7-days ago at 2:30am I let Tanner, (my apple head chihuahua), out to potty in the back yard and he dug the rocks around the hinges of our double-door RV gate away and went on the lam. Well, the police weren’t looking for him, but I was – and desperately so. I had MISSING DOG posters up 30 minutes after I realized he was missing. By the time morning traffic started exiting the Ocotillo Lakes community for work, we had about 50 posters up 1-mile in each direction of our home. I also started a #TeamTanner campaign online via various social media venues. Our neighborhood has its own Facebook group, so I immediately took my plight to the community: Ocotillo Friends.
By Tuesday morning, we doubled the amount of flyers in a 3-mile radius from our home. Our actions were proactive and empowering, but emotionally, the moment yielded me a lethargic low. I had no idea where I’d get the strength from to go on.
We live in a wonderful HOA community. We have a very high curb appeal standard and flyer tagging street lamps is not on the neighborhood decor list. I knew that as fast as I could put signs up – that HOA services could take them down quicker (and rightfully so) – but they didn’t. In fact, Tuesday night I put up even more flyers, in response to neighbor requesting I do so, on Ocotillo Friends Facebook page. I received an unbelievable amount of support and positive energy from people I’ve never met.
In a world where people are easily apprehensive about mingling with others that they don’t know, it only took a single plight for one common good to bring their good and unselfish hearts out to rally. Interacting with my neighbors on Facebook led me to registering my lost pet on other comparable sites. Visibility is key:
Lost Dogs of Arizona FB page
During our search I used hashtags to help us identify Tanner online. Hashtags like: #TeamTanner, #NeverGiveUp, #PushPositive and of course I threw in a Michael McDonald video that dubbed as my theme music as I was passing flyers out on the streets: ♫ “Taking It To The Streets.” The chorus reinforced my actions. ♫
Wednesday afternoon, most of our posters were removed during the hour of trash pick up. Sad to see the posters removed without Tanner being home, but also grateful for HOA allowing me to have them up as long as they were, and besides, the movement was already in motion and growing. I received about 50 calls on Tanners Hotline (yes we set up a voicemail for the little guy), but no action proved to be as sure, as the lead I received from Daniela Anderson, a rescuer with LOST DOGS of ARIZONA.
Like many online #TeamTanner volunteers, Daniela worked relentlessly through the night going through stray dog pictures at various shelters. Gosh, I’m grateful. Now mind you, I have not ever heard of nor met Daniela, yet, she was on the case. In fact, I have not met many of the volunteers that spent countless hours looking for Tanner even up to this point. Daniela and many others in my community played STAR roles in this suspenseful production and I am head over heels in appreciation. The missing dog campaign was online and viral and on Saturday night Daniela found Tanner’s pic in a shelter line up, called me up in the middle of the night and Sunday afternoon he was back in my arms. My heart sincerely THANKS my wonderful OCOTILLO NEIGHBORS for their unselfish participation and help!! XO!!
Oh happy day! To think, last Monday I felt so alone. Something was MISSING but it wasn’t LOVE. Love is all around us. I am encouraged to love even louder (than usual) now, because I know I am not alone. Heck! My community is BIG on it [loving thy neighbor].
Sure, Something was MISSING but it wasn’t LOVE.
My faith in “the good of people” has been refreshingly renewed,
at time in our country when unity is easily misconstrued.
I was at a lost and now I’m complete.
Happy to have Tanner nip and yap at my feet.
Happy am I to have neighbors who don’t know me – go out of their way to care.
and though I’ve not met them in person, I appreciate them for being there. 😀