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.
August 24, 2014 By Jenny
Ula is a 5 month Bermese Mountain Dog that was spooked while on a local walk and after spending two lonely nights out on the streets – I was tagged to see if we could help. How could we turn down trying to help a puppy so young and only an hours drive away, so off we went to the owners house to give Tiga a scent item.
Ula had lots of soft toys but her favourites were a monkey and a duck and so Tiga was given these and off we went. There had been a number of sightings which were kept secret from us, to see how Tiga responded.
Tiga quickly picked up the scent on a route where Ula had not been walked before and we were soon marching through the churchyard where we were told there had been a sighting. From here having gone in one entrance we left the churchyard through one of two other gateways and off down the road soon to be passing another sighting and then on to a small campsite, where Tiga spent alot of time going away from the campsite and back again on several occasions. It was here that we decided that if Ula wasn’t found today we would set up a ‘night watch’ as Tiga was clearly interested in both the campsite and the adjacent park.
From here we left the park through another entrance and generally followed Tiga as he took us around the local roads and closes and soon to be back at the churchyard where we also decided to set up another ‘night watch’. We arrived through a different gate and again passed through and back onto the streets and again going to another sighting. This time Tiga continued in a straight line for some distance which indicated that Ula had perhaps been frightened again and had bolted unfortunately in an area which was not good for lost puppies. However as we continued on to a main road and still following Tiga at times down the middle of the road we started to take a few turns which led us back along a road where we later leant about another sighting. At this point we had a call to say that Ula had just been found hiding under a car. “Although It was not Tiga that ultimately found her” it turned out that we were hardly ten minutes further back along the road and heading back to where Tiga had taken us earlier . As we hurried along to meet Ula Tiga continued to track to where she was found.
She was very frightened and shaking but after a short time back in her familiar surroundings and with her monkey and duck and her owners and a chewy bone, she soon settled and with only her sore paws to show for her adventures.
With the distance she had travelled on tarmac I am not surprised she had sore paws.
July 10, 2014 By Jenny
Conkers was a 4 year old beagle that was visiting family with the owners, when he had his first ever epileptic fit and bolted from the garden scared. He was spotted a short while after running along the railway tracks by a train driver who sounded the hooter to shoo him off the line. This was the last sighting until we were called down to track and we dropped everything after being up at 4 a.m. for work that morning and just sitting down to watch the Wimbledon final. It was a 140 mile dash to try and find Conkers before it was too late.
We arrived at the parent’s farm by 7 p.m. and Tiga was given Conkers bed for which he wasn’t particularly interested in. We then went off and Tiga tracked around the garden and to the place where he was seen to jump over the garden fence and off. We headed off to the railway track where he was spotted but obviously could not track along the lines but we tried to pick up where and if he managed to get off the railway line. It was now getting late and we had had no luck but we soon got a call of a possible sighting in the opposite direction. So we jumped in cars and off to pick up scent at the new sighting. We carried on tracking into the night and had a BBQ close to where the sighting was but this did not encourage Conkers to come out of hiding. Time went on and we had reports of other sightings not far away and so we followed up on these.
At one point we were tracking along a busy road where there had been a sighting and we heard a noise which the owners thought sounded like Conkers while he was having a fit, so the owners stayed road side while I went with Tiga to investigate what was the other side of the hedge. We got to the point where the owners were shining a torch through and again they repeated it sounded just like Conkers. Sadly I had to inform them it was a pig lying down snoring!
Deflated we carried on searching and seeing it was soon to be getting light we carried on without sleeping. There was no more news until early afternoon we got reports of first one sighting and then another which at first didn’t seem possible but then we could see they were in fact close together so we continued to search and track and with lots of volunteers we had a series of BBQ’s throughout the evening and on into the night. We also set up three camps where we were going to stake out watching.
It was at 5.15 in the morning that we had a the result we wanted and Conkers had given himself up by walking into the tent and although he went out and wandered off and around the noise of his favourite squeaky toy and some treats eventually gave him the confidence to go to his owner.
With many tears of joy that he was safe and had survived his scary adventure we packed up the camps and BBQ’s and thanked the landowner for letting us take over their fields. We all looked forward to getting some sleep sooner than later.
