. Clearly, Marisol is loved and treated very well by Andrew and Anindita, and clearly she loves them. And her dog walker obviously tried very hard to get her back. Marisol is lost because she was attacked and traumatized by another dog whose owner was irresponsible in not having their dog leashed and under control.

  14. Jan S, says:

    Let’s just stay focused!!!On Marisol’s safe return.. peace and prayers positive energy only…they are trying so hard to find her!

  15. I hope with all my heart you find you’re dog. DO’NT GIVE UP.
    I lost my dog once in the winter many years ago and someone found him two towns away in the snow frozen, but he made it. I really hope you find her.
    That is my holiday wish to you.I will talk to friends that walk up in that area.

  16. caity says:

    I know alot of people that live in Medford, I’ll post this on my facebook.
    This is literally breaking my heart, I can’t imagine what you’re going thru.

  17. marltomer says:

    “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.”
    Something I doubt …

  18. Anonymous says:


  19. Jan S, says:

    Peace Prayers… faith…focus…I really do think there is a lot of shelters in the woods and I think Marisol has made it to a warm den…wonder if she has a buddy also…she is a smart girl….all these little dogs have wonderful people who care and so want them home and loved…always keeping our eyes open looking for you…..stay warm…

  20. Maddie says:

    I read about your story on petfinder.com and I am so touched that there are people out there like you who take in shelter animals and love them sooo much. My heart goes out to you and I cant wait to hear of Marisol’s safe return! I wish I could help search, but I live in California :-(

  21. Jan S, says:

    It is a new day and with every new day there is renewed hope…she is smart..she keeps herself well hidden…my heart is filled with positive thoughts and energy for you little Marisol …she is keeping herself safe in the world that she is living in at the moment….Marisol I pray for more sightings
    of you so we can get you home where you do belong…keep warm

  22. Karen Hall says:

    I don’t know this dog, never met her, but I’ve been following this post since the day she was attacked. I hope you two are holding up. Every storm we have, I think of the poor lost pup in the woods. I pray for her return. I wish I could do more ti find her. I know I am out of my mind if my dog is in a corner of the yard I can’t see, and doesn’t come when I call. I can’t imagine missing a dog for months like your little one. Any new updates on the condition of her friend Toby? Wasn’t that her friend injured in the attack? Is the hospital still taking donations for his care?

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