“Bella,” a 2yr old Golden Retriever, arrived at her new home on Sunday, January 20, 2013. There was “mom” Liz, other Goldens to play with, rooms to explore, and a large, fenced yard. Five hours later (10:30 PM) a door left ajar a few seconds provided an escape route. Liz searched without success and called the shelter to leave a message. ACO Carolyn Eaton called the next day to get more details. Liz tacked fliers to poles and talked to residents. Sightings were sparse, but in the general vicinity. Bella was seen, but quickly disappeared.
A cage trap was set in a yard she went through but remained empty. The region was gripped by a cold spell, the ground covered with snow. ACO Eaton called me for help on Wednesday. I scouted roads, terrain, and shortcuts through Bella’s eyes, and then met with Liz.

Thursday was bitterly cold. At 3 PM Bella wandered onto school grounds, the ball field, and up a hill into woods. I arrived to find a crowd, knew Bella wouldn’t come out of hiding, and asked them to leave. Sheilah Graham (a searcher) watched a blind corner while I hastily set my trap on bare grass under a fir. The trap stuck out like a sore thumb, so I parked my Jeep beside it to hide the “obviousness.” I don’t see Bella but sit at the base of the hill to “talk” to her about ten minutes. Heading back, Sheilah alerts that Bella’s approaching. I see her sniff my Jeep then turn to the trap. Two cars suddenly appeared, parked nearby, and Bella ran off. Word spread, more vehicles streamed through, and then it started snowing. Frustrated, and with caregiver duties at home, I left.

Friday at 9 AM, Bella was seen in a yard, then gone in a flash. She’s been there twice so this is now a strategic location and I secure permission to work there. The family leaves a garage door open and plugs in a microwave so I can reheat cold bait. At 3:20 PM I was fixing a tidbit bowl and saw Bella heading my way. I jumped in the Jeep and slouched down. I hear the bowl being licked clean and wait to hear the trap door close, but it doesn’t. I peek and she’s gone. We get rush-hour sightings then nothing. At 9:15 PM I warmed bait and barely got back into “watch” position when Bella appeared. She ate tidbits, hesitated briefly, then entered the trap. Whew! I called Liz, ACO Eaton, and thanked the family for their kindness. The trap, with Bella inside, was put in the Jeep to bring home to Liz. Bella was soon asleep on a rug. Liz and I cried with relief and talked awhile. I left to pull signs off poles. Last one down and headed home, the snow starts falling with a mission. Don’t care. Bella’s warm and safe.

Special thanks to: Attleboro ACO Eaton, Seekonk ACO Harvey, Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter (FAAS), Sheilah Graham, Face Book community, and caring residents.

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