When I saw the dog-lost poster in the window of Cookies I was struck by its size and excellent color picture. This was someone who desperately wanted her dog back. The owner offered $1,000 for the brown, sad-eyed dog staring out of the poster.
ESP doesn’t typically post lost animal information, but something about this plea tugged at me… why not post it?
I called the owner and got the information. I ran the post with no luck and thought the little guy was gone for good.
Then a few weeks later this little dog was found! He was emaciated, terrified and wouldn’t have made it much longer, but he was saved.
The owners have allowed me to share their story:
After 4 weeks of searching every day, early mornings, lunch breaks, late nights, talking with almost every person I passed on the street, handing out and posting over 1,500 flyers, hiring a pet detective and asking people to post on every social network in their area, it came down to a few sightings. We had to get the word out because we don’t live in the area and Pollux seemed to be hiding so the chances of us finding him, while we were out there searching, was slim. I went into almost every business in East Sac and eventually, every person I spoke with already knew about “missing Pollux.”
We got a call on Oct 14th from a nurse at Sutter who, on her way to work, saw Pollux try to run across the Elvas overpass near 57th. We then concentrated the search to that area, which included the RR tracks. We combed the area extensively, day and night, but could not find him. We knew he would primarily be hiding so it was going to be a matter of finding his hiding spot, while he was in it. There wasn’t another real sighting until Oct 21st but the call came to us a week after he’d been seen. Again, it was around the RR tracks, behind the River Park homes, near 57th. My husband and I went back out with the scent hounds and tracker we had hired and placed large animal traps in the area.
Still no luck.
Then on Nov 5th, we got a call at 9pm from Chuck, an East Sac resident, whom we befriended, during the whole process, who had been searching for Pollux daily. He said he had just seen our little guy on the east side of the RR tracks, near F St and Elvas! Chuck heard the jingle of Pollux’s collar and shown his flashlight in that direction until spotting the tiny dog, chewing on an empty milk carton at the bottom of the levee. Pollux looked up at Chuck then ran off, crossing over the tracks and disappearing into the night. My husband and I drove out there immediately after getting the call, and searched for hours. Before calling it a night, we moved both of our traps to the exact location Pollux was seen.
Tuesday, Nov 6th, Election Day, I woke up early and headed to East Sac to check the traps. I walked along the RR tracks and looked down to the base of the levee, where one trap was located. I didn’t see anything but a tiny little spot of orange that was obstructed by the surrounding bushes. I slid down the side of the levee and walked over to the trap, not realizing there was something alive inside. Curled up in a little ball, at the very back of the cage, was our little Pollux. He weighed about half of what he did, 4 weeks before, and was injured, which I didn’t realize until we got home. I screamed with joy and cried uncontrollably while trying to call my husband on the phone. I was shaking so badly and so overwhelmed with emotion, it took several tries to push the right buttons on my phone.
I carried the 4 foot trap all the way up and over the levee, along the tracks, into my car and eventually into our house before I opened it to let Pollux out. My husband had previously warned, if we caught him in a trap, not to take any chances of him getting away again. It took me twice as long to get to our home in Land Park – I was so overcome with excitement, I kept taking the wrong turns! It was as if I had forgotten how to drive!
When I finally had Pollux safely in our kitchen, I let him out of the cage and realized the severity of his injuries. He was emaciated and his chain collar had become embedded under one leg. The collar had become so loose, Pollux was able to put one leg through, where it had been lodged for days, digging itself into his body. The area was obviously infected and in another couple of days, could have meant the end of Pollux’s life. We were told by the vet he wasn’t healthy enough for surgery and to feed him a bland diet and give antibiotics for a week before bringing him back in for his procedure. It was a tough day and night for Pollux, a lot of vomiting and adjusting to wearing the cone on his head.
The following day, Winter blew into Sacramento and the temperature at night plummeted into the 30s. Pollux would have never made it out there. David and I realized we had just experienced a miracle, no question. The sighting by our friend, the night before, would have never happened if he hadn’t heard the jingling of Pollux’s collar in the darkness and there never would have been any jingling if the collar had fallen off instead of becoming embedded.
It is truly a miracle that we found Pollux and also the result of 4 weeks of committed searching, every day, by myself, my husband and the community. This was a tough case because Pollux is a timid dog by nature and never roamed the neighborhood or even came close to any people, while he was missing. But this is proof that you can find your missing pets even when the odds are stacked against you. It is not easy and the search will take its toll on you and your loved ones but it is worth it in the end.
This has been the most emotionally draining experience of our lives but also one that has shown us how amazing the residents of East Sac are and how much of an impact this little Dachshund can have on an entire community.
Thank you to all who helped.