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Clay's Reunion

I adopted Clay, a very shy red border collie mix, from Come Bye Border Collie Rescue. He is a very sensitive dog, fearful of new people and new situations. Clay is great friends with my current dogs, Bonnie, a 13 year old Border Collie/Australian Shepard mix, and Quaid, a 4 year old Border Collie.

10 days after I adopted him, Clay got out of the yard while my pet sitter was giving an afternoon break. My family, friends, and I searched the neighborhood for four hours with no sign of him. My concern was that Clay had not been with us long enough to know where home was.

I returned home and contacted HomeAgain to report Clay lost. I was pretty emotional; the customer service representative was very compassionate. She walked me through the process and I discovered so many amazing services that were available - lost dog posters with rip off tabs, alerts to rescuers, veterinary clinics, shelters, and groomers. I created the lost dog poster, my friend made 100 color copies, and we posted every one.
The following day, we made an additional 150 posters. My parents and friends posted during the day. They spoke with people who had seen Clay the previous evening after we had been there, which gave us additional areas to post flyers.

At 1pm, less than 24 hours after Clay got out of the yard, I received a call from an 888 number on my cell phone - it was HomeAgain with someone on the line who was looking directly at Clay! I had friends searching in the area; I diverted them to his location - nearly 4 miles from home. Clay was running scared from everyone, but we found a very densely overgrown area where he was hiding. I arrived as he darted into the overgrown area; I had a lot of hope!

My family, friends, and I posted the remaining flyers that afternoon and evening. We spoke with over 100 people, some of whom had seen Clay that morning. We brought Quaid and set up 7 scent stations (cut up the futon cover which smelled like all dogs and humans!). We started from the densely overgrown area and methodically placed them in the direction home.

At 11:30 pm, I received a call from HomeAgain, another good samaritan was following Clay in his car - Clay was 1 mile away from home! My next door neighbor, the good samaritan, and I searched without success. I did see Clay and spoke softly to him before he darted off into the blackness. After an additional 30 minutes without success, we reluctantly called it a night.

I woke up the next morning, went to the front door and opened it. It was a miracle, Clay was sitting on the front porch! I put my hand on the handle to open the door and he got up. I was afraid that he would run away! I ran to the family room and got his wrestling buddy, Quaid, to go outside. When we got outside, Clay was running up my street. He heard the door slam, looked over his shoulder, recognized Quaid, and he came running back toward us. I patiently sat on the ground while he and Quaid sniffed each other. Then he recognized me, jumped on me, knocked me over, and showered me with kisses! I grabbed his collar and slapped a leash on him!

While we were inside, HomeAgain called again - one of my neighbors had seen him running up the street. I reported that Clay was found! I owe Clay's reunion to HomeAgain and all of the resources at my disposal. The pet posters, alerts, and fielding calls from good samaritans were helped to ensure his safe return. Thank you HomeAgain!

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