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The Adventures of Jack the Eskimo Dog
On July 2, 2017 we had a barbecue for my sons birthday. I invited lots of family and friends for the occasion and we are all dog lovers so all the fur babies came too.
Now my sister Sandy has an Eskimo dog named Jack and she asked if she could bring him along and of course I said yes. We have a small cabin on a hill with lots of land to run and play for all of us humans and our furry friends, so I thought Jack would be delighted at the chance to roam the hill.
Well, it being a party and close to the 4th of July there were also lots of fire works. Now my sister's husband has many health issues including diabetes and has bouts of high and low blood sugar counts, so we watch him very closely.
I was scurrying about trying to get everything ready for the festivities and had to go into the house for a moment and on my return all of our guests were in a turmoil. I guess while I was away for a short period of time my brother in law had a bad spell and fell down in the pine grove, so my sister tied Jack to the picnic table and ran over to assist him. At that moment my son and his friends decided it was a good time to light off one of the fireworks and Jack slipped out of harness and bolted down the road.
My poor sister was frantic and ran after him but to no avail, Jack was long gone down the road and into the woods. Sandy decided to go looking for him in the car because she couldn't keep up with the dogs running. Meanwhile back on the hill we all were searching for Jack too. We called for him and walked up and down the road but none of us saw him. Sandy was gone for hours, she stopped at all the neighbors asking if they has seen Jack and eventually ended up at the police department, who instructed her to notify the Granite State Dog Recovery, so we did.
I got a hold of them on Facebook and sent a picture of Jack to them and told them what happened. They called my sister and the rescue process began. Flyers were made and posted on all the telephone poles on the hill, at the corner store and numerous other places.
The White Mountains and Searching for Jack
Now the White Mountains of New Hampshire are not just woods, these are the woods that you can quickly get lost in. Thick trees and not very populated in the area Jack was lost in. These woods are filled with coyotes, fisher cats, bob cats and bears. Sandy was afraid one of these animals would attack and kill Jack. She worried all the time about her furry baby and spent many hours on the hill leaving food, looking for Jack, and talking to the neighbors.
The first couple of weeks no one saw Jack. Sandy left food, a blanket, and some of Jack's toys beside the road by the cabin in hopes he would return. Then one day a local resident was checking their game camera and came across a couple pictures of Jack in their yard. Food was left out there but turned into a station for coyotes and became a disaster. Coyotes were spotted coming in from all directions and the food station was taken away in fear the coyotes would get Jack.
Seven more days went by without a sighting and then a call was received that Jack had been seen about 7 miles down from the cabin right beside a waterfall. The man who spotted Jack thought it was one of the people's dogs who lived in the area because he was so clean and fluffy, but on his ride over the hill he saw one of the flyers stating Jack was lost and called the dog recovery people to report the sighting. The man also stopped by the cabin to let us know he saw him and said he looked really good for being out in the woods for that long period of time and that he would keep searching for him on his travels over the hill.
Then we got a call and a photo of a little white dog. Amazingly Jack had made it to Thornton NH using the snowmobile trails and had got himself into a pickle while on tour of the White Mountains. Jack got stuck in an old stump and the woman who lived there saw him. Cathy, was able to pull him out using a rope but he was scared and quickly got away. Cathy helped Sandy put up more posters and manned the food station. The game cameras went back up but once more the coyote and bears were dominant visitors so the food once more came down.
Jack disappeared once more, with days turning into weeks and no sightings. Sandy was so depressed and we all really thought Jack was gone forever, but being the sister I am I kept telling her he had lasted this long and somehow he would be fine. We needed to keep positive thoughts about Jack and not concentrate on the bad, but in my heart I also thought that little bugger was gone.
The dog walkers are people I know because they pass by the cabin every day on their daily walks and all of them were always asking about Jack. If we had had any sightings or if he had been caught. They were all amazed that he was spotted as many times as he was and still managed to escape capture.
On September 10, 2017. We received a call That Jack was seen back in the area he started. In fact the sighting was right down the street. The homeowner who spotted him, Mike put out food for Jack and it disappeared.
