April 1, 2016 By Jenny
Roxy – March 2016 – tracked by Yogi
Roxy, a Lakeland Terrier was on his usual walk around the grounds of the farm with his owner and buddy dog when he just vanished on Saturday morning. On Wednesday I went down with Yogi and we set off from the house and Yogi immediately had his nose down out of the garden and across the farm fields with many young lambs quite curious and playful – Yogi wasn’t sure what to make of them but stuck to his task and it was confirmed that Yogi was spot on with the route he was taking compared to the route that was taken on the morning Roxy disappeared.
We eventually got to a copse alongside a shallow river with steep banks and a few entrances to a badger sett. The bramble was too dense for Yogi to track through and so I had a hunt around but found nothing. We then allowed Yogi to carry on and we followed the line of the river into a much bigger area of woodland only a few hundred yards from where we first started. There were clearly a much greater number of entrances to a badger sett and one hole in particular Yogi sniffed down and then made a noise I had never heard him make before. I moved Yogi on further but he showed no interest in any of the other entrances, so I moved him back to this particular one and again he made the strange noise. Clearly this hole was of interest to Yogi but we were unable to do anything as badger setts are protected.
I advised the owner to come back with their other dog, which they did in the morning and within moments Roxy was at their feet – muddy, hungry and thirsty but otherwise ok.
I just wonder what Yogi shouted down the hole!
March 1, 2016 By Jenny
Jasper – February 2016 – tracked by Tiga and Yogi
Jasper a Whippet decided to go off and play with another dog off lead while on a walk with the owner. They ran on ahead and into the bushes and brambles off the main track in a huge woodland and popular dog walking area. The other dog returned to owner a few minutes later but not Jasper.
For eight days there were no sightings and so Tiga was called into action and on arriving at the woods which were now very muddy and waterlogged we started to track from where the owner last saw Jasper.
Tiga tracked around the woods but generally following previous walks days before until he headed off out of the woods in the direction he was thought to have gone but not the way they were hoping. Tiga tracked onto the lane where cars were parked and down to the end turning right and to a busy ‘A’ road where Tiga went straight across and on down a quieter road into the town. We continued to follow Tiga who after a meander round the town took us onto the Cuckoo Trail – a popular walking and cycle path that went for miles. It was clear that this path and all the areas we had tracked needed to be postered in the hope of getting a sighting as were still eight days behind Jasper but this was clearly the way he had gone. After about seven hours we called it a day to try again the next.
That evening the owners had a message to say that a whippet had been seen in some fields behind a service station. On looking on a map to see where this was – it was clearly feasible that it was Jasper, as the service station was very close to the woods that he first went missing on and the Cuckoo Trail went to the service area.
The next day I returned with Yogi in horrendous weather conditions that we could hardly stand up in with the wind howling and the rain descending. We parked at the services and traipsed across fields in the direction of the sighting not quite knowing the exact spot. We came to some allotments and a track running past that came from the main road that Tiga had tracked across before but further down. We saw a run down barn and decided to let Yogi go in to start the search – low and behold as I went in the barn following Yogi I saw some hay and curled up in a home made nest of hay was a little whippet having a snooze. I called the owner in and Jasper lifted his head and looked across at Ella, who gently went up to Jasper with some tripe – Jasper started to eat the tripe and I handed over a slip lead to secure Jasper.
Jasper was very cold and exceptionally thin but otherwise seemed very well. We carried him to teh cars and Ella got him off to the vet who told Ella that he would not have survived too much longer with his energy levels and weight.
He is now doing very well and has regained his weight.
February 4, 2016 By Jenny
Storm – February 2016 – tracked by Yogi
Storm a huge cuddly GSD had escaped owners garden after some fences were broken down on Sunday.
There were a few possible sightings but with such a big dog more were expected. We had a call for help and as owner was wheelchair bound and children were distraught we were on our way.
Yogi tracked from the last possible sighting and took us up and along some popular dog… walking paths through some very muddy areas where we could see a few huge paw prints. We evenually came back down and took us into Hastings old town along the sea front. As owner thought he would not be around this area now as too many people we pulled Yogi off. We took Yogi to some woods close to home where owner believed he would be hiding. Yogi clearly had the correct trail as he went to the front garden of a house next to the woods where he had been seen. From here we continued up the road past the woods and to several places where the owners children played and on to a childrens club that the boys went to.
