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Loss . . . continued

By the end of the third day after Edie disappeared, our family, with the help of close friends and neighbors, had physically posted in surrounding areas and key spots hundreds of flyers, e-mailed many more to in-state and out-of-state lost-and-found engines, shelters and specialty aids like Pawboost. My daughter created a Facebook post, also hit Instagram and Twitter (the great thing about living in the digital age) and good folks who care, near and far, in-state and out, showered us with wonderful words of concern, empathy, encouragement, counsels of aid, and suggestions for Edie's recovery. Moreover, and critically, they shared the post, and shared, and shared, and shared. And their friends did the same. The response was sincere, non-mercenary, and heartwarmingly magnanimous. Overwhelmingly so. On it continued.

I decided accordingly to create this website early on, to help bring Edie home, but as importantly, to thank all the hundreds of good people who were trying hard to help.

The sum and value of these efforts was incalculable, and resulted in early awareness over a broad area and sector of Edie's loss.

I knew Facebook was powerful, but it proved the more so than I had ever conceived.

The phone began to ring, about dogs in shelters that looked "exactly" like her. We followed up on all. No. Not close. We urged folks to study the flyer and Facebook photos carefully. Someone called about a dog dead in a roadside ditch that might, unfortunately, be her. I drove there with my heart lodged in my throat, not wanting to get there.Thank God, it wasn't. Point was, communication was intensifying and spreading farther and wider by the hour. Good folks who weren't after the money, folks who simply knew the priceless value of a dog's love, and their place in a family, how it would be with them were it their loss, and cared.

Meanwhile, I continued, with friends, to log scores of miles through the big woods and back fields on remote and ragged 4-wheeler trails, made worse by pervasive rain and cold, no helpful break to the weather. Calling. Calling. To no avail. Thinking the while of Edie, if she was still alive- hoping and praying she was, but with no way of knowing - what she was suffering through. I procured a megaphone, when my voice starting breaking apart, and rode and called the more. But nothing. Looking back now, I think she may have heard me, but was too scared and terrorized to respond. I think she was, by whatever, severely traumatized in the early minutes of her loss, by some thing or somebody so that she could trust nothing or nobody from then on. Which only worsened.

Each night we lay in bed, sleepless, nerves a-shatter, praying for the phone call that would end this nightmare of all nightmares, bring her safely home, minds churning with sadness and despair, imagining all the horrible things that could be happening to her at that moment, if not already. Coyotes ripping her apart. Maybe even worse, captive in the hands of someone cruel and abusive, with little to eat and sorry food, makeshift shelter, tethered to a chain in the wet and cold. Wondering where we were. Lost and alone on the world. Or, dead. Nursing the slender hope she might get home on her own. It was tearing us apart inside, no way to tell you how excruciating the pain and anxiety, physically and emotionally.

We had unsolicited counsel from professional dog trackers and trappers. We thanked them, reasoned their potential for success above our own, made the decision to continue the search on our own means, with the help of knowledgeable friends.

Tracking dogs have to have a trail, are slow; trappers depend on sightings, and a probable area. We had dogs; I had trapped, had good friends who were lifetime trappers.

Georgia, Virginia, Montana, Wyoming, New England, Tennessee, Mississippi, old field trialing friends, hunting and fishing friends afar, people were sharing. Old friends and new.

I was widening my personal search, extending to further, surrounding blocks of a large area.

E-mails, phone calls, Facebook posts, people assured: "We are watching, looking. Pray she gets safely home."

Midst the pain of her loss, we were humbled to our knees, thankful beyond conception. Faith and gratitude toward the greater goodness of humankind, as never we had had before.

How do you possibly begin to thank them.

Tomorrow: A temporary break in the clouds, the first probable sighting . . .


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