July 5, 2014 By Jenny
Fudge was a beagle that managed to escape the garden and then there were reports of being hit by a car the same evening and then there were no more sightings. Two days later I arrived with Tiga in very hot dry conditions which is the worst for tracking as the scent dries and the heat is not good for Tiga to be out working in for too long.
We parked up in a garden centre on the road where there had been the possible sighting of being hit be a car and then running scared. Tiga was given a scent item and we set off expecting it to be a very difficult time tracking along this very fast main road. As we set off I asked one of the owners to call in at the cafe next to the garden centre to ask if anyone had seen a beagle running loose.
Tiga quickly picked up the scent and instead of going along the road we went across it and down a much quieter lane heading towards an abbertoir. We were soon caught up by the owner who declared that someone in the cafe had seen a beagle running loose and headed in the direction we were going! Tiga soon went into a field moving away from the abertoir which was quite a relief. He spent some time clearly tracking around this field and then came out onto a track heading towards some fishing lakes. We crossed over the track and into another field and I was confident that we were on Fudges heels because apparently Fudge does not like going under anything and each time we came to a gate or barrier Tiga sniffed the normal option but on each occasion Tiga went around the edge! We were now on a long grassy track through some trees which was a little cooler and here he had a good sniff of a beagle sized flattened area of grass where Fudge could possibly have bedded down on A little further on was another area of flattened grass but much bigger and Tiga took no notice. We carried on following Tiga’s nose and we came back out onto the track turning towards the fishing lakes . On arriving at the lakes Tiga had a good sniff around a very dry area leading into some more fields and lakes.
It was here that we stopped to ask if any of the fishermen had seen a loose beagle running around, they alls aid no except one guy who turned out to be the lakes manager and he said he had but had thought it must be with someone as there was a footpath running through. He showed us where and it was the exact spot that Tiga had taken us to. This was only an hour earlier. It was with great relief that it appeared that Fudge was in the area and ok. It was now extremely hot and Tiga was struggling to stay cool. So we rested him for a little while before resuming.
After a rest and food Tiga continued to track around the area but the dryness was making it so difficult so we called it a day but we decided to have a BBQ hoping it would draw Fudge out. Sadly Fudge did not come to join the BBQ and we had to leave when the lakes were locked for the night before 9. I asked the owner to come back at dawn and again at dusk as Fudge was clearly close by.
There was nothing in the morning but that evening after dark two sets of eyes were seen, the first belonged to a fox and the second were those of Fudge who came whimpering and crying across to the owner at the exact spot that Tiga had tracked to the day before.
Fudge was taken to the vet and apart from a few scratches and very sore paws he is fine and very happy to be home again.
June 14, 2014 By Jenny
Beanie was a black Scottish Terrier that had followed its 2 playmates through a hole in the garden fence and had been missing for a few days now. Her two playmates had been picked up later the same night in the nearby village and safely reunited but there was no sign of Beanie.
The great fear was that this breed are drawn to water but cannot swim and there were a number of ponds in the area but they were all checked as best could be.
After a few days we were called to see if we could help and track Beanie so off we went and quickly picked up the route that Beanie had taken but sadly the owners had been asked to scent the area with the contents of the hoover bag which clearly didn’t help Tiga. Tiga however did take us on a route round the rape and corn fields and off to a farm and along a hedge but the owners not believing she would have travelled so far we turned back and continued to try and find scent in the rape fields. After a long hot day tracking we called it a night and returned in the morning to check out a few more local areas but Tiga did not find any new scent. So we finished by searching a 50 acre field of rape which was chest height but again no sign of her in there.
The posters continued to go up in the hope of there being a sighting and the ditches were extensively searched but still no sign until the call was received from a local land owner to say that sadly he had found Beanie in a pond in some woods.
On confirming which pond it turned out to be a pond in the woods along the hedge that we had pulled Tiga away from and although Tiga was probably going to take us to Beanie – the outcome would have been the same as it is believed she had been there since the night she went missing.