We then got news of a possible sighting back where we were earlier and so we got there as soon as we could and spent time checking the facts and ruling out another two possible GSD’s. Clearly it sounded like Storm and so we got Yogi as close to the sighting as we could and he found a cave hidden with a mattress in. We left a small treat there and let Yogi carry on. We went back along footpaths and saw many more fresh huge paw prints, Yogi continued to find these paw prints giving each a good sniff and after doing a loop up on top Yogi brought us back down some very muddy steps with lots of huge pawprints on. We were back at the cave and the treat had gone. Yogi didnt want to stop here but pulled me through a hole in the churchyard wall, through the churchyard and towards the seafront where the steps went back up to the cave.
At this point we decided that owner should sit with some smelly food and sit it out by the cave with his family.
We called it a day so that we wouldn’t frighten Storm if he came back and owner went off to get the food and family. While doing this, there was a call to say Storm was there by the cave again! The owners shot back and as they arrived someone nearby slammed a car door and off he bolted. That was it no more sightings last night or this morning. Until………………
……..at 9 this morning two workmen down on the seafront saw Storm chase a seagull into the sea, within minutes Storm was half a mile out to sea. They called the coastguard and within 5 minutes they were on the scene rescuing Storm who is safely back home being warmed up before going off to vet for a checkup.
Thank goodness a helper had faith in Yogi and put posters up on the seafront after Yogi tracked there and gave posters to the workmen, the very same workmen that called the RNLI
January 7, 2016 By Jenny
Bruno – January 2015
Bruno was just a young 5 month old beagle puppy that was from the same breeder as Tiga & Yogi. I was away racing with my beagles when I got a frantic call from the breeder to ask if I could help as Bruno was missing.
It was New Years Eve and the owners were away from home on a family celebration. At five minutes to midnight Bruno and another friends’ dog were shut away in a room while a firework display took place. Fifteen minutes later the owners came back to the room to find the door open and the dogs gone.
One of the dogs was soon found outside but little Bruno was nowhere to be seen. It was not a good time for a little puppy to be running around in an area he didn’t know and with fireworks going off all around him.
We contacted the owners to try and help by giving advice as we were two hundred and fifty miles away and couldn’t get up to track until the next day.
On New Years Day the owners got news of a sighting by one of the guests as they left the venue at 12.30, soon after the fireworks. Bruno was seen running down the drive but they did not realise he was their dog. All day the owners were taking my advice and doing what they could in between entertaining guests but no more sightings of little Bruno.
The next day we were making plans to travel north but just before our race I had a call to say that they had heard a howl but couldn’t be sure it was Bruno as there was another beagle in the area.
After confirming it was not the other beagle I insisted the search continued in that area. Just before the start of my race – there was a sighting in the field in the direction of the howl. As soon as I crossed the finish line I had a call to say Bruno was safe.
He was soon back in front of the Aga warming himself after two nights out in the wild.
January 7, 2016 By Jenny
Joss – December 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Joss was a very happily rehomed Greyhound from Kent Greyhound Trust and was on a walk on lead with the owner not too far from home just before Christmas. An off lead dog ran at him and he spooked and bolted pulling the lead from the owners hand.
Owner was due to go on a family holiday overseas but cancelled to find her much loved dog.
There were a few sightings and while a car nearly hit Joss and then reversed onto his lead trying to avoid him, the lead was caught under the tyre of the car and Joss broke free again from both his harness and lead and ran scared.
There were now no sightings and Tiga was called in to help track Joss. It turned out that Joss was the litter brother of another greyhound that Tiga had successfully tracked and reunited a year ago with the help of Joss! It was now the turn of his brother to be called back to try and coax Joss back.
We arrived at the owners house and using the harness that had Joss had pulled free from for Tiga to get his scent, we set off from the last sighting.
