When Shy, a terrier-pug mix, stepped out of her vehicle safely on a leash on August 18, her owner Brandi Baker was not expecting a three month emotional roller coaster ride. Baker was just trying to give her dog a break in the long ride between homes as she changed jobs. A sudden attack by another dog sent Shy loss, injured, afraid and running for her life. After dealing with the attacker, Baker searched for Shy but was unable to find her.
With a limited time before she had to be at her new job, Baker made and displayed numerous poster around town picturing Shy and asking for help locating her lost dog. With no information about the missing dog turning up and time in town running out, Baker decided to ask for help by posting a notice on the Internet site 'milescity.com'. Regular readers of the web site started looking for Shy and posting any possible sightings they had of the little lost dog. All the sightings had one thing in common, Shy was living up to her name by running and hiding as soon as anyone tried to stop and help her.
When most of the sightings seamed to be in one area, Baker arrange to make a quick trip to Miles City to see if her voice could being the allusive dog in close enough to be captured. Because time off from a new job is hard to come by, the trip had to be short and Baker came up empty in her attempts to call in Shy and to return home empty handed.
The sighting of Shy reported on the web site narrowed to a small area near the interstate between the Broadus and Baker interchanges, near Solarus Feeders. To help keep the dog in that area and hopefully make Shy a bit less shy, some of the .com followers started putting out food near the interstate in about the middle of the area Shy was being sighted in. The food did keep her in the area but did nothing to slow Shy's run into hiding when a car would slow down near her.
Once again Brandi Baker arranged for a few days off so she could fly in and look for her missing Shy. Baker posted she would be arriving in town on Saturday November 14 but would have to leave, whither she found Shy or not on Monday. Hope raised for all those following the story on the milescity.com thread as sightings increased and Baker's arrival drew near.
When the weather began to turn colder last week and with a storm predicted to arrive before the weekend, Dixie Rieger, one of the numerous people following the thread and spending hours of free time searching, decided to up her effort hoping to give Baker a happy ending to this story. Rieger arrange to get the use of two live catch traps. She then found the smelliest food she could, smoky meat chunks, to bait the traps with.
Monday, November 9, Dixie Rieger put the two traps out, one on each side of the interstate highway, with the fragrant meat chunks on the trigger. Tuesday morning Rieger checked the traps only to find a cat in one of them and the other empty. Wednesday morning found the same results, one angry cat and one empty trap. Thursday morning's search however brought joy. The cat apparently stayed home letting Shy find her way into the trap.
After loading the trap into her pickup, Rieger open it up and was greeted with joyous kisses from a very grateful Shy. After everyone settled down, it was off to the East Main Animal Clinic for the pair. Here the first exam revealed that Shy had picked up many flea hitch hikers and had shared them with Rieger. So both of them got a quick flea bath before the little devils spread any further. Then Shy got a thorough examination, a worming and a favorite toy Baker had left for her. The bite wound Shy got from the dog chasing her off, had healed well but left a distinct scare on her side. Other then the fleas, new scare and lost weight Shy was in good shape. When Brandi Baker was contacted and told the good news, she said her and Shy would be flying back Wisconsin. To make sure there would be no paper work problems to delay the trip, Shy was given all the shots she needed for the planned plain trip.
Brandi Baker arrived in Miles City Saturday afternoon and headed to the East Main Animal Clinic for her reunion with her long absent friend. About a dozen of the people who had been following the thread on milescity.com and helping with search were on hand to take part in the reunion. There were smiles and frantic tail wags all around as Baker and Shy became reacquainted. The shy Shy was even willing to be held and petted by this group of strangers as long as she could see Baker near by. When the day's cool temperature start the now thinner Shy shivering, clinic staff members quickly appeared with a selection of sweaters for Shy to choose from along with a box of food and treats for the flight home. Julie Axelberg soon showed up with a soft sided pet carrier so Shy would be able to take her first flight sitting reassuringly on Baker's lap. Dixie Rieger could not be on hand for the reunion but, with the return flight scheduled for Monday, she did get to meet Baker Sunday afternoon before she and Shy had to leave town.
The good news, reunion photos and best wishes quickly added another 50 or so additions to the internet thread that had informed, encouraged and guided searchers to the joyous conclusion of this lost dog story. A story of how old fashioned community spirit, coordinated and encouraged through the latest high tech methods, ends happily with an owner and dog reunited in a loving embrace.