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Precious - A Petfinder Happy Tail

Photo of Precious, a dog

Precious - posted 05/06/2014

From Julann of San Antonio, TX

This is Precious's story, and to us she is a huge success, not to mention a survivor.

Precious was born back in 2009 and she and her sister Princess first crossed our path when they arrived at a local shelter from Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary. Princess was fine, but Precious had a right front leg that was obviously broken above her wrist. Since it healed that way when the young girls were on their own, and since she used it just fine, it was left alone. Precious and Princess went up for adoption, and Princess went home fairly quickly. The shy one, Precious, did not. Volunteers worked a lot with her trying to get her to warm up to people and to walk on the leash, but she remained extremely shy and timid. After about 5 months, Precious was determined to be unadoptable because she was too shy, so she went back to Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary. The volunteer working with her didn't agree with that decision, but she was also not in a position to adopt another dog, so she made a mental note of where Precious was just to keep up with her. A few years passed, and the volunteer lost one of her pets to old age, and since Precious was pretty unforgettable, she went looking to make sure she was still at Kim's. She was, so the adoption wheels turned and Precious found a home with that volunteer and her new dog buddy, Lucas. You might think this is the happy ending, but Preshy's saga isn't done yet. A few days after Preshy was in her home, her new family noted that she was terrified of doors (our guess is that's what happened to her leg); so scared that she would always sprint in and out from about 10 feet away. To help get her comfortable, they decided to walk her in the front door, which didn't seem to scare her as much. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened. As Preshy was walking to the door, the gate moved, which scared Preshy so she started to run. Her new puppy mom had her in a harness and on a lead, but a scared 70 pound lab can pull pretty hard, and she pulled her onto her knees, her chest, and ultimately her face. The sound of her hitting the ground scared Precious even more, so she twisted and yanked, pulled out of the harness and went sprinting up the street--she was gone, and all we had was a leash, a dog tag and a harness. We assumed she would stop close by since she was scared; maybe find a bush or a corner and huddle up. We looked until about midnight and then started again the next day. We walked our green belt, posted signs, and put the information online and in the paper. We made the tough call to Kim to let her know we lost Preshy. It was about three days in and we had not seen nor heard anything, and then the phone rang. It had an Arlington Texas area code, which seemed odd, but we answered out of curiosity. Good thing we did because our caller was visiting in San Antonio that night and saw a brown lab with a limp and a purple collar heading into a park about 4 miles from where we lost her in the opposite direction from where she took off. When she tried to approach the dog, the dog bolted and she couldn't get close. Without better leads, we went to the park and started searching, posting and praying. Along the way, we met a bunch of people who were strangers at the beginning who went well out of their way to help. In the next few days, we heard of sightings in the park, in an apartment complex, by a gas station and along a road toward a large SA park. We kept looking and we went into the second week with some hope; at least we thought we knew where she was, if we could only find her. After about 7 days, we got multiple sightings in a housing subdivision closer to our home. It was a gated area, but like we said before, people went out of their way to help. We kept up the search, and we had our first personal sighting a few days later. Other friends saw her in the vicinity, but Preshy still wouldn't stop running. All this time, Kim was coming up and searching alongside us with her family and our other new friends. On about day 13, we thought for sure we were getting close. We had a trap out with food and water and her cushion, a box that she slept in at Kim's, and a bunch of volunteers to help look. We came up empty, though we did manage to catch and release a couple of raccoons. As that Saturday passed, we were very disappointed in our lack of success. A huge line of storms blew through that night, and we were worried that she might get caught up in a flash flood or terrified by the weather, but we also hoped the instincts that kept her going for the first two weeks didn't leave her now. Without any news, we took off to check a potential lead further away from where Precious had been seen. We were hoping it was her, while at the same time hoping it wasn't since it was even further away and in a difficult area to get to. As we were driving to start posting flyers, we got a call from a gentleman who just saw a dog that looked like Preshy outside his front door as he was getting his Sunday paper. He said she took off down the street and took a right. The good news is that he saw her; the better news is that the call came from our subdivision. A quick turn around and we were on the hunt again. We found that others had seen her in our green belt and in the neighborhood, so our spirits were high. We even saw her ourselves in the green belt, but she didn't respond to our call and she took off again. On Wednesday, we got a call from a neighbor who had a dog howling in his backyard the last two nights. He had a motion activated web cam, and sure enough, Preshy was sleeping in his back yard but leaving at about 4 AM. With high hopes, we set the trap, put out the food, water, and her cushion, and prayed. After two nights of nothing, we pulled the trap and put it down in the greenbelt where we hoped she was still moving around. By Friday, we were getting worried. The green belt is not big and it is pretty well traveled. We thought it pretty unlikely that she could be moving around unseen, but we kept up hope. We kept looking, taking her buddy Lucas with us in hopes she would respond to another dog, but we saw nothing. Kim, as always, kept up with Preshy's plight and came out to search. On St Patrick's day, after 19 long nights, we took multiple walks both up and down the green belt, but saw and heard nothing. We were home, discussing what to do next when we got the call. Kim, Emily, and Carlos were walking the green belt and Tim was driving the outside when Kim saw Preshy. Kim called her and Preshy went the other way. This time, however, Emily and Carlos were close by and though Kim lost sight, Carlos saw her hiding under a thicket. Kim crawled in, fed and watered her and gave us a call that went something like this:

Us: Hello.


Us: What?


Us: Where?


Us: Can we come meet you at the truck?


About five minutes later with hearts beating fast, we saw Preshy pulling Kim up the street. She ran up the driveway, through the door, and right onto her cushion by the couch. We were amazed. Kim said she just walked until she was about halfway up the hill and saw the house; then the pulling started. Seems like once she left, she spent her time trying to come home, and she nearly made it. She just couldn't figure out on her own how to get across a fence line from the green belt to the house. Precious was home, and we were lucky enough not to adopt her once, but to get her back for a second chance. That was a year ago, and since then we've adopted her BFF from Kim (Edy), and that's them in the bluebonnets. Preshy is healthy, happy and more comfortable each day. She walks through the door now, plays with her tennis ball, and loves going to the park for walks, if only all those other people wouldn't go to "her" park. She's still shy around strangers, but we're working on that together. The moral of the story to us is to never give up hope, keep trying, and never, ever underestimate how wonderful people can be when you need help.

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