Tiga was quickly on his trail and took us up and down a road that Joss had also been seen to go up and down and so we knew Tiga was on the right track. We continued to follow Tiga and eventually ended up near a school where there had been a possible sighting of a black dog but it was not confirmed that it was Joss. Tiga clearly confirmed that it was and so on we went along a busy road crossing over and on towards a huge outdoor retail shopping centre that was heaving with Boxing Day shoppers. In and out of the public we went, Tiga was undeterred he was on a mission. Tiga took us into an empty shed that had the door open and was down the middle of a shopping mall – maybe Joss had slept there the day before. We later spoke to security and that particular shed had been used to despatch Christmas turkeys to the shoppers on Christmas Eve! Joss would not have done ventured into this shopping centre on a busy day like this and we suspect he was there the day before Christmas Day when it was quiet and closed.
Tiga didn’t stop for anything or anyone and took us to the rubbish bins behind Marks and Spencers and then to a number of pubs/ restaurants within the centre before finally going to the Toby Inn where Tiga spent much time circling the car park and bushes before going off again on another circuit and returning to the Toby Inn.
We decided to call it a day as clearly Joss was not going to show himself in such a busy area. I got the owner to return with posters and she got a sighting of Joss on a farm immediately behind the Toby Inn! So I then asked Jill to scent from their back home. Lots of posters were put up on the route leading home and a day later a number of sightings came in. I returned with Tiga and as I arrived at the owners house again – there he was, looking up at home! Unfortunately he was being chased and off he went. We quickly got Tiga back into action but within minutes we had a call to say that Joss had run down a dead end and thumped against the door of a house which alerted the occupants and there he was – given himself up.
After a trip to the vet with some very sore paws and a little lighter he was home and back in the dry safely with his very relieved owner.
November 30, 2015 By Jenny
Leo – November 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Leo is a rescue Rhodesian Ridgeback from Portugal who had spent two and a half years living with Ruth in Portugal and when Ruth’s brother in the UK recently lost his own Ridgeback, Ruth brought Leo to the UK to live with her brother.
After only five days on returning to his new home after a trip out in the car he bolted from outside the house as the door was opened and with his collar and harness still on and with lead trailing.
There were a number of sightings over the first couple of days and then nothing for five days. Owners were desperate to get a tracker in to help and so we agreed to help.
We arrived and together with Ruth who had flown over to the UK as we believed Leo would recognise her and being a Ridgeback would more likely go to Ruth than anyone else.
Tiga did not have the best scent item as it was a blanket that had belonged to the owners previous Ridgeback and was then washed and Leo had used it for five days before it was put out in the rain to entice Leo back. However after a good sniff we set off from near one of the sightings.
Tiga certainly got to work quickly and confirmed that this first sighting was that of Leo. Tiga continued on for miles as you would expect with a Ridgeback and took us in turn to each of the other sightings including one that was not expected to be Leo as it was the other side of the railway but Tiga showed us the way he had travelled along a road and under a railway bridge. We continued on and on and eventually arrived at a quiet lane that took us back, this time over the railway. We fully expected to take a footpath across some fields on the other side but no, Tiga kept on the lane and eventually turning down a farm track and arriving in a village where we took a well earned rest with a swift drink in the pub on the green giving Tiga a breather before picking up on where we left off.
Tiga kept up the work and we were soon back very close to where the owners lived but instead of making it all the way home, Tiga turned right and through a gate onto a path that Leo had previously been walked on. Before we turned we noticed a huge barn full of hay bales and it was the first place we had seen that Leo could have taken shelter. We decided not to enter as there were sheep in the field and electric fence around but we stood and looked around. We continued on the footpath across fields until we arrived at a large estate and garden centre and from here back onto another footpath through some woods until we arrived very close to where we started, less than half a mile from home.
We decided to call it a night and that the search should continue close to home as that is where Tiga has indicated Leo was. We had covered 15 miles following Tiga’s nose and were due to return two days later if Leo was not home.
The next day Leo was found by Ruth in the field with the sheep and absolutely frightened of them, still with lead trailing as he had on all the sightings. Apart from losing some 10kg of body weight he was very happy to have been found.
September 16, 2015 By Jenny
Coco – September 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Coco a six year old Grizzly Border Terrier that loved to chase foxes and decided that while off lead on a walk she would do just that.
