The owner spent so much time trying to find her that the trucking company fired him and confiscated his truck, forcing him to return to San Francisco on a bus! The plan was for the couple to return to look for the dog, but they needed to wait until the 4th of July weekend. That was nearly 3 weeks away, and I wasn't sure if they would really do such a grand thing. I decided to put up posters anyway, and set out food for her every night. The Save Bandit campaign began.
I had so many calls from caring strangers who reported sighting Bandit. It seemed that she had chosen the nearby Nature Center as her hangout, alternating with a golf course. We had horrendous summer thunderstorms and 90 degree days, but still the sightings continued. Since no one was able to get near her and Animal Control would only come if she were contained somewhere, the only hope was for the owners to return and call to her. But would they really return? Would they be able to find her in within a five mile radius?
They did return, but what makes the story so incredible is that because of the woman's job, they only had ONE DAY to find her, and that day was the 4th of July, and they had to find her before the evening fireworks! The couple left California in their 2006 Kia, and drove non-stop for 2,000 miles. When they were within 20 minutes of my neighborhood, I got a text from someone in the Nature Center, saying she had Bandit in her sight. I texted the owners to go directly to the Nature Center. They pulled into the parking lot, jumped out of the car, ran towards the area described in the text - and there was Bandit! The owners said she looked startled at first, as if she couldn't believe her eyes, and then she ran to them and fell to the ground whimpering with happiness!
She was still crying and bounding around when I drove over to meet them with a picnic lunch. She had jumped into their car and had to be persuaded to come out and join us - she was determined not to be left behind again! And now that she was with her owners, she was very friendly with everyone!
So after driving non stop for 35 hours and within 15 minutes of entering my city, the owners found their stray dog! Is this not a miracle? After 3 weeks in the wild, this house dog had only a few ticks and a minor scrape - she looked good, and boy, was she happy! It was the best 4th of July celebration ever! This would not have happened without the modern technology of cell phones and FB (Bandit had her own Facebook page) and a network of people who care about her.
Here are some photos of the happy celebration:
Bandit - sound asleep and totally exhausted!