Yesterday was the first day of ‘freedom’ for our new friends the Collins sisters.
Volunteers Jan and Nigel let them out of their pen and the pair meekly followed them to the information centre. They have gradually been getting used to the sights and sounds and spending time with the rest of us. But this time, for the first time, the gate was left open so that they were free to wander around.
All went very well. Jan stayed close by to observe how things were going and from time to time the two girls came over to reception and had a good sniff around. I made a point of staying with them all morning, just to help them settle in. And even Peggy was helpful and introduced the girls to the smells and characters around them.
At lunchtime the gate to the information area was closed so they would not follow Jan and Nigel when they left and made their way back home. But only minutes later Krishna, our lovely head of kennels, was on the phone to them to say Joan had run off.
Six members of staff were tracking her through the jungle but she would not allow them to get near.
Nigel and Jan arrived on the scene. Krishna thought their smell might entice Joan to come home. But even with Nigel in hot pursuit through the jungle Joan wandered further and further out of reach.
Eventually the search party had to give up and return to the centre. But Jan made one last walk around the paths nearby and within a few minutes she spotted a little white face peering at her through the undergrowth. Joan was indeed making her way back to IAR and was beside herself with joy to be escorted back. Jan and Nigel settled her in then set off back home.
Two hours passed and a crazy storm came from nowhere, torrential rain, rolling thunder and cracking lightning and the daylight disappeared. And during the ensuing downpour, suddenly it was noticed that Jackie was missing...
So the team returned through the rain. Some of the boys were out looking but there was no sign of her. The search party split up and set off calling Jackie's name but fearing the worst as she was out lost and alone in a storm.
Then in the distance Nigel spied a brown form heading through the bushes in his direction... Yes Jackie was returning.
To everyone's relief she meekly toddled into reception and Abby wrapped her in a towel and welcomed her back.
The staff could only speculate about what we dogs already knew - that the girls had both felt the need to go and check out the location in order to realise that their new home was the best place to be. And so they had returned after getting their bearings and familiarising themselves with their surroundings.
Jackie and Joan were both exhausted but happy to be back – and we were all so relieved too that they were safe. Let’s hope they don’t scare us like that again, now they realise that there is no place like home, particularly when your home is with International Animal Rescue!
Bye for now,