Twenty four hours later there was no sign of her and a friend of mine who was also a mutual friend of the owner asked if I could help.
Off we went and after a sniff of the blanket Tiga set off to find Coco. It was not an easy task as Tiga had all the scents and trails of twice daily walks in the area but it seemed Tiga eventually found the last walk and continued across fields and across ditches to a pond which we circled and then Tiga just sat down. As i looked at Tiga I heard a strange little noise and then some muffled barks.
I went off through the brambles to a fox hole and listened and could clearly hear a dog barking down the hole. It had to be Coco and it was.
We called the fire brigade and the local hunt for some advice and in no time both were on the scene digging. Coco was soon hauled out and on the way to the vets but apart from a few minor scratches and dirt in the eyes – Coco was on her way home.
August 19, 2015 By Jenny
Ricky – June 2015
Ricky a world class Sheltie show dog was being transported from Ireland to a show in Spain and had just travelled through Eurotunnel to Calais when he was let out for a wee and slipped his collar at the service station causing an alert on both sides of the channel.
The owner soon flew to Calais to help in the search but with a few sightings it seemed it would not be long before he was caught but Ricky was running scared. He had been seen back at the tunnel near some staff offices and scavenging bins.
Two days later and Ricky was still on the run but appearing to stay close to the offices and car parks.
I was on my way back from tracking a dog in Cornwall when i was alerted and pulled off the motorway to speak to both the distraught breeder and owner. I was willing to travel to Calais if necessary to track as Tiga already had a pet passport but in the meantime I was able to offer some advice on how to catch a dog that at this stage was unwilling to be caught even by the owner.
Within an hour I had calls of tears of joy from both breeder and owner to say that Ricky was safely back in his arms and that the advice given had worked.
August 19, 2015 By Jenny
Alice – May 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Alice a very timid beagle escaped from doggy day care and was on the run. There were a few sightings in the area but she was moving around very fast.
Being a beagle, I was soon on my way with Tiga who soon picked up the scent from the field used by the doggy day care. Tiga started well as he was soon at the first sighting and onto the next, eventually completing a full circle and taking in all the sightings before coming back to the field. So it seemed that Alice would eventually be caught back here.
There were a number of sightings in a nearby residential area and in particular an alleyway where she was spotted and in the gardens of the two houses at either end of the alleyway. We then had more sightings in various places around Tiga’s loop but Alice was always one step ahead. No sooner did Tiga pick up the scent and we had news of more sightings but still on the loop, so it was time to stop and sit and wait but without success.
We returned again to track and started back at the doggy day care where Tiga picked up fresh scent until we had news of a sighting of a beagle with a red collar but out of the ‘loop’ but by the time we got there we found out that it was not Alice but a boy beagle that had just gone missing but quickly recaught. So again we returned to the day care to hear that she had just been seen in the woods alongside the field. I had asked the owner to leave his taxi in the car park by the field and to leave the door open. In his rush he didn’t leave the door open but only the windows as we quickly got Tiga onto the scent and clearly Tiga was on a mission. The owner decided to go back to his cab to open the door leaving Tiga on Alice’s trail and as we turned a corner out of the woods onto the track to the cab we could hear tears and screams of delight and as we looked at the cab there was Alice in her owners arms. She didn’t need the cab door open as she had leapt in through the open window and sat demanding a taxi ride home!
August 19, 2015 By Jenny
Maisie – May 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Maisie, a Ridgeback Cross was being taken to the vet for a check up on a recent operation when she slipped her collar while being taken out of the car in the car park of the vets. She was originally a rescue and so very timid.
Owners were away on holiday but cut short their trip when they heard that Maisie was missing.
Tiga was called in to help track and we arrived at the vet and picked up the scent from where the daughter had seen Maisie crossing the yard of the vet. Tiga with nose to ground took us along a track and to a game keepers cottage where she had also been seen. We continued to follow Tiga across some fields and along a road and into fields on the opposite side of the road eventually coming back to the car park of the vet via a small track through a hedge. So it seemed that Tiga had defined the loop that Maisie had been doing.
Maisie’s bed and toy were left in the car park of the vet and several BBQ’s were had .
