Tuesday, January 26th, 2021, 1400 hrs. Mom has me out to help shovel. I don’t think so! Then tells me it’s time for a walk. It’s a balmy 34 degrees and I’m feeling adventurous. She tells me it’s time to switch leashes…she clicks, I twist…SUCCESS! I’m free!!!! Run Frasier Run!! Off to the field I go…WAIT! WHAT IS THIS COLD WHITE STUFF?? Ooop! Here she comes…let’s book it.
I’ll head towards the houses…I think I know these ones. We pass them on our walks. Mom will know where to find me…lets see if she can catch me. I think she’s calling for me. But I’m having too much fun frolicking through the snow.
Huh, I can’t see my Mom. I’m sure she knows where to find me. Dang these houses all look the same! But I can sort of smell something familiar. Just not quite sure where it’s coming from. She still hasn’t found me, and it’s starting to get dark…and cold…
At last! I found my home. I think. It’s really dark out now… MOM!! I’m here MOM. Open up I’m here!!! I’ll leave my footprints on the back patio so you know I was here!! I’m done on my adventure Mom! Please open the door! It’s cold…
Meanwhile, Frasier’s Mom sat, devastated she failed him. She had food out by her front door, his blanket, his bed…If he visited that area it was hard to tell since the snow had been shoveled. But he was definitely at the back door overnight. His footprints were all over the patio, then went to the north, up a berm, into some trees and stopped at the very busy 2 lane road behind the house.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2021, 0900 hrs. I’m not sure what to do now. I’m a little hungry. And cold. I suppose I should look for a place to rest. I’ve been up all night trying to figure out what to do. There’s a quiet area of woods right here so I’m going to explore them. Ah ha! I found a perfect spot. Piles of wood, or something. I can probably dig in here and rest for the day. And maybe the night. I’ve got to come up with a plan…
Thursday, January 28th, 2021, 1400 hrs. DANG! I’ve been spotted. People saw me when they were on that busy road! They got out of some big machine and called to me. I had just woken from a nap under this warm deck on the front of this white house. The sun was out and I was feeling good. I must run!!
I don’t know them. I’m hiding back in the woods. It’s dark again now but I see my mom. She’s there with another person. They are looking around my deck, maybe they see all my paw prints. They put some big metal cage out. What are they looking for?? What are they trying to catch?? Wait a minute…I know what that box is. NO WAY…not gonna go near that again! That thing almost ATE me last time!! (This was Frasier’s second time adventuring out)
Friday January 29th, 2021, 1130 hrs. I found it, at least I think I did. My home. I’m not sure tho. It kinda smells like my yard. I’ll run around here again and leave my footprints. There’s food here. Pieces of my favorite kibble and some treats!! I’ll gobble all that up, but I’m still hungry. I’ll just walk where there’s no snow right now, see if I can find some more food. It doesn’t hurt my feet as much. I miss my Mom. I hope she misses me too…
Little did Frasier know just what his mom was up to. She had begun to plaster the area with flyers. In fact, the people who saw him at the white house drove not ¼ mile and saw his flyer and called his mom. A block away from home, someone working at the nearby farm had seen him walking down the street. Another person saw a flyer and called to say they had seen him that day in the conifer trees that lined the back of the houses near where he lived. People were starting to look for him.
Friday, January 29th, 2020, 1900 hrs. I found it again!! I found my….what in the world?? Another big metal box?!? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!! Not happening. I’m cold, I’m hungry but I am afraid of that thing!!! I’d better go back to my safe spot. I’ve learned to go across the bigger road when it’s darker, and the big machines slow down. I’m tired. This isn’t really fun anymore.
Fraiser’s mom and team realized since he was trapped the first time he was trap shy. They decided to camouflage the trap as much as possible. The weather started to turn and a snow storm came in January 31st. Two days, no sightings, but not uncommon with the storm that came through.
February 4th, 2021 Camouflaged trap – straw was added as the weather was predicted to turn colder.
February 2, 2021 0200 hrs. I’m here! Mom I’m here. I’m leaving my prints, I’m eating the food but I don’t like this thing on the porch. I want to come closer to the doors but that thing is new and even though it has food I really don’t like it.
Frasier continued to come overnight. 2/4/2021 he was on camera 0115 am, 0500 am, 1030 pm, and 2/5/2021 at 0530 am. At this point the team knew there had to be a change of plans. He wanted nothing to do with the box trap.
Brainstorming took place and it was decided a missy trap needed to be used. The problem was, Fraiser was coming overnight, and as we all know, it’s difficult to take a trapped pup out of the missy if you aren’t experienced. Mom was more than willing to stay up and watch the trap, but the closest recovery team member was over ½ hour away, and it was too cold to leave him in there that long. What to do…
The team decided that the best thing to do is make him as comfortable as possible. He came to the sliding doors, he knew where home was, so it was decided the best plan was to build the missy trap OFF the sliding doors. That way, if he did get trapped, his foster would be able to stand to the side and hopefully slide the door open without spooking him too much and he’d come in. A team of mom’s close friends gathered the evening of 2/5/2021 to assemble the missy. It was cold. Time was of the essence. The missy was set up with the door and two sides, and the back side against the sliding doors.
The temperature had stated to plummet. A George Foreman grill was used to keep the food hot and smelly along with a plug in heated bowl. Frasier’s blanket, mom’s clothes and hot food were all out and ready by 1000 pm.
Frasier didn’t disappoint. 0500 am 2/6/2021. Look closely.
What the WHAT??? Really MOM??? NOPE, Not doing it… but man that food smells GOOOOOOD!!
One of the team members and Frasier’s mom stayed up most of the night of the 6th, taking turns to see if he showed. Unfortunately, he didn’t get too close to the trap until early in the morning. Still, he would not step in. Everyone was getting concerned as the temperature on the 7th was predicted to be 5 above with the low at -9 degrees that night.
24 hours later. 2/7/21 0400 am.
I’m being brave mom!! I’m really trying! I want to come home, but I’m scared! But I’m hungry!!
2/7/2021 9:00 pm temperature was hovering around zero degrees.
Thank you for the food mom! I promise I’ll come back and eat more. I promise I’ll try to get closer!
Frasier’s mom was ready. One of the team members was ready. Camera notifications were on full volume, phone’s close. Bacon, hot dogs and warm food on the grill were ready. It’s time!
Frasier didn’t disappoint. 2/8/2021 0200 am. He at the cold food in the bowl, but the hot food was just too good to pass up. Trap closed at 0221am. FRASIER WAS SAFE.
Mom was able to slide the door open and he went right in. Never underestimate the survival skills and instincts of any dog. Stories like these happen all the time. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and stay a step or two ahead. Today marks his one-year trapaversary! He’s come a long way. From shy and skittish to sitting on his mom’s lap enjoying scratches. Happy to be home.
Thank you Elaine for sharing Frasier’s story!