When the owner came to me, her dog had been lost since 6 hours. In the morning she brought the dog hiking in the mountains. The dog ran off the leash and ran away. She spent an hour searching for the dog in the bush but couldn’t find him.
When we work with lost animal cases, we could either try to find out the location of the animal, or tell the animal to go somewhere. In this case, the owner knows the dog is in the bush and everywhere looks pretty much the same. The location wouldn’t be that helpful. I asked the owner if there’s anywhere she wanted the dog to go to meet her. She offered 3 locations. On top of the stairs where he ran away. A piece of lawn which they passed by this morning, and a tennis court nearby but the dog has never been to.
When you tell the animal to go somewhere, you must find an easy and unique place. There are many stairs on the mountain they all look the same. It doesn’t make any difference to animals. As for the tennis court, even though the owner says she can locate it on Google map, we must understand that animals only know the places they have been to. It’s very hard for them to use human logic to anticipate a place that they don’t know, even though it is nearby. So I suggested the lawn.
When I connected with the dog, he told me he did remember the lawn and he could find his way back. But he didn’t want to go to the lawn because he was scared to go to a wide open space. The owner did indicate that the dog is shy. So I told the dog to go as close as possible near the lawn and find a comfortable place to hide and wait for the owner. I asked the owner to search nearby the lawn. So the owner went to the lawn again. An hour later, good news came in! She found the dog hiding under a drain just 10 meters down from the lawn.
As you can see, when handling lost animal cases, it is very important to communicate with the owner and educate them to think from the animal’s point of view. Choose a unique and easy place which the animal knows as a meeting point.
Another important thing to remember is that there is a much higher chance of finding the animal if the owner could contact the animal communicator within 24 hours after the animal is lost. After 24 hours, the animal could have gone quite far and there will be too much confusing information.