Last Saturday, we took the Cub Scouts on an outing at Camp Roosevelt (the Scout camp in Eddington about 20 miles from Bangor, ME). We decided to take Megan with us, and let her run around out on the ice. The boys were building igloos, and we figured she’d stay right near the group.
Wrong. She trotted across the lake, would not come back to us when we called, and headed up into the woods. Ed tracked her up through the woods up the side of Blackcap Mountain to an old logging road, where her tracks then led down to the camp’s main access road.
That’s where the trail ended, and that’s the last we saw of Megan.
We made two trips back into the woods on Sunday, with no luck. We printed off a reward poster and placed it in the local stores, stuffed mailboxes and placed an ad in the Bangor Daily News. Megan’s breeder even came up from Waterville with four other Shelties to try and lure Megan out of the woods, but there was no sign of her. We received a few phone calls (one of which sent Jeanne on a 40-mile goosechase down route 9), but nothing came of the leads.
On Friday morning, we got a call from Kim, the coordinator of a youth group who were staying at the camps. Kim had just seen Megan on the main access road, but the dog had scampered off into the woods when approached (Shelties are a very skittish breed, and spending all that time in the woods makes them even more spooked). We headed into the camps immediately, along with Jeanne’s brother Larry and his wife Elnora. The plan was to set up a live trap if we couldn’t call her out of the woods.
Shortly after we got there, Elnora slipped on the icy road, and down she went. Larry brought her to the hospital for an X-ray, where they discovered that she had broken her ankle AND sprained her thumb in the process. So now she’s wearing TWO casts. She said it would all be worth it if only we could find Megan (in Elnora’s words, “the first thing I’m gonna do is kick her a@#!”).
After four hours of calling for the dog and snowshoeing up the hill, we decided to call it a morning. Ed went back to work for a few hours, and Jeanne went home to nap and to pack up the van for us to spend the weekend at Camp Roosevelt. We knew our puppy was out there, and we had to get her back to safety.
We arrived back in camp prepared to rough it for the weekend.
Wrong again. We were taken in by the weekend Campmasters, Skip and Judy M., in the warm, heated Health Lodge building. We had oil heat, a microwave oven, and a flush toilet and shower to top it all off. We set the live trap, and also set up Megan’s kennel near a small pumphouse building where we had seen an abundance of tracks earlier in the day.
Ed went to check the trap before going to bed (it was Friday night, so he stayed up until 9:15). When he went to have a look at the kennel, he heard some barking in the woods. He crouched down and waited, calling Megan’s name out and offering her some of her favorite treats. After about five minutes, she finally got close enough for him to latch onto her and place her in the kennel.
Jeanne was absolutely speechless when Ed walked into the cabin with Megan in tow. Her prayers had been answered, and God had brought her puppy home to her. This little fourteen pound dog (actually eleven now) had survived for seven days and six nights in the Maine woods. She made it through an ice storm on Sunday, twenty-below zero windchills on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Lord knows how many predators. The area is teeming with coyote, great horned owls, fox and bears.
After a visit to the vet, Megan is perfectly healthy. She lost three pounds and seems exhausted, but she seems none the worse for wear. She has no sign of frostbite, malnutrition or animal attacks.
Unbelievable? You can say that again.
In the words of the late coach Jim Valvano, “DON”T EVER GIVE UP!”
Ed & Jeanne
For more information and tips on how to find a missing Sheltie, read our article, How to Find a Lost Sheltie.