Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday True Stories -- Dog survives desert ordeal

Dog survives desert ordeal

A small dog lost in the desert for nearly six weeks is back home again, a little skinnier for the experience but otherwise healthy.

Tamara Martin of Beaver Dam said TJ, a rat terrier/chihuahua mix belonging to her extended family, ran away from the veterinarian’s kennel in Mesquite on May 7. The dog had been let out into an enclosed yard for exercise, but managed to get through the fence.

“We forgot to tell them TJ is an escape artist,” said Barbara Lefler, Tamara’s grandmother who cares for the dog. “He just took off.”

The veterinarian’s staff hunted for hours for the dog, than called the family the next morning. The family and friends began searching, but they too were unsuccessful.

“We kept looking, put up posters, asked people to look,” Tamara said.

She did get calls that TJ had been spotted, but no one was able to get near the little dog.
“At first he was hanging out by the new houses they’re building on Hardy Way,” said Tamara.
Then for a while, she received no reports about the missing dog.

“After a couple of weeks, people said, ‘You might as well give up,’” she said. “It was hot, over 100 degrees, and there’s no water out there. And then there’s the foxes and the coyotes.”

But she said the family didn’t want to give up.

“We would still drive up there looking for him,” she said. “He’s been part of our family for four years. My aunt, Julie (Lefler) took a lot of time off to go looking for him.”

Barbara said another family dog, Chiquito, clearly missed TJ.

“He’d be sitting on the arm of my chair looking out the window,” she said. “When he heard other dogs bark, he’d go crazy, thinking it was TJ.”

The loss of the dog was especially difficult for Tamara’s daughter, Chyanne, 11, who was close to TJ [...read more...]

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