Run free and R.I.P sweat Beanie
May 24, 2014 By Jenny
Bentley is a 6 month lurcher puppy who had been rescued by Kent Greyhound Rescue and had been placed with his new home after being looked after in a local kennel and had bonded well with the kennels. Sadly Bentley was spooked and ran off in a popular walking area close to the M20 motorway.
There had been a number of sightings but he was too scared to respond. Tiga and I were called to help having already tracked successfully another rescued greyhound from the same rescue.
On arriving I could see it was going to be a tricky situation as the owner lived on the other side of the M20 and drove to a parking area just off the motorway junction which was very popular with walkers.
Tiga was given a harness which Bentley had worn but sadly he was not able to get a good scent from this as many dogs had worn the harness and in fact was covered in white hairs and Bentley was black. We then tried a duvet that Bentley had slept on but also the owners other dogs – Tiga was however able to establish which of the dogs was missing and off we went.
Tiga tracked a loop which could easily have been a route that the owner did regularly but then Tiga took us on a small loop running parallel to the M20 and eventually coming back again to the car park and then on the underpass of the M20 – each time we returned to the car park.
We asked the owner to leave her car here with boot open and we also put an animal trap by the car but it was soon clear that neither were going to work and we were where cars and walkers were constantly coming and going and so I decided it was too dangerous to pursue bearing in mind how scared Bentley was of everything and there was a danger of him being scared and running onto the motorway where he had already been seen.
While tracking Tiga had taken us several times to a small clearing on his loop and it was hear that I decided to hatch a plan which was executed to a tee and I am so grateful for the calm way in which this was carried out to ensure that Bentley was safely caught.
I will now let you read the post by Kent Greyhound Rescue who were again absolutely brilliant in their dedication in finding Bentley safely and having full confidence in Tiga.
Words of Kent Greyhound Rescue
Yesterday was both incredibly tense and very rewarding – having our puppy securely locked in the back of the van was such a relief it was surreal. Despite having a massive rural area to hide in and being terrified of traffic, puppy had taken a liking to playing on the M20 and had at one point travelled from J13 to J14 through the fields and then back up to J13 actually on the M20. The police closed the motorway and forced him to jump from the flyover – luckily at a very low point. At this point most of the volunteers were some distance away up the hill watching the horror unfold – the blue flashing lights and the puppy running up the M20 are not something we ever want to see again.
The distance he was travelling meant it was impossible for us to place a trap for him because we had no idea where to place it – a problem which brings us nicely to our first star – Tiga the tracker dog. Tiga is very famous and we have had the pleasure of working with before, we had 100% faith in his ability. We are incredibly grateful to Tiga and his his mum Jenny for their help and brilliant advice. Despite having items contaminated with other dogs scent, Tiga managed to identify the puppy scent by eliminating the other dog scent and he gave us the route. He also told us where to lay the trap which was down beside the M20 even though we had seen him sleeping up the top of the hill the day before. Needle in a haystack is an expression used a lot to describe this search – so how on earth could a beagle pin point the location from many acres of other land?
So now we know where to capture him – it’s just a matter of how to trap him as he is terrified of people. But as part of his regular route still involved a jaunt on the M20 we urgently needed to capture him before we have a major traffic accident. The trap was laid but we soon established he was also terrified of that and unlikely to go into it even for food.
Now we need to introduce Rhia, the other star now known as the dog charmer! – who most people will either know from the Conifer Lodge Kennels or from Geflon dog training club. Rhia managed to pull off the most amazing capture which you had to see to believe. Tiga told us where to place Rhia but then she was on her own – in a field, in the dark and with 100% responsibility for his safe return entirely in her hands. She managed to keep calm even when he kept going back towards the motorway and gently and calmly persuaded him to trust her. We were hidden not far away and the pressure of the situation was almost unbearable for us so we cannot imagine what Rhia was going through. In the end we didn’t need the trap – Rhia managed to win his trust and place the slip lead around his neck. Very few people would have the ability to have done this, given the circumstances and it pretty much rendered us all speechless that she pulled it off with such precision, humility and an understated sense of achievement.
