Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Search Party

At 9 AM today many great people met up to venture through the streets and through the woods, searching for dear sweet Indigo, who has been missing since Monday (3/7/11). Armed with 300+ fliers, slip leads, treats, maps, bug spray, and the offer of a reward.

David and Liz have been amazingly organized and handed out maps with his last known location, possible location, and houses to canvas clearly marked. I joined David's crew of 4 to march through the woods that Indigo was last seen headed into, behind the vet.

The woods were dense, the ground was soft, and in places water and "black mud" (which seems stable until you bear weight on it and it promptly eats a good portion of your leg, sometimes to the hip) made it nearly impossible to get through. I think it has been well over 10 years since I climbed through the woods like that. Walking along felled trees, jumping from stump to root hump (falling off the root hump into a mud puddle butt first {doh!}) and snapping several small trees to make flexible bridges over the black mud.

It took me over an hour to make it through about 2000 ft of woods with the aid of one big study stick which was taller than me (on the street this takes 10 min tops). I was glad I was smart enough to put the cell phone in my pocket in a plastic zip-lock just incase it took a tumble in the swamp, my map was not so lucky. >.>

I was alone... had the others not made it through yet? I'd found paw prints on both sides of the swamp and decided to let Liz known. I looked at my cell only to see a missed call from Liz. I called back and was told that not 10 minutes ago someone had seen Indigo! I began to hurry back to the vet, this time on the street when I heard a car horn. David was driving down the road, pulled on to the grass and I ran after hurling my stick back into the woods, and hopped in. Anyone driving by must have thought I was crazy.

We flew down to the neighborhood where he was sighted, 1.5 miles from his escape location. We had all expected him to stay in the woods near by, not hike, but he did. While we were still on the way there, there was a second report of a sighting. Everyone was in the woods this time, it was lucky the woods weren't quite as horrible. David and I trekked in, then down an 7 ft bank, across the stream, and back up an equally steep hill. Over the next few hours we could hear his tag, his paws, but we couldn't get close. It was frustrating and by 2pm the sounds had faded. He was back in hiding, and in these woods, there are far too many hiding places.

We returned to the Wendy's parking lot and reevaluated. We were sore, torn up, wet, muddy and hot, but we'd made great progress.
1. We'd found two people who had seen Indigo, alive and well today.
2. We'd narrowed down his location and now knew how to return.
3. We'd papered the neighborhoods on both sides and had plenty of eyes joining us on the hunt for him.

We were out of moves, and out of energy, and we came to realize, that the best thing for today, was to let Indigo calm down, and hopefully venture back to the neighborhoods. There were sad faces all around and a few tears. We wanted today to be the day. I tried to comfort Liz and David and told them:
 Indigo is just playing "Indiana Jones" a bit longer, and that he isn't quite ready to end his great adventure yet. We are NOT giving up, we are regrouping, and giving him time to calm down. Tomorrow is another day, and Indigo is ok right now. He isn't straying far from the woods, He's avoided major roads, and he is smart enough to stay away from anything that could harm him, people, animals, etc (as he proved all day). He'll be alright.
It was hard to split up, harder to walk back to the cars. When I got home I pulled off the murky shoes and pulled the splinters and thorns from my hands. After getting cleaned up I checked the Facebook... Another sighting! Now two more! Our plan is working. A treat trail has been laid into the yard of a helpful neighbor and should he go in she'll lock him in and call. Hopefully we'll also be able to get a trap in the woods soon (he's so shy it may be the only way we can contain him).

He's not home yet, but we are miles closer to the great reunion! 
Please Pray for David and Liz and all those who are searching for dear Indigo. 
Come home little one, we're ready for you!

Indigo's Grand Adventure

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