Please help. On Monday afternoon my 7 year old Miniature Pinscher ran away during the thunderstorm. I wasn't home at the time, my partner was. Apparently there was a loud clap of thunder and Agatha bolted out the back door cat flap. She ran around to the side sliding door and banged at it and my partner called out to her to "go round" (we do this a lot and she knows this command - otherwise she would have us constantly letting her in and out!). Unfortunately there was a second clap of thunder and Agatha ran off. My partner assumed that she was going to come around the back however after a couple of minutes he realised that she hadn't come in so went out to look for her. The neighour at the back of our property (we are on acreage) said that he heard a bang at his sliding glass door and saw that it was Agatha but by the time he got up out of his chair and over to the door she had sprinted down the side of his house and across the road into someone else's bush block. Most houses in the area are surrounded by bush and most houses don't have fences (only rural type of farm fencing - which is what we have and what Agatha crawled under). Agatha doesn't like thunder or loud noises but has never run away before or even tried to run away. When we go to off leash areas she always comes back and "checks in" with us before running off to play. Usually if she hears thunder she will come to either one of us to sit on our laps or be picked up etc, she usually doesn't want to go outside at all. So many neighbours said that it was the loudest thunder they had ever heard and a couple of people thought that it was a tree or a plane or an explosion or something crashing into their house. I guess that is what Agatha thought too. Agatha was diagnosed with Tracheitis last Wednesday and the vet advised to keep her collar off her when at home so she wasn't wearing her collar. She is microchipped though and we have reported her microchip number as missing.
I came home approximately 15 minutes after this happened and by that stage my partner had been to all of the surrounding neighbours houses and through the bush areas on their properties. My partner started door knocking while I printed up some flyers. We door knocked all houses in the five streets behind us, then dropped flyers in some of the further streets. We drove around calling out her name until my voice got too sore. My partner came up with a good idea to record us calling out her name on his phone and then play it back through the car stereo so instead of driving around with the windows down blasting music we drove around blasting out us calling out her name! We did that until it got too dark then we came home. We got up early Tuesday morning and delivered flyers to the same houses that we doorknocked the night before to let them know Agatha was still missing. A walker told us he thought he saw her in some bushes so went to investigate but it was just a giant hare! We then delivered flyers to another 250 houses in a new estate area a bit futher away but accessed via a bush walking track. We put a large lost ad in the local newspaper and contacted all of the local radio stations. We posted on every lost pets group in the Bendigo area and a few Victorian ones. Someone phoned at 1pm so say that they had seen Agatha in their front yard at about 10am but didn't check the flyer from the day before until a few minutes before he phoned us. He lives approx 1km away from our house. I am pretty sure it was Agatha as he described her as a small fat dog with little legs and a little head (unfortunately describes Agi). My parents, sister, a couple of friends, some neighbours, my partner and myself continued to door knock and walk through the area. I took my other dog and let him mark plants and trees hoping it would lead Agatha home. Last night I had a phone call that someone thought she might have seen Agatha along a creek trail approx 6kms away. That would be 6 hours after she was sighted so close to home. Is it possible that Agatha would have gone that far? It was 35 degrees yesterday. We did more door knocking/walking the streets/delivering flyers until dark.
Last night I registered Agatha missing with a company called Lost Pet Finders and they sent out automated telephone messages to all landlines in my area. The only responses that we have gotten from that have been people calling to say don't give up and to share stories of how their pet was missing for some amount of time and then was found. We printed and delivered another 200 houses today plus walked up and down all of the streets in our area - took hours! I just feel like I need to be doing something else but I don't know what. Someone in the US asks if there are dog tracking dogs that you can hire as that is how she found her missing dog 6 days later. Does anyone know if anything like this exists in Australia?
Here is what we have done so far:
-door knocked surrounding streets
-flyers in mailboxes in surrounding streets (approx 400 houses altogether)
-put flyers up at all of the bus stops in the area
-put flyers up in the community notice board at the supermarket
-paid colour ad in the local newspaper
-contacted all local veterinary clinics and left flyers with them
-contacted all local animal shelters
-rung the RSPCA multiple times and visited them to the point that they told me not to ring anymore - they will phone me if they hear anything
-rung the local dog catcher/ranger twice daily to check for any possible sightings but nothing
-left flyers at the local general store and post office
-left flyers at the counters of the two local petrol stations
-put facebook posts on every lost pet/community/pet shop/pet service page I can find
-used Lost Pet Finders to send telephone messages to locals
-took George for a drive through the area and let him get out and mark things
-put flyers up at the entrances to the National Park trails
-put flyers up at the local playground (Agatha likes kids)
-hung my partner's sweaty gym clothes from our back fence and our neighbours side fences (with their permission!)
-contacted the local high school and primary schools and had them share the flyer image
There has to be something else that I can do, right? I am going crazy being at home, yet exhausted from two sleepless nights. It has been over 48 hours since Agatha went missing. Should we continue to expand our letter box drop area each day? Or do we go back and redo the closer areas in case someone missed the first flyer or is just keeping her? I am so lost.