It takes a village is a common theme in animal welfare, from the individual who sees an animal in need to the person who is able to catch, transport and then house the pet all the way to the eventual adopter; it takes many hands to help just one animal. That same need for many was true as October kicked off and one of our recent adopters got out and wasn’t located immediately.

Daphne had been at the shelter at and at pranaDOGS for months. Never having been socialized, Daphne had some stranger danger and issues with anxiety. After living at pranaDOGS and doing fantastic, she was transferred back to LPCHS to have the opportunity to be handled by more people and be seen by potential adopters. After visiting with Daphne numerous times, a young man adopted her in the hopes that his love of her and his desire to expand her world would help her overcome her issues. Unfortunately, Daphne had a different idea in mind.

Barely after arriving at the house, she jumped through a window and spent the next 8 nights out on her own. We received the call 24-hours after she got out and immediately sounded the alarm and joined the search. After being with us for months, Daphne was tightly bonded to us and we were sure she’d come if she heard our voices.

Having strong empathy for animals is as much a curse as a blessing. It involves waking up in the middle of the night, listening to the rain and feeling sick knowing our sweet girl was out there alone. Greeting every morning with a pit in your stomach and fighting back tears with every step taken and trail covered. Our lives went on hold as we drove the streets, hung fliers and talked to anyone who would listen. Of course many are cursed with an empathy bone and Daphne’s search quickly brought us together.

A week after we began the search we got a real-time tip on where she was and I was able to be there within minutes. As I walked, I called out what I had said over and over when she stayed with me, “where’s my girl?” and “you got this, sister.” When all of a sudden, 50 yards in front of me she ran out from behind a fence, paused and then ran at me. “There’s my girl!” I called, as I ran forward, my arms up in the air, tears streaming down my face. She was psyched! It was like she was waiting to be found. We had an amazing reunion where we hung in the grass for a bit before walking back to the truck. As we walked out, she wouldn’t stop jumping on me, licking my face and pawing at me.

There’s a lot of lessons to take away from a situation like Daphne’s, some of mine include what an amazing place we live in. The week was long and stressful but the people we spoke with were caring and generous. So many offered to let us set up on their lawns, take a break at their homes and keep an eye out for our girl. Many individuals put their lives on hold to help search and many more offered supporting thoughts and prayers. The neighborhoods we walked were gorgeous the views breathtaking. We got lucky and our search had a happy ending and I appreciate yet again calling the Durango community home. And today, Daphne is back with her new family and wearing a GPS collar.