Saturday, January 26, 2013

A tragedy with a happy ending

On his way back from Hamburg, Germany - with Shirley Bassey still on his mind - our friend got notified that one of his whippets was missing. Both dogs had been staying with different dogsitters during his visit to Hamburg. Little Stephanie had escaped from the fenced backyard and she had not looked back. She had no idea her dogsitters would miss her so much and she was not aware of the anxiety her daddy would have to face. Being a sporty whippet, Stephanie loves to run and play and she's full of energy to chase squirrels and rabbits. Is that what she saw that made her flee? We don't know... the only thing we knew, that our friend was torn apart. He wanted his baby girl back. It was freezing cold out there and snow was to be expected later.

When I read the news on FB, my heart stopped for a second. O no! not Stephanie!!!! She's so tiny and slim and lovable  Just the thought of her being out there on the run, while our whippets were covered up in blankets on the couch, was unthinkable. Our hearts went out to our friend, who was in despair to retrieve this little cutie. He jumped on his bike as soon as he got home, racing around town, trying to see a glimpse of this grey whippet. He didn't spot her once.. Hours went by without news. The police force had been alarmed and the animal shelters too. An add had been put on Binnenbeest just in case someone had found her. We all went to bed, worried about her well being and the sanity of our friend, who was probably going mad by then..

Getting up the next morning, I checked my cell phone. Stephanie was still missing. Some other whippet lovers were organizing a real network to find Stephanie. Flyers were being printed and people were asked to come to Antwerp and spread the word. I never thought so many people would get up and brave the cold. Some of them had not even met our friend, nor his dogs... Wow... I was truly moved by this gesture. There are more dog lovers out there than we were aware off..

There were numerous phone calls, of people asking if we had contacted the police or the animal shelters or just to know if she had been found. That's how our friend initially missed the ultimate phone call!! Thank goodness for voice mail! Stephanie had been found! And she had not spent the night outside in the cold. A lovely lady had been chasing her for a while the day before. Not prepared to give up, she hopped out of her car, ignored red lights and moved around town as fast as she could. She lost track of Stephanie once, but like half an hour later, she spotted her again. Determined to grab her, our own Super Whippet Woman chased Stephanie again and she finally got hold of her.. What a relief.. She had no idea who the poor girl belonged to, but she could tell she was well taken care of: clipped nails, cleaned teeth and a shiny fur. Stephanie had a good night rest in a warm bed and Super Whippet Woman took her for a walk in the morning. Until she made the phone call to the Animal Shelter CAD..

What a happy ending for a story that could have turned in to a tragedy... Stephanie had crossed the most dangerous intersections of Antwerp, all by her self. She had faced the wild goings of the Sportpaleis in action and she had endured the icy cold. Thank you for bringing Stephanie home, safe and sound. You truly are Super Whippet Woman! Thanks to everybody who helped out looking for Stephanie and spreading the word. You are all amazing!

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