Sandy called me and told me she thought Jack had stopped running from what Mike had told her. I was in complete awe that this little 35 pound dog who was never out of the house without a leash was still alive after all these weeks! Sandy told me the girls from the dog recovery were coming up later that afternoon with a trap to try and catch out little buddy Jack.
Later that afternoon Holly and Jen, the girls who run Granite State Dog Recovery, made the trip up from Manchester and set up the trap and trail cameras in hopes Jack would finally give in and come home.
The girls do not live in the area, they are about an hour and a half away so Mike told them if anything wild was caught in the trap besides Jack he would let them go, so they didn't have to make the trip again.
The first night did not go so well. Jack was on the game camera for 5 hours straight. He would not go into the trap. He would just dig,dig and dig some more, trying aimlessly to get the food out of the trap without going in it. Jack managed to dig enough to collect pieces of hot dogs from the trap. He would stand in front of the camera chewing almost like thank you for the food, but you are out of your mind if you think I am going in that metal cage. I am way to smart for that.
The next night Holly and Jen made the trek back up the hill to try something else, but that didn't work out well either. Frustration was setting in for Sandy and the girls as they all knew Jack was so close but the stubborn little guy would not take the leap and enter the trap.
The next day the girls came back up and set up a Gracie Kennel. They set it up and left the front open with lots of food inside for Jack to find but it was not set.. This time Jack couldn't resist the temptations of the buffet and headed straight in after he circled for a few minutes.
At the cabin we had a small get together that evening. Sandy and Doug, her husband came and she told me she thought tonight was the night Jack was coming home. She said the girls were setting by the kennel and were watching Jack on the game camera and as soon as he went inside they would go get him.
The girls arrived at 4:30 pm and baited the the Gracie Trap with a steak Holly had cooked and wrapped it in bacon. How could anyone two legged or four legged resist this meal. This time the kennel was set.
We had our cookout as Sandy sat by her phone in hopes the girls would call with good news this time, but nothing. It began to get dark and late and everyone was leaving, and still nothing. I told Sandy her and Doug could spend the night in the cabin with us but she said they was going to sleep in the car just in case the girls and Jack showed up so we all went to bed.
In my head I prayed to God Jack would stop this nonsense and get in the kennel because he was deeply loved and missed. I felt so bad not only for Jack, but for Sandy who just refused to give up. She is the sole caregiver for Doug which is no easy job to say the least, as he suffers from not only diabetes but also from dementia.
At 11:45 PM on Saturday Sept 16, 2017, 72 days since Jack got lost he walked into the kennel and was finally safe and sound. Holly and Jen ran to the kennel and talked to Jack, they reassured him he was safe and no one was going to hurt him. They attached leashes to his neck so when they opened the door he would not escape again!
At around 1 AM the girls brought Sandy's little scared, skinny, fur baby to her. Jack didn't really recognize Sandy's voice but as soon as she put her hand into the carrier Jack went crazy! He knew her smell, he knew he was safe, and he knew he was going home! The reunion was such a happy one. My sister was beaming from ear to ear and Jack was just all wiggles as Sandy spoke to him and petted him.
72 days on the run and finally little Jack was going home! It just goes to show what animal instinct can do when you don't have a choice. I just wish we had had a go pro on Jack so we could have witnessed his antics and shenanigans while lost in the White Mountains.
I cannot begin to thank the girls from the dog recovery who do this free of charge. They take donations and that is how they do this wonderful work. Without them and the entire community I do not believe Jack would have made the same journey. Miracles do happen and Jack is one to attest to that. A quote from the girls...
"It takes a village to bring a lost dog home!"
Thank you so very much ladies and everyone involved in the past 72 adventures of Jack the Eskimo dog.
If you ever loose your dog in the state of New Hampshire and need help in rescuing them please give Granite State Dog Recovery a call. The number is 1-855-639-LOST. or contact them on Face Book.
© 2017 Linda L Paquette