February 15, 2008
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column with a quick advisory for folks in the county this weekend: It’s going to be crowded, so be patient and avoid the grocery store.***Moving on. Here’s a story from the Meyers at the Animal Shelter, titled “Waiting for Mom.”The posters said “lost dog” but of course she was more than that, she was our lost dog. Kiesha had gone to the mountains for her retirement after our homeowners association had forced us to get rid of one of our dogs. She was always Jill’s shadow, never more than a few feet away from “her mom’s” feet. She would just lie on the floor, usually with her front legs crossed and look pretty. The pretty, pretty princess as we called her, just waiting for mom to do something. But if Jill wasn’t home she would attach herself to whoever else was handy so we decided she would be the most likely to be able to handle relocation without issue. Boy were we wrong. She hated being away from mom and within a week ran away from her new owners at the first opportunity and disappeared into the mountains around Dillon. We were devastated to think that this was how it was going to end to such a loyal dog and a good friend. Visions of her being attacked by coyotes, hit by a truck, or simply starving to death kept us awake at night. We spent the next few weekends driving to the High Country looking for her. It seemed every weekend there was a sighting or two, and then we found a look alike that, while not homeless, was free to roam. We resigned ourselves to the fact that this was probably the dog everyone kept seeing. The snows that had so mercifully held off those early weeks finally came and we were left with the realization that she was most likely gone. Oh there were the occasional sighting, but they had almost stopped. A couple days before the end of the year Jill received a call from a gentleman in Dillon. He was certain the dog he had seen next to the highway that morning was the same dog he had seen on our lost dog poster the previous day. At Jill’s request he contacted animal control and gave them the location. Lisa, from Summit County Animal Control investigated and saw her on at least two instances, but could not get closer than a few hundred feet. We too were able to see her and positively identify her on New Year’s day, but she wouldn’t come to us either. While she is a princess, she is also quite intelligent. She had never strayed much more than a mile from the location she was lost. Of course in a survival situation you need three things; shelter, food and water. Kiesha had positioned herself perfectly for all three. She had made a comfortable den in the middle of a small grove of pine trees, the branches of the trees touching the ground with deadfall providing a windbreak on one side, the Snake River was only a few feet down the mountain and the city dump less than a mile away, an easy jog across a treeless ridge. Her domain had gotten progressively smaller as the weeks wore on and both the river and the lake had frozen. Through a Herculean effort the Summit County Animal Control Angels snowshoed up the mountain and delivered a live trap to the area she was living. Within a few hours she was caught! They cautioned she may not remember us, that she may have gone feral.As Jill walked through the door of the kennel area, Keisha started jumping on the door of her cage in recognition. Jill told her to “load up” when they got to the car; she hopped in the back seat like she had been gone for the weekend, not two and a half months. She is back home now, the vet check showed absolutely nothing wrong with her, except she needed a bath and her toenails trimmed. She has moved back into her normal routine and gained about half the 20 pounds she lost. It would be so fun to see the tape from her helmet cam over those many weeks, what adventures did she have? Did she fearlessly fight off the roaming bands of wild beasts; did she fall in the water and nearly drown? Where did she find food and where did she sleep? But the truth is she probably worked her way into a rather boring routine of collecting food and water and bedding down at night, the rest of the time she sat on the hillside, waiting for mom. ***We have an Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! going out from Barbara at the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. She writes: “We respectfully request that a set of (charged) Angel Wings and (electrified) halo be bestowed upon Eric Schoeny, who kindly used his lunch break away from his Patient Access responsibilities at the hospital ER admission dept. to help a stranded Floridian. Seems Mr. Florida had kept his dogs from freezing by boarding them at the Animal Shelter in Frisco, but come morning, could not start his truck. … Our hero, Eric, drove down to the shelter, boosted the vehicle, and allowed the gentleman, reunited with his warm pooches, to start the long drive home. Hurray for Eric!”***We have another Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! from an anonymous soul. He or she wrote: “I absentmindedly forgot to put my skis in my car and left them leaning against the car when I pulled out of the parking lot at Copper Mountain last Tuesday. When I went to ski today (Friday), they were not in the car and I at first thought they must have been stolen. However, hoping for a miracle, I went to the lost and found at Copper Mountain and found some unknown Angel had found them in the parking lot and turned them in!”***It’s Saturday, and we’re out people-dodging. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.