Welcome to Dollywood!!
No, I Don't mean Dollywood, Tennessee; The theme park entirely dedicated to Dolly Parton (Although if you are a fan check it out on www.dollywood.com). I mean Dolly the farm dog, who's name has been shortened to Dollywood... By me... And everyone else refuses to use it... But she is my dog, so Dollywood it is!
Anyways, as some of you may know, she sadly ran away a couple of weeks ago. After a week I had truly lost hope that I would see her again, so I contacted the SPA where I had adopted her from to inform them she was gone. To my surprise they immediately put into action a huge search that included posters, volunteers exploring the countryside day and night and radio adverts. As tip off started to come in I joined the search. I would receive 4-5 texts a day informing me where she could have been spotted, so I would drive there, and start searching. To no avail though. What was amazing however is that at each location I would run into a search volunteer also looking for her! Last night I was sent to a village where I met up with a search volunteer and we decided to go searching together. We spent 4 hours, in the rain and fog, searching every barn, tracks and knocking on as many doors as possible. All the people we met were amazing and helpful. Some were true characters, and quite chatty, which did slow down the search somewhat. A special shout out goes to a young man who must have been no more then 19, driving past in his van, saw our two cars by the side of the road and stopped to ask if we needed any help with anything! My other favourite person of the night was a young boy of around 8, who opened the door when I knocked at his house. I asked if his mum or dad was in, he simply asked what it was about, and I explain I was looking for my dog. He politely apologised and said he had not seen it but would go and ask his mum. Of he went, informed us she had not seen it either, whish us good luck, goodbye and closed the door.
The problem we were having was the vagueness of some of the clues. one text we received during our search was:
"An old man with no phone trapped her in his barn"
That was it, no village, no name. nothing. So there I was asking people if they knew an old man with no phone and a barn.
Another clue was that she had been seen by a house with a kennel and some food had been dropped by the SPA at that address to try and entice Dolly. When we got to that address, we found the food, but the occupants had no idea what we were talking about!. So I gave up the search and went home that evening.
This morning however I was woken up by a knock at the door. An young man, who I did not know, had just stopped at the house to say he had seen Dolly in the field just down the road. By now, I had so many false leads, and seen so many lost dogs that were not dolly, I simply did not get my hopes up, especially since the very night before we had been searching an area nearly 10 miles away from home. But, still I got up got ready and went out to see what I could find in that field, expecting very little. By now I was really just going through the motions. I was just about to get into my car when right in front of me behind a fence, there was Dolly, looking right at me. I could not believe it, after 2 weeks! She is a very scared dog normally, and impossible to catch by others as she just runs away. But I just had to say her name once and she ran around the barn, jumped the fence and came straight into my arms!. we cuddle for quite some time. I took her back in the house, where she ate through 3 large bowls of food and two bowls of water! and then jumped straight onto the sofa. She was shivering, soaking wet and whimpering, so I placed a blanket on her and cuddled her for a couple of hours as she fell asleep. Dollywood was finally home!
Over the last few nights I have been dreaming about her, that she was back, and each morning sad that she wasn't. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up now and she will be gone again. I went out in the car this afternoon and I still couldn't help myself looking in all the fields to make sure she wasn't there, when I knew she was nice and safe back at home.
On the negative side, I am going to have to get up at 7 in the morning again to walk her everyday, and the smell of her farts is back! Remember if you want to meet Dolly the farm dog, just come and spend a weeklong working holiday or smallholding course with us. Visit the site at www.elevagejolivet.com