By Sue Skaskiw
Imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach if you’ve just rescued two dogs in need of a home, only to have them jump out of your car window three days later.
This is a true story.
Neither dog, Molson or Tucker, knew the area. To make it worse, it was among the coldest week of the winter. Molson came right back when called. Tucker, a Chow-cross and true to his personality, looked, turned, and took off. But, thanks to many wonderful people, Tucker was found after nine days on the run.
Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society (VVSA) owns large folding sandwich boards, which were made into signs at various points where Tucker might venture. His former owners made the trek from Wallingford to Bridgewater whenever he was spotted, hoping Tucker would come when called. (The only reason the family had to re-home Tucker was because he began misbehaving around their 18-month-old child. It was a heartbreaking decision.)
Tucker was repeatedly spotted, it was nearly impossible to track him.
The Windsor County sheriffs saw Tucker playing in the river. When called, he bolted into the woods.
Nearly 20 years ago the VVSA bought a large dog trap that’s safely captured many dogs, and most recently a lucky goose. The trap was put where Tucker was spotted by the Marketplace.
Days went by. Tucker was still spotted running back and forth on the same road. But when anyone approached, he made a beeline in the opposite direction or up the hill and into the woods, out of sight.
On day seven organizers made a long path through the 16 inches of snow in the woods, up the hill in a zigzag pattern, hoping to provide him an easy route to the trap.
On the eighth day, while checking the trap, the constable said he had discovered the area where Tucker was hunkering down. So fresh bait was placed in hopes the aroma would draw him out, and left in the trap. That afternoon, the trap was moved to the location of Tucker’s burrow. This was the saving grace.
Nothing was more exciting than the call the morning of day nine that Tucker had been caught. He is one lucky dog!
VVSA traps and signs are freely available to anyone in need.
Organizers thank everyone who helped. The VVSA motto is: “Together We Truly Do Make A Difference!” You all did! Here’s to a wonderful life, Tucker and Molson!
Sue Skaskiw is the executive director of the VVSA Humane Society.