Trapped Dog
Case Study... Sally

Sally...An Easter miracle... FOUND amid a crown of thorns

Thorns that trapped Sally in a briar bush.



The story from Sally's guardian...

On Thursday, April 9th I learned that both of my dogs were missing. At first, I had no idea how they possibly could have gotten out, and the thought that someone might have taken one of them was the first to cross my mind.

My neighbor, Alex, had seen one of the dogs in his backyard and came to my door to notify me, but by the time I got to the backyard, the dog was gone. Winds were blowing over potted plants on our patio, and my shouts for Crash and Sally were likewise thrown back toward me.

I ran inside my home to grab the car keys to begin a street search. As I drove slowly around the neighborhood, shouting into the raging wind, some neighbors pulled up in their car beside me to ask if I was looking for something. They held up a raggedy, white and brown bundle for my view. It was the male of our sister-brother pair, Crash, and they had picked him up as he was running down one of the major roads bordering our neighborhood.

Crash and Sally are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and quite evidently do not belong wandering roads, and these people were kind enough to pick Crash up and attempt to find his owners; however, Sally was still missing.

I searched for three hours until it was too dark to see, with no sign of our tiny 10lb dog, Sally. Oklahoma is infamous for the predators that are too willing to make a small dog or cat a meal. We had already lost a cat in this fashion. After searching in the dark for an hour, I finally headed back home. The high winds made it almost impossible for my voice to carry far enough to reach her. Sally was now alone at night in the company of coyotes and other predators.

The next day, Friday, my three grown children, son-in-law and I began hangingin the neighborhood. We posted at major intersections toward the town as well as veterinarian and pet stores. Andi, the lady who we purchased Sally and Crash from was helpful in how to begin the search for Sally.

Visiting websites did not improve my hopes for finding Sally, as the odds were against her. According to one site, less than 16% of lost dogs are actually returned to their owners, and dogs of Sally's size more often end up as meals for predators.

Friday passed with no sightings of Sally and then Saturday as well. Easter, Sunday morning, which this year was also my birthday, began with church and was followed by a birthday lunch after the service. The atmosphere was somewhat subdued with the absence of Sally.

Prayers went up for Sally's return, however, and though human odds were against her, God works despite the odds. Sunday evening around 6:15pm, we received a phone call from a family living in the back portion of our neighborhood. Sally had become entangled in the briers in this neighbor's backyard, like a biblical Absalom with her beautiful long fur entangled in the branches, and her exposed to the elements and whatever danger might come her way. She had been gone for three nights and days, 72 hours; and without food for 90 hours.

When we arrived for our joyful reunion with Sally, the lovely lady and her daughters who had found her, handed me the briers that they had cut from Sally. As the thorns pricked my fingers, the family informed me that Sally's fur had become so entangled with the thorns that it was impossible to free her without cutting much of her long beautiful fur. I was reminded of the crown of thorns that our Savior wore and couldn't help but note that this was the second homecoming celebration that I had experienced that day, the first being Jesus' resurrection, and now Sally's miraculous return.

Fur will grow back, and Sally was so happy to be reunited with her half brother. She rolled, and scratched and rubbed against the table legs, and when I washed her, I found that she had been scratched and cut in many places as she attempted to free herself from the briers.

Thanks to all who helped us retrieve our precious Crash and Sally! We are so grateful for our Easter blessing.

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Sally was found within two blocks of her home.

 Click on the photo to enlarge the map
Sally exhibited the following behaviour profile and characteristics:
  • She was unfamiliar with the great outdoors
  • Sally resorts to running or fleeing when afraid.
  • Sally has a very long coat
  • She survived three days without water and almost 4 days without food
  • She was relatively close to her point of escape but hidden in the brambles
  • Sally did not bark while she was trapped even though she must have heard her family calling her