Tiga and I returned the next day and met with the owners who were now home from their shortened holiday. We set off again and this time we were taken on a similar loop nearby when we got news of a sighting – so we quickly got to the footpath she was seen to be heading down and let Tiga follow the scent. It seemed the path was going to take us back along the path where we were yesterday and then across the road to the vet. I suggested that the owners got ahead of us and sat on the path between the road by the vet and where we were heading. Soon after Maisie trotted quite happily along the path and past ‘mum’ who was taken by surprise. Maisie did not get as far as ‘dad’ and so had obviously gone to ground. This particular field was where there also had been a possible sighting days earlier, where Maisie had been in a garden playing with some dogs and children.
We called it a night so as not to chase Maisie onto the road which was now getting busy with the rush hour.
The owners went back to the house where she had been playing to advise them that Maisie was still nearby and that Maisie loved other dogs and children.
In the morning the delighted owners had a call to say that Maisie was in the garden next door playing with their two dogs.
Apart from being quite thin and limping on her leg she had had the operation on she was fine and was soon back to being a picture of health.
Welcome home Maisie.
June 24, 2015 By Jenny
Rufus – May 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Rufus was only 16 weeks old when he was being taken by the owners disabled sister for a wee walk and was set upon by a loose dog and bolted with lead attached. As a matter of urgency for such a young puppy and with lead attached we drove down the next day to track with Tiga.
On arriving at the woodland car park where Rufus had bolted Tiga soon picked up the scent in the direction that Rufus bolted across the road and off into more woods and also to teh place of teh next sighting.
Tiga continued to track around the woods from one side of the road to the other but always back to the car park. This indicated as expected that Rufus was hiding and still closeby. Not wanting to frighten Rufus in the dark as it was now and very late we called it a day .
Further searches by friends and family were carried out the next day with no luck and so the search continued on the next day with still no more sightings.
Owners were going to ‘camp out’ in the car park and were ready to call it a night again when the owners son who had been helping returned to the car park with Rufus who had run out into the road in front of him just down the hill from the car park. He safe and well and none the worse for his adventure.
June 8, 2015 By Jenny
Prudence – May 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Prudence was a young 9 month old Rottweiller cross Doberman who happily enjoyed the freedom of the family farm which was secure.
Sadly a visitor entered a gate and left it open allowing a young explorer to escape. For twelve days there were no sightings whatsoever despite huge searches and a poster campaign etc.
We were contacted for help and we travelled to Somerset to do our best. As soon as we arrived we set off with Tiga mooching around the farm picking up scent before she vanished . We did a loop coming back to the farm which was probably her usual walk. We then picked up more scent and went through the gate that had been left open.
We followed Tiga as he took us left down a farm track where he sniffed and then turned back continuing along and onto a lane and again he sniffed and turned back. This time we turned into the farm yard and across where the cows had just come from the milking parlour and returned to the field so I was amazed that Tiga had managed to track through this strong cow smell even after 12 days that Prudence had been missing. We arrived at the back of the farm and across a small grassy area to the worst nightmare – a huge open slurry pit.
Tiga sniffed along the edge and then slightly down the bank and looked across to the middle with his nose in the air. He then sat down and we looked at where he was looking and there in the middle was some kind of animal rising above the surface with gas bubbles rising.
We returned to the owners farm and spent probably an hour inventing a long enough gadget that we could use to retrieve what we believed was Prudence. With great carefulness we managed to drag the body of this animal to the edge and yes the worst fear was confirmed.
Run free and rest in peace Prudence.
May 27, 2015 By Jenny
Jess – March 2014 – tracked by Tiga
Jess was a very small Jack Russell that escaped down the drive and through the gate when a visitor left the gate open.
Someone suggested that we were called in to help and so we did and Tiga tracked from the gate and across to the golf course opposite. From here we went across the golf course and out through a small gap in the hedge the other side and on down the road to the local open prison where we had to get permission to track in the grounds . After a tour of the gardens we carried on back out to the road and along the road until we came to the local village via footpaths across the fields. We followed Tiga as he tracked around the village and through some woods but eventually was heading back towards home but not quite making it and we called it a day.
We tracked like this for a number of days and covered a number of miles around the village and through the woods but each time seem to head back in the direction of home covering similar routes each time but in slightly different directions.
