When we got there, I brought Fozzie out as a possible magnet dog. The stray dog was half a mile up the walking trail, so it took us a bit to get to the dog. I met the ACO officer on the trail and she showed me the dog sitting on a large boulder just at the edge of the river. I told her I would use Calming Signals and the Magnet Dog to start, and see how that went. My objective was to avoid making him run, above all else.
I let Fozzie go down the steep embankment on the long leash, to see if the dog would be interested. I threw chunks of hotdog down there. He was interested and he tried to get some of the pieces before Fozzie could find them. I went down the slope to the river, and I sat on a log feeding bits of hotdog to Fozzie. The dog came down off his boulder and sniffed Fozzie. I was able to get a clear, closeup picture of the dog, which I posted on Facebook, to try to find an owner.
The dog wasn’t relaxed enough for me to put on the slip lead, so Fozzie and I walked back to the car to get a trap. Dina and Jennifer came out to help, too. We tried the trap for a couple of hours, luring him to it with Fozzie and with treats, but he wouldn’t go in. After several hours, we received a tip from the Facebook post, that the owners had lost this dog this morning. His name was Dexter and he lived nearby. His owners were on their way.
While we waited for the owners to arrive (they lived close but happened to be away from home when they saw the Facebook post) a few people saw us with the dog nearby. They offered to help. “Do you want me to go get him for you?” I felt like saying, “Oh, I never thought of simply walking over to the dog and picking him up. What a great idea.” I didn’t bother to explain about the behavior of dogs on the run, or Magnet Dogs, Humane Traps, Calming Signals, and Snappy Snares. I just said, “Thank you, but the owner is on the way and should be here soon.”
When the owners arrived, they were calling for Dexter. We got them to stop calling, and we explained about Calming Signals. They sat beside the trail, near where Dexter was down by the river. They talked to each other and didn’t look at him. After about ten minutes, Dexter came up the embankment and checked them out. Once he realized this was him family, he ran to them and threw himself onto them. He was extremely happy, as was the family.