Everyone has been asking how this all worked out, so I thought I would share the story with you.
Tuesday night of last week, Chelsea wandered off from the backyard, and we spent the entire night searching for her. She had been spotted about a mile from our house within our neighborhood, so we focused our search in that area. I posted it on Facebook - and many of you reposted it for me (thank you!) My fantastic and compassionate neighbors went out on their own to look for her that night, and in the days to follow, as well.
On Wednesday, my work partner, Rob, went to local businesses to hang flyers, and I went door to door in the neighborhood, and if someone wasn't home, I left a LOST DOG flyer with my contact information on them. I literally left a flyer on EVERY house.
That same day, my friend Lelle suggested using a service through www.lostmydoggie.com, where they did a phone blast to 500 of our neighbors to let them know to be on the lookout for her. They were able to get the word out to way more people than I would have. I had never heard of the service - so, I am very grateful for her research on lost dogs and her suggestion to use this service.
Steven continued to canvass the neighborhood each day before and after work, and I posted flyers in every business that I could and on every light pole and stop sign. I made the report of her being missing at the Humane Society for Shelby County and in Greater Birmingham, and posted her being missing on every website I could. I called the police, I called town hall, I call vet's offices....you get the idea.
On Friday morning, we got an email from a woman who claimed to have seen Chelsea the night before. Steven immediately went over to that neighborhood - which was 2 miles in the other direction from where she had last been seen to look (he even took a co-worker with him!), and put up signs all over the area.
Now that we had an area to focus our search, my friend Bridget went to put up signs in more businesses and ask everyone she saw if they had seen Chelsea. My former roommate Kristen and I were tromping through the woods looking for any sign of her, and when it started to get dark, we started to head back. I was despondent and heartbroken, thinking of her spending another night out in the bitter cold.
Then, my phone rang, and a woman on the other end excitedly said, "I have the most beautiful, sweet dog sitting here in my lap, and I think she's yours." I couldn't believe it!! We made arrangements to meet up immediately, and I raced over there with Steven and Kristen, following right behind.
When I pulled up to meet Karen and Anna, there was Chelsea, sitting on Karen's lap, just like she had been there all along! When I asked Karen how she found her, she said, "I had gotten the call from the service you hired, while I was out of town, and when I got home, I saw the flyer on my door. So, I decided to hang on to the flyer, because I could tell this was a well loved dog. Then, as luck would have it, today, when I pulled into my driveway, there she was!" So, they coaxed her into the car, and called me right away!
Not only was Chelsea home again, safe and sound....she wasn't even dirty! She didn't have a speck of dirt on her (unlike me, who had gotten filthy tromping through the muddy woods). She even still smelled good from her bath on Monday (the day before she disappeared)!
I have no idea where she was hiding out for three days - she was discovered in the very area we spent most of our time looking!
We spent the weekend, cuddling and sleeping, all of us, after our very stressful and scary week. I kept waking up to make sure she was still there, and every where I moved around the house, Chelsea was right next to me. When it was time to go outside, we had her on a leash and watched her like a hawk. She's got a new collar with my new phone number on it, and we are looking into other ways to contain and track her (doggie GPS, fence...you name it!).
I am forever grateful that she came home to me, safe and sound, and for all of the love, support and prayers from all of you. In my darkest moments of fear and worry, your support carried me through, and that just means the world to me and my family.