This went on for days and weeks and then on one occasion Tiga tracked back along the road to the golf club and only 100 yards from home the scent went cold.
We spoke to passers by asking if they had seen a small Jack Russell and one local couple said – Oh I thought you had your dog back, we saw a young couple stop in a van and pick her up, they asked if anyone had lost a dog and we pointed to your house, they said they would go and knock on the door but they didn’t.
Tiga returned to a possible sighting some days later but did not pick up any scent. It now looked as if Jess had been stolen by theft of finding.
The family were heartbroken and as time went on there was no news on Jess, until……….. 15th May 2015 some 14 months later I had a call from the owner to say that Jess had been picked up some 60 miles away and taken to a vet, where the microchip revealed it was Jess!
Jess was soon reunited to a very happy family and I have just got back from having a big cuddle with Jess.
Never give up and make sure your beloved pet is microchipped.
February 28, 2015 By Jenny
Frankie – February 2015 – tracked by Tiga
I was out walking my dogs when I had a call from one of the nurses at my vet, my immediate thought was oh help I have forgotten an annual booster but no it was the best friend of this nurse that had lost her dog and could I help.
I quickly got my dogs home from their walk and ventured out with Tiga.
Frankie was a Boston Terrier that had just had his lead and collar put on for the last walk around the block before bed. No sooner was the front door opened and he was off – he had seen a cat go by and that was something to chase.
Friends, family and neighbours immediately joined in the search well into the night to no avail. The search continued the next day and there was no sign of Frankie who was still trailing his lead when he chased out of the front door.
When Tiga arrived there still had not been one sighting but he soon picked up a scent and off we went. It appeared that Tiga was at this point following the scent of a normal daily walk and we soon ended up back at the front door but Tiga continued on his travels with nose to ground and carried on past the door and across the neighbours garden – clearly not the daily walk.
We soon got to a footpath and turned left and followed the path round to the right stopping to sniff at a pile of rubbish where clearly some easy pickings were there to be had. Having sniffed on past the rubbish Tiga went into a parking area behind some houses and starting heading towards a back gate swinging in the wind and there with head half in and half out was Frankie still with lead attached.
He soon recognised his ‘mum’ and came bundling over giving Tiga a lick enroute.
His lead was wet and muddy but Frankie looked none the worse for his night out on the cat walk.
February 26, 2015 By Jenny
Pip – February 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Pip a springer spaniel at just 17 weeks old was being walked early one morning off lead with the other family spaniel on the beach. At some point Pip just vanished despite being close to owner.
Extensive searches of the surrounding areas, a poster campaign, media campaign revealed nothing.
Four days later we were contacted to help and we duly obliged. I met the owner with Tiga and were given the scent item in the hope of some good news.
Tiga tracked along the beach but went behind some beach huts close to where Pip vanished and this appears to be where Pip and the owner parted company as the owner had walked in front of the huts. We carried on down the beach and over to the car park where owner had parked to check the crate and bedding that had been left.
Tiga then picked up the scent again and on further down the beach along the promenade and up some steps leading into a building site where storm damage was being repaired. The steps went no where as there was Herras fencing across the broken steps and no way through although Tiga wanted to continue at first but he turned back and back onto the beach tracking to the section between the last two breakwaters. My heart sank as Tiga tracked down towards the sea and actually into the sea where I could see strong undercurrents. There were also signs up saying Danger bathers keep away.
Although Tiga continued to track it seemed more a case of searching than tracking. We tried different places beyond the promenade and under bushes eventually going back to where we started. Tiga then picked up scent near the swimming pool and going round the building to a locked gate which we couldn’t get through but Pip could have done. We tried to pick it up the other side but no joy, probably because Tiga had air scented through the gate and not ground scented.
With no sightings there was nothing more we could do except to make Pip too hot to handle. Everyone knew about Pip and were all looking out for her.
Two days later there was news of a possible sighting but unfortunately only about two hours after she first went missing and in fact in the direction of where Tiga was air scenting. With a huge search planned we decided to go back down to try and pick up from this sighting. No sooner did we start to track, we had a call with the worst possible outcome. Pip had just been washed up on the beach a few miles down the coast from where Tiga tracked into the sea.
