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The Pet Owner's Feelings... Overcoming a common problem... feelings of grief and anger.     

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Feelings of sadness and grief are common in any missing pet situation but the emotions in this scenario can surprise some people. Many grief stricken pet owners express feelings of betrayal and anger towards their wandering dog. In some people's eyes, their dog has made a choice and is choosing to stay out on the road instead of coming home. In the case of the shy dog, many do not understand how the dog that shares their bed is now acting as if she does not know them. Others express feelings of shock when they have seen their dog on the street and then called knowing their loving pet would gratefully run to them. They are shocked, then hurt when the dog bolts and runs away. These are very common human feelings for very expected canine behaviors in this situation.

The most important thing to remember is that your much loved pet is a dog... not a human. I always caution people experiencing an at large dog, to expect her to run from them and prepare emotionally for that outcome. They should be grateful and surprised if the opposite occurs. A dog's feelings of love are felt by her in a way that we cannot understand because we are not of her species. Her natural instincts are not our natural instincts. At her core, no matter the relationship she has with her humans; she is still a canine with a genetic makeup more similar to that of the wolf and coyote than ours.

If your dog is wandering like her feral cousins, I encourage you  to be emotionally prepared and  not take any of the dog's behaviors personally. The dog's love for you is expressed in many ways but she is not human and this is not the time to put human personality traits and characteristics on her. If you think of her like a wolf or coyote, it  will more closely model her tendencies on this journey.