We are incredibly proud of the way everyone came together to help KGR. Without everyone pulling together this could not have been possible and we will be eternally grateful to all the volunteers and supporters for their help. However the credit for such a positive resolution undoubtedly goes to team Tiga and Rhia – without actually being involved in the search it is impossible to understand what a difficult and horrific few days this has been but between them they made all this capture lark seem really easy. The odds were always stacked against us ever finding the puppy alive, so to have him back in just 78 hours is a miracle. olice closed the motorway and forced him to jump from the flyover – luckily at a fairly low point. At this point most of the volunteers were some distance away up the hill watching the horror unfold – the blue flashing lights and the puppy running up the M20 are not something we ever want to see again.
April 27, 2014 By Jenny
Baxter a young beagle was on a family walk and was frightened by a group of ramblers and ran off through some woods and was still missing the next day. Despite being away and in an area with not much mobile phone signal – a message of despair still got to me and so I got on the bike and went off to find a good reception to call the owner and give some advice which was carried out to perfection by all the family and within two hours I had a call to say that Baxter was now back home and in the bath.
April 27, 2014 By Jenny
Dasher a six year old Jack Russell Terrier Cross obviously liked a bit of an adventure but maybe this time he went a step too far. Dasher’s ‘mum’ was returning from an event in Wales in a horse box when unbeknown to her the back of the horse box came open and Dasher sat at the back looking at the following traffic when he decided that at 70 mph in the middle lane of the M4 on Sunday afternoon was the time to jump!
Dasher was seen to land in the middle lane and roll over several times before getting up and making his way to the hard shoulder where he legged it back the way they had travelled from. This was seen by a number of following drivers who sped to the front of the horse box to alert ‘mum’ who pulled over and on realising what had happen and in panic also legged it back down the hard shoulder in pursuit of Dasher. Seen by police motorway cameras that something had happened a rolling road was put in motion and as ‘mum’ continued back down the hard shoulder she was waived on by onlookers until it appeared that nothing was wrong. So at this point there was no sight of Dasher so it was hoped that he had made it safely away from the motorway and across fields.
Two days later with Dasher still on the run and the family not knowing if he was alive or not we had a panic call from Dog Lost volunteers to see if Tiga could go and help. So on Wednesday we were on the way down to track Dasher. On the way there was news of a possible sighting of Dasher on a farm on the side of the west bound carriageway. So this was the place for Tiga to start tracking from. The field was huge but it turned out to be the wrong field and on many questions to the farmer we established that the sighting was in the adjacent field and full of cows which were all lying down. As soon as Tiga appeared and attempted to track, the inquisitive cows decided to surround Tiga who took one look at them and put his tail down and ran! The cows were having none of it and we had to come up with other tactics so we decided to start tracking in the fields where Dasher would possibly have run from the carriageway on the east bound side. Tiga quickly picked up scent and took us over a road bridge, which then explained how he had managed to get to the other side safely and to the end of this lane, turning left along the road where the farm was in but Tiga continued past the farm crossing this road to and fro several times before going into some fields and following the field edge he came back out onto the same road but further down and then across into an estate of bungalows and on to a school. Tiga then tracked across a playing field and through a gap in the hedge leading into fields which led us to the back of the farm where the possible sighting had been. The heavens now opened and it was very difficult for Tiga to continue but having arrived back at the farm it was clear that the possible sighting was Dasher and this was the route he had taken to get there.
We continued in the morning from where we left off and Tiga clearly picked up fresh scent in the neighbouring farm and took us to a barn with hay in and a shed near to where there was cat food so we were confident that this is where Dasher had spent the night and would probably return to. We asked this farmer if he would keep an eye out for Dasher in this yard while we took a look around with an aim to keep the daughters scent in the area who was with me while tracking. Within an hour the daughter had Dasher safely in her arms after picking him up off a pile of sacks in the shed!
There were tears of joy as Dasher appeared almost unscathed but very tired and subdued.
Dasher is one very lucky dog and after a trip to my vet was given a clean bill of health and was later reunited with ‘mum’
It was a huge team effort from everyone involved, from the drivers on the M4 that alerted the owner, those that searched and postered, the farmers that let us track on their land, the cat that gave up his food for Dasher and to my Tiga that quite simply gave us all hope that Dasher had made it off the motorway and tracked to where he was found.