Run free Pip you stole so many peoples’ hearts and although so young you left a huge impression on us all.
February 6, 2015 By Jenny
Sybil – January 2015 – tracked by Tiga
Sybil, a fox terrier was enjoying a local free run with her friend when she just ran off and disappeared local to home. It was unlike her not to return to the whistle. There was just no sign of her and after 12 days Tiga was called to help.
On a beautiful dry sunny but incredibly frosty morning we were on our way and once Tiga established which dog of the two was missing off we went, initially on tracks where the two dogs had generally walked and played each day.
Tiga then started to tell us where Sybil had not been and headed off in the direction that the owner thought she had gone. We fought our way through brambles and up and down woodland tracks and eventually going to a small stone bridge over a running brook. Again Tiga indicated that Sybil had not gone over the brook. We then started to climb back up through the woods to a badger sett where Sybil always liked to go. Tiga gave the badger sett a sniff and then proceeded not to pick up any more scent but kept indicating that there were no more tracks and then decided that his work was done and thought it was time to play. So we were for the remainder of the day in hot pursuit of deer.
We were finally defeated thinking that as the scent had stopped she had been picked up and so we called it a day after dark and a long day out in the cold.
After 15 days there still was not any news or sightings of Sybil but then………………. while the owner was at home she heard a noise outside and went to look. She saw a scruffy little dog near her back door that she thought had maybe wandered off a footpath, so she went to investigate only to find it was Sybil!
Sybil had returned home after 15 days and was very thin, muddy and covered in ticks as well as having worn down teeth, a sore nose and paws.
I just wonder if she had been down the badger sett and had tried so hard to successfully dig her way out. We will never know but the main thing is that Sybil is safe and back home where she belongs but very tired.
January 29, 2015 By Jenny
Monty – January 2015 tracked by Tiga
Monty, a 13 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback went on his adventure when a delivery man left the back gate open. There were a few sightings as he started his adventure and then nothing for nearly a week until he was seen on the slip road to the busy A13. Several drivers stopped to shoo him up the embankment to safety and this was the last he was seen.
We were contacted for help and were on our way with Tiga to track. Tiga picked up the scent from the top of the busy A13 embankment and headed back along a lane past the stables and on to a junction where he turned right along a quiet road. Tiga went along and then turned back and took us down a steep slope under the road bridge onto a footpath alongside a dyke. From here we went over a small foot bridge towards the golf course, taking a small circuit around part of the course and then back over the bridge, carrying along the footpath a little way before picking up another footpath up to the high street of the village, carrying on eventually back to the stables.
Tiga spent sometime around the stables before going off again past where we started and continuing to a B & B and then picking up another foot path which took us back to the dyke and again back to the stables.
This clearly was the area that Monty was in and so I suggested that the owner walk his other two dogs around this loop and then continue along the dyke back home, which he did.
The next day we had a call from some friends who had also been asked to walk their dogs around this loop, to say they had just seen Monty going over the foot bridge. They soon lost sight of him and the owner rushed home from work to collect his dogs to find that Monty had followed the scent home and was waiting by the back door.
December 5, 2014 By Jenny
Harriet December 2014 – tracked by Yogi
Harriet is a 5 year old Golden Labrador that was taken on a walk by the in law and owners young children to Ashdown Forest on Sunday. For no apparent reason Harriet slipped her collar and was off. There were one or two possible sightings in the area but she was on the run and looking scared.
By Wednesday the owners were getting desperate and the children were going off to school believing they would never see Harriet again.
Someone in the Forest suggested we were contacted and so we were but Tiga has recently been very sick and was resting and recovering but Yogi (Tiga’s half brother) has been training and needed some experience so I decided to give him an opportunity to see what stage he was at.
We met the owner at the Forest and despite having eight other dogs as well, she managed to find something for Yogi to get the scent from which was given to Yogi and off we went.
Yogi certainly seemed to have grasped what he was about as he led us around an area where there had been a sighting. From here we went across the forest and around and back through a golf course. Yogi was certainly very busy but I wasn’t 100% convinced what he was busy about as he is not as easy to read as Tiga but I gave him a chance and stuck with him.
