It’s true! It’s true! After 24 days, Izzy the dog is HOME!
Last night, I didn’t sleep. It was hot in our house. It had been a miserable day of Izzy searching. And at midnight, we got a somewhat upsetting call about Izzy’s whereabouts.
She had been spotted several times in a neighborhood in Baltimore City and that is where we had been concentrating our search efforts. In the course of our searching and flyer-posting, I found myself garnering some very strange looks from people around the neighborhood. The local residents were obviously wary of my slow-moving mini-van and the two-year-old shouting ‘Iiiizzzzzy come home!’ out the window. Heh.
After posting a few flyers and speaking to a few people, I managed to establish myself as a mostly non-threatening character. Unfortunately, no one that I had spoken to had seen Izzy.
Yesterday evening, Big Sir met with our search team from Dogs Finding Dogs to do a tracking sniff around the neighborhood and set up a feeding station. The tracking dog took them to backyards of two different abandoned houses in the area. After speaking to the owner of a house next door to one of the abandoned houses, they were allowed to set up a feeding station near where Izzy had been spotted several times.
With the feeding station established, Big Sir came home for the night. At around 9pm, we received two calls one right after the other. Izzy was making her way through the neighborhood. One of the callers tried to catch her, but she was too fast (I know, a fast Basset Hound sounds like an oxymoron for sure). Neither of us was comfortable with going into a strange neighborhood at night, so we decided to wait until morning to follow up.
We went to bed. I didn’t sleep.
At midnight, the phone rang. It was a man one street over from where we had set up the feeding station. He said that Izzy was lying on his front lawn. We asked him if he could try to very calmly approach her and/or possibly lure her with food. He didn’t seem very interested in doing this and tried to convince my husband to come down there. It was far too late and the surrounding area is not a very safe place to be at night. So, we tried again to convince this man to approach her. He started questioning us about the reward and the conversation deteriorated from there.
In the morning, we decided that I would go out searching while Sir was at school. I harnessed Yofi and we headed down to where Izzy had been spotted. It was starting to rain. Izzy hates getting wet. The likelihood of her being out in the open wasn’t good.
As I drove slowly down the street, a woman in her bathrobe approached me. She told me that it was her husband who had called the night before and that they had seen Izzy many times before finally seeing one of our flyers. She then showed me where they had seen her – in the backyard of an abandoned house. She told me that she had been there everyday for four or five days just hanging out. One of Izzy’s favorite things to do is to lie around on her side sunning herself in the backyard. We call this activity ‘pigging’ because she looks like a hog with her big Basset belly (she had also been seen pigging several times in the backyard where we had set up the feeding station).
After several unnecessary reassurances that it would be safe for me to get out of my car and look around (because ‘there are police who live in this neighborhood’), I parked my car, grabbed Yofi, and began traipsing through the abandoned, overgrown, trash-filled yard calling for Izzy. She wasn’t there. The woman I had spoken to beckoned me to her yard. She showed me some other places they had seen Izzy (specifically, the yards across the street and the alley that runs behind some houses and businesses). I looked up the alley and saw several garbage bags that had been ripped open. I was sure that Izzy was to blame. But she was nowhere in sight.
Cold and wet, we headed back to the car to search the next block over. The rain was starting to really come down, but I wanted to check the feeding station. We walked up and down the street calling for Izzy. We searched another abandoned backyard. We were completely drenched. I decided that we should just go home and try again when the rain let up.
It rained all day.
Finally, at about 5:15, the four of us (Big Sir, Sir, Yofi, and yours truly) arrived back at the first abandoned house. We called for Izzy, but there was no sign of her. We checked the alley. No Izzy. We decided to check the feeding station. I stayed in the car with Sir, while B. and Yofi headed across the street and through the yards. Sir was antsy, he really wanted to get out, but it was still cold and rainy. We waited and then I heard jingling. I looked in the rearview mirror and there they were! My husband and not one, but TWO doggies!
When they went to check the feeding station, B. heard jingling coming from inside the fence of the abandoned house next door. He took Yofi over and there, standing in the middle of the backyard was Izzy! She ran right over to Yofi and jumped up to lick B.’s face as he put her leash on her. When they got to the car, she jumped right in. Sir shouted ‘Izzy! Hug! Kiss!’
Unfortunately, the filth she was covered in and the horrendous stink emanating from her hindered any hugging or kissing attempts. We brought her home and put her straight into the bath. She was not happy about that, but as soon as she was out, she went downstairs to roll all over her favorite couch and then ran in circles around the basement. She drank a ton of water, peed on the floor, and we knew our Izzy was home!
She has definitely lost some weight and it looks like she may have gotten scratched by something as some of the fur on her nose is missing and there are some mostly-healed scratches. But, other than that, she’s the same old Izzy. We were told to keep an eye on her for a couple of days and then take her to the vet, which we were planning on doing anyway. Hopefully, she will be released with a clean bill of health.
There is so much more that I have to say about this situation, but it will have to wait. After 24 days, it’s finally time for this family to get a good night’s sleep.
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