April 1, 2014 By Jenny
After two days we got a call to see if we could help and I took Tiga to track from the last sighting which was on a busy road. Tiga quickly picked up the scent and slowly worked through the diesel fumes along this road where he then turned into a wooded copse and through to a forest but turned back eventually went back to the wooded copse. This was fairly sheltered and could possibly have been where Ruby bedded down.
Tiga then did another small loop around the area and this time went into the forest which was a huge area. There was a national teachers strike so the owners daughter had a day off school and came with us calling for her beloved Ruby. Not long after tracking in the forest a very friendly Border Collie came to us and did not appear to be with anyone and had no collar. After a time with no one in sight calling for her I scanned her and she was microchipped, I put her on a slip lead and she was happy to come with us. After a number of phone calls to the local council dog warden we still had Ruby in tow. By 4 o’clock we had to get something sorted and as there was not a resident dog warden we called local vets who rang other local vets for us. One of the vets soon reported that one of their customers had lost a Border Collie and after checking details they were on their way to collect. I asked the vet what was the name of the dog and I was told RUBY! No wonder this Ruby came to us when the little girl was calling for Ruby her Bassett Hound – what a coincidence!
Not Ruby Tuesday but Ruby Two Dogs!
So back to Ruby the Bassett Hound – we had received a call to say that there was a sighting of Ruby on the other side of the forest in the direction we were tracking, so we quickly went back to our cars and drove to the possible sighting. By the time we got there the dog had run although the owner did manage to soon get a glimpse of her and confirmed it was Ruby. She had now gone and disappeared out of sight and it was left to Tiga to track and follow. Tiga followed where Ruby was seen to go and was clearly on the trail again heading back to the other side of the forest again but more to one side.
It was not too long before we had a call to say that Ruby had been caught by being cornered in a walled garden not far in front of us. We soon arrived and Ruby was clearly very very frightened but soon realised that she was safe and enjoyed being reunited with her family.
March 19, 2014 By Jenny
Tiga at Crufts having just been presented with the Galen Therapy Extraordinary Dog of the Year Award.
The award was presented by Marc Abraham the Crufts TV vet.
The report also appeared in Dog World
March 4, 2014 By Jenny
Hooligan an aptly named beagle was enjoying his daily walk in Ashdown Forest when he decided to chase some deer and failed to return. After three days we went to help and started the tracking at the last sighting where Tiga picked up scent quickly but then seemed to follow deer foot prints for quite some way eventually taking us to a clay brick works where the deer prints were still very evident but instead of a herd of foot prints there was now just one – so presumably one had been parted from the herd by Hooligan. This was not a place to be after dark and so we called it a day.
After another sighting we returned in the morning and tracked from this new point but Tiga was not interested and wondered why we were there. We met the lady who had seen a tan & white beagle on roadside enjoying some road kill and was convinced it was Hooligan. She stated that there was no collar on the dog which she saw clearly from horseback. We later learnt that nearby was a farm with four beagles, one being a tan & white that was always wandering out. This was also confirmed by a farm worker who said their beagle was still out.
With no other options we decided to return to the place where Hooligan first went missing and start from scratch and no sooner had we done this we had a call to say that a tan & white beagle had been picked up and was at the local kennels – was it Hooligan or was it the wandering beagle from the farm. We raced to the kennels to be greeted by one very happy Hooligan none the worse for his adventure and still wearing his collar.
This was a case of not tracking Hooligan but confirming that the sighting was not Hooligan.
February 25, 2014 By Jenny
For something different this story was written by Gem a 15 year old deaf labrador that went missing while out on a walk with her owners!
I am Gem. I am nearly 15 and live in Widecombe-in-the-moor, on Dartmoor. My family are very good to me but I want to tell you about the exciting holiday I had without them.
Although I often dream of running, I have never actually gone away on my own before and really had not made any plans to do so. However on the 9th Jan 2014 it was just such a beautiful day and I took my owner somewhere different, up to Rippon Tor. There were lots of exciting smells, which my owner shows no interest in, and I forgot to keep an eye on her and my 7 year old puppy in the high gorse and tussocky grass and next minute they were both gone.