After covering a few miles we got a call of a possible sighting and it was where we had just tracked from so we returned and allowed Yogi to take over. At this point with no sign of Harriet the owner and I split to cover more ground and I continued to trust Yogi who now seemed to be on a good scent and after going around some residents gardens through a small wooded area and onto the golf course again, he then continued round and back towards the busy A road continuing down the road but fortunately on the grass verge. Within a few minutes Yogi was putting his nose through a hedge and to my amazement there she was, now trotting away from us across a field but not in a state of panic. I quickly called the owner who arrived very soon after and pointed to where Harriet was now hiding in the far corner of the field. Fortunately there was no way through this hedge except where Yogi tried to take me and therefore no real danger of Harriet charging to the main road.
The art of tracking is not only finding the dog but safely catching the dog as well and a plan has to be hatched in split seconds and so I guided the owner through what we had to do.
We walked back along the road to find a way into the field next to the field Harriet was in, this took a few minutes as we then had to go down a lane and into one field and then another but I was confident Harriet was going to stay put. The owner climbed over a gate into the field to whisper back to me I can see her, she then put into place exactly what I had told her and that was to sit down, Harriet slowly came but wasn’t 100% sure. I was hiding by the gate but out of sight ready to ward her from the road in case. I could see the owner sitting down and staying calm and the joy of watching Harriet realise that she was now safe and back with ‘mum’ was amazing. Once Harriet was safely secured on a lead I joined them both. I have never seen a dog so happy to be reunited as Harriet was here. Harriet and Yogi also exchanged a few licks and sniffs. We than waited for others to arrive to ensure we got Harriet safely back to the car and off to the vet for a check up, where she was given a thumbs up.
I was so proud of Yogi as this was his first success and hopefully the first of many.
October 10, 2014 By Jenny
After three days there was a possible sighting a few miles away and we had a call to ask if Tiga could help. After explaining what Tiga could and couldn’t do, we were on our way. Tiga picked up the scent and confirmed the sightings were Max. Tiga took us on three separate loops of different distances and three times he took us back to the same block of flats from three different routes and directions.
I suggested that the area was heavily postered and to put a story in the local paper. The owners set about doing this and within an hour of the news article being released which included the street name etc, Max was handed into a local vet!
Max was soon home and enjoying his favourite treat of steak & sausage!
October 9, 2014 By Jenny
Lola was a Chihuahua/Chinese Crested Cross that bolted out of the front door when a friend came to feed her while the owner was out for the day. Her friend followed but Lola was just too quick and was off and away. There were a few sightings soon after and she was seen heading towards the Dyson design centre. The security was high and although Lola was seen inside the perimeter fence by the security guard, no one was allowed in to catch her. For several days after there were no more sightings and the worst was feared for such a small dog.
Tiga was recommended to the owner by someone whose dog Tiga had tracked and found and so we were off to Wiltshire to track Lola.
Tiga started at the house and picked up the scent in the direction she was seen to go and across a main road and down a smaller road leading to a back gate of Dyson – here Tiga wanted to go under the gate. Having now got permission to enter the grounds we went to the main entrance to meet the security guard on duty who escorted us round as Tiga picked up the scent again from the other side of the gate. Tiga spent some time following Lola’s every move around the grounds and eventually going out of the main entrance onto the busy road. From here we travelled left along this road and eventually turning off towards a village where Tiga showed a lot of interest. It was here that I suggested was postered and searched as if looking for a cricket ball. Tiga continued on and soon came almost back to the start but wanting to go back into the Dyson grounds.
It was clear that Lola was close by and after running out of time all round we called it a day with an aim of getting posters up on this loop that Tiga had tracked and in particular the very small village.
The next day the owner had a call to say that Lola had been spotted in this village still wearing her little yellow t-shirt! Lots of searches here were carried out and eventually Lola gave herself up by walking into a Laura Ashley film shoot in this village two days later!
While out tracking Lola a car pulled up and with hugs all round, it was the owner of Smudge the Cocker Spaniel that Tiga had tracked some months before and who had recognised Tiga and stopped to say hello. Tiga and Smudge were clearly aware of who each other was and happily shared licks and tail wags.