Published: Mar 19, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Mar 18, 2013 12:48 PM
This is a small but remarkable story about a small but remarkable beagle who was lost and frightened.
The story begins back in August, when Mila Rose, a sweet but exceedingly skittish beagle, was adopted from Paws4ever (Orange County’s guaranteed adoption center located in Mebane).
Despite every effort by a loving family to ensure her safety, Mila ran away almost immediately, and spent the next two and a half months skillfully evading all efforts to humanely trap her, coax her, sneak up on her, and bring her home.
In the beginning, rescue efforts were almost like a new jigsaw puzzle – all the pieces were on the table with one terrified little dog holding them together! Mila ran from everyone only to hide and watch from various locations around the Timberlyne Shopping Center including the woods, behind apartment buildings, in the middle of an active road construction site, and even from the bed of a gigantic dirt-moving machine!
As the weather changed from late-summer heat waves to the cold rainy fall nights, the pieces of the puzzle began to come together, forming a picture of exceptional kindness amongst a seemingly disparate group of north Chapel Hill neighbors.
• The original family that had tried to adopt Mila. They watched for her day and night, tried to lure her “home,” and allowed all sorts of people to tromp through their yard in pursuit of Mila Rose.
• The beautiful young teacher who braved waist-high, chigger-infested brush daily to look for Mila. This young woman provided the inspiration in the late days of the arduous search when the rest of us were becoming pessimistic that despite our efforts, Mila would be found fatally injured. She would smile and say, “I’m a kindergarten teacher, and I do NOT think that way!"
• The many compassionate and determined residents of Kensington Trace Apartments who watched for Mila every day and reported the locations of her usual routes.
• The exceptional neighbors in the Coventry Homes area who kept Mila alive by watching for her, leaving her food and occasionally even chasing her.
• The folks at Orange County Animal Control who not only lent us their humane trap, but also advised and searched, too.
• The staff at Paws4ever who never gave up hope that Mila would soon be back in a loving home.
• And last but not least, the road construction workers along Weaver Dairy Road. Every single day for two and a half months, they not only greeted the neighborhood beagle-hunters with friendliness, but many of them watched for Mila, tried to catch her and contacted us when there was a sighting.
Who knew that such a collection of total strangers would work together for so long to save the life of a terrified little dog?
And, these are only a few of the many people who worked to rescue Mila.
In the end, even the most discouraged among us who work in the animal-rescue field came to realize that the teacher was right – we don’t always have to think like that!
Mila the beagle was finally detained in a home-made humane net trap, much like what we think of from old Tarzan movies. Now that she is back in a home, Mila is becoming more outgoing, playful, and goofy with her new family and new Jack Russell terrier brother every day.
Now when Mila goes outside for a walk, she wears two harnesses, and a new state-of-the- art GPS collar. We all learned from this kindness puzzle! Katy McClure is the volunteer Program Manager at Paws4ever in Mebane.
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