They told me they looked for me for ages. In fact there was someone out looking at some time for the next 2 days, but as people don’t talk dog, how can you tell if that’s true? My puppy Amber said it was on facebook and lots of people were asking to help. Their soulful little eyes and the cute shouting that they do. I think I even saw groups of them out with torches in the dark. I would have gone to look but it was frosty and cold and I had found such a cosy hidey hole for the two nights I was out, so I stayed where I was.
Eventually, 2 days later they called in the Beagle squad and the handsome Tiga came looking for me. He quickly got a whiff of my “Eau de whatever I can roll in”, and followed the exciting journey which I had started, whilst looking for my lost family. He followed me back down Rippon Tor, past the photos on the gate of me, up over Saddle Tor and on to Haytor. I led him a merry dance there as he searched the car park with all the exciting smells of ice cream from the van and people’s dropped sandwiches. There was nothing left by the time I had finished though! He also found my hidy hole.
I was tiring of eating my “Eau de whatever I can roll in” by then, you see!
And then I gave them all the slip as they decided to give up in the cold and the dark, whilst I walked down to the nice ladies house at Bagtor.
Although, she was not so keen on my scent, (can’t imagine why as Tiga liked it), she let me in. And within a short time a lot of tired people came to collect me, took me home and gave me a nice warm bath, and gave me my tablets that I hadn’t had for the last few days and a nice meal.
I think I have them fooled again, because I still ask for lifts to get up into the car and pretend sometimes that I am really an old lady and couldn’t possibly go out for such long walks. I have noticed they don’t take me so much to foreign parts anymore though in case they lose me. I am really grateful to all the lovely people who played a part in trying to find me. Its such a shame that I never met that lovely beagle Tiga and his owner Jenny.
They were so close and they were so good at playing such a clever tracking game.
As you can see from the picture I am planning my next holiday on the beach, (Don’t tell my owners) which will be a bit warmer. I really hope this time to meet Tiga there…..They just don’t understand that there’s life in the old dog yet!
January 29, 2014 By Jenny
Smudge was a Cocker Spaniel that decided to venture off on a walk not long before getting back to the car to go home. He was seen disappearing off through the woods and out to a field but there was no sign of him. There was concern that he was unwell and therefore the owners were anxious to find him as soon as they could and in particular because the weather was not good.
We were contacted to see if we could help as soon as possible. I was in the process of packing the van to venture north to Edinburgh the next day to help track a beagle that had now been missing some time but none the less decided that providing I was back that night I could go and help with Smudge as he had been spotted dangerously close to a very fast and busy road.
I arrived in the notorious rush hour and went with the owner to try to track Smudge. As usual we went near to the place where this last sighting was and Tiga quickly picked up the scent but it was a very difficult situation as Tiga wanted to track along this busy road and at times in the road which took us a long time to do as we were constantly waiting for the cars to go by.
Tiga eventually took us off this road and up a drive of a huge house but soon turned back and eventually continued back to the busy road. It was not easy as there was a huge amount of surface water but undaunted Tiga worked very hard and took us back across the road to an unused pub where we spent some time in the car park and with the consent of the new owners in his back garden before moving off again along the road and then back across down a lane only to come back along a disused railway and to the woods where Smudge first went missing. We again crossed the road and took a footpath to the side of the pub and out onto some fields where we heard a dog barking and then spotted some eyes. It was now very late and in the dark it was impossible to see what the eyes were and we no longer heard the barking. We were now close to our car and decided to call it a night.
I suggested to the owner that she come back to the pub just before first light as it seemed feasible that Smudge could have found shelter in the back garden and if he had we did not want to frighten him off in the dark being so close to the road.
The owner did just this and was rewarded with hearing Smudge howl and quickly reunited. Albeit with a very sore pad.
December 23, 2013 By Jenny
Stella was a lurcher that was attacked by another dog and ran off injured on Christmas Day and was sighted later in the day. After a number of sightings which proved negative and lots of people helping to search, Stella was still missing. Eight days later we were on our way to help track Stella and were taken to where she was last seen on Christmas Day.
Tiga soon picked up scent and worked really hard after the heavy rain even to the extent of tracking past a hare that was within a foot of Tiga and Tiga took no notice such was his concentration. The hare bolted after we passed and the owner disturbed the hare while looking in a dyke. Tiga tracked along the field edge following the edge of dykes and on across a dyke. It was soon clear that Tiga had lost the scent and was now more interested in game and other wild animals so we decided to go back to where Tiga last had the scent which was back across the dyke. No sooner had we got back to this point and were hoping Tiga would pick up the scent again and Stella was spotted on the side of the dyke lying peacefully in the long dry grasses on the bank of the dyke still with her red collar on.
Clearly this was why Tiga had lost the scent as Stella had gone no further.
R.I.P dear Stella – you were not alone as there were hares running around and ducks on the nearby pond with pheasant wandering through the grasses.
December 22, 2013 By Jenny
Nelson was a young two year old Springer Spaniel that decided to chase a deer while on a walk in a large country estate close to home and hadn’t returned home.
We were contacted by the owner to see if we could help and because Tiga was tired from lots of tracking in recent days I decided to give Yogi a go who is Tiga’s half brother and is training to be a tracker dog.
We arrived at the house of the owner and I gave Yogi the bed belonging to Nelson and off we went to the place where nelson was last seen. Yogi seemed to have picked up the scent immediately and off we went in the direction in which Nelson was seen to go, soon after Yogi went round and round and in all directions in a woodland which is where we suspect Nelson chased the deer. On we went eventually going along a field edge and it looked like we were heading towards a railway but thankfully Yogi stuck to the field edge and took us out onto a road and into a small field alongside a river. From here we went back onto the road and continued along this road going into and out of a number of gardens before eventually arriving back at the main entrance to the country estate much to my surprise.
Yogi continued along the main drive and took us up a drive of a house where the owner received a text from her son about a dog barking. She was unable to get a signal to get back to her son to clarify and so we pulled Yogi away and along the road until the owner was able to make contact and confirm it was an old text from the night before. It was now getting dark and the owner had to collect her children from school and so we called it a day having established that Nelson had returned to the country estate and would more likely than not be close by.
Sadly in the morning I had a call from the owner to say that Nelson had been found in the pond at the house where Yogi had taken us to. This confirmed that Yogi’s training was going well and he was ready for more challenges. It was a blessing in disguise that Yogi had been pulled away and that he did not find Nelson in the pond in the early stages of his career as I know how upset Tiga is when he finds dogs in this situation.
Bizarrely Nelson went missing on the day that Mandela died and the owner was from the same city that his state funeral was to be held.
R.I.P Nelson and Run Free.
December 5, 2013 By Jenny
Many searchers had been out and were keeping watch at the service station in the lorry park hoping for a sighting.
While out tracking and happily reuniting another dog further up the M5, I had a call to help and was happy to do so and so arrived a few hours later.
As soon as Tiga was out of the van he was off but not on Lauren’s trail – he immediately picked up the trail of turkey that had been laid to entice Lauren back down the slope where she was seen to run. After this turkey trail had been removed and/or eaten by TIga, he paid attention and stuck to his task in hand. After much snooping around the wooded embankment Tiga came down and led us around the back of the service station shopping centre over to the car park and with great relief did not venture too near the motorway but kept to the car park and then took us over the footbridge to the services the other side much to the great disbelief of the foster team. As we walked over the bridge we could see a white ‘thing’ in the top corner of the field, two fields away. This was investigated by a helper but as approached had disappeared. Tiga continued across the car park on on the southbound side and headed towards a hedge which he was keen to go through. On making our way through to the other side of the hedge it was decided by the helpers that due to the very frightened nature of the rescue dog, she would not have made her way over the bridge, so we pulled Tiga off this scent and continued to follow around the car park before going back over the bridge.
It was thought that Lauren would have continued up the bank through an open fence into fields and towards a farm, so I took Tiga into these fields but indicated that Lauren had not gone that way.
After several more searches it was clear that Tiga could do no more and we headed home leaving the helpers to man the services until the early hours.
Two days later we had a call to say that Lauren had been sighted on the southbound side of the M5 and after a very careful and well executed plan Lauren was safely caught and on her way back to her foster home before being again united with her forever home.
Tiga we should have trusted you.