Today marks the 5th anniversary of Rags a beautiful Terrier cross breed going missing. 5 long years have passed with no trace of her despite a relentless search.
Caroline who owns Rags tells us of her search for her beautiful girl, and the affect that her disappearance has had on her life.
In 2004, we decided the time was right to add to our family, and began the search for a companion for our young cocker. Searching rescues across the country for a small to medium sized bitch that was not a collie the only one I could find was at Many Tears Rescue, near Pembroke. So we all set off on a 3 hour journey to meet this character. She turned out to be a biggish terrier, very pretty, gold with a white shirt front, white feet, eyebrows like frozen waterfalls hiding deep brown eyes with a lively sparkle in them. She came home with us, and became “Rags” on the way home, because of her rough coat.
Rags settled in like a duck to water, she loves being part of the family, but lives in a totally different way from the other dog we have. When walking, while the others are always in sight, Rags hunts through the bushes often out of sight, but always coming back when called. I carry treats when I walk her, just to make sure she does come back quickly. She learnt to do agility, with a laugh. She has a wonderful friendly nature, works and plays with anyone and does agility at our club with people who are just starting and benefit from having an experienced dog to work, and with the juniors or anyone whose dog is injured. She competed at a local show with a friend’s 4 year old lass. She has learnt lots of cute tricks, and was going to audition for a local production of “Annie”.
At the end of August we went to a show in Lincolnshire where we had a fantastic time – I had two sheepdogs and Rags competing, they loved the show, worked brilliantly, Rags won two classes, making her Grade 7 and eligible for the championships. It was the best weekend of my life. We came home on Tuesday 30/8/11. On Friday 2/9/11, I walked her in the early morning in the field behind the cottage near the service station on the M5, and she ran across the field with the others, as she always did, went through a gap in the hedge as she always did... I never saw her again. I think she went into the little wood there, because I was through the gap in the hedge about 1 minute behind her. I think she may have crossed the next field to the service station, which was full of caravans as it was the last day of the school holidays, and done her sit up and beg, and someone has kept her, thinking she was dumped.
I searched and called for her, checked the roads, searched again. By nightfall I had contacted the websites for lost dogs, her microchip company and my dog club. I took my sheepdogs out all that night, and night after night, round the woods and fields, with them barking on command, because if she was stuck she would bark back. Saturday saw a search party organised by k9search and the dog club – we physically searched for her or her body for miles; a friend thermal imaged the woods and put snake cameras down the holes – she doesn’t do holes, but we wanted to check – postered for her over about 10 miles, on Monday talked to the dog wardens, railways, highways and road cleansing departments (they do not all scan companion animals killed on their roads, but a friend went and picked through the carcases). She did not appear to be alive or dead anywhere in the area.
The search has widened and continued over the past 5 years, Rags has her own facebook page "Help Find Missing Terrier Cross Rags - B32 Frankley area" but of course she could be anywhere now.
The affect Rags disappearance has had on my life has been devastating, I now have depression, panic attacks, can’t cope with anything. The stress has caused me major health problems in the last twelve months; I haven’t slept for more than about 20minutes at a time since she left. For over a year I would open the back gate at night, in case, somehow, she had managed to come home. I look for her everywhere. When other people get their dogs back after years, it totally destroys me – why can their dogs get back, and not Ragsie? When people find their dogs dead, and they say it is the worst outcome, I want to scream – No it isn’t – never knowing is the worst outcome – and then I hate myself for feeling like that. People say Move on – but there is nowhere to move on from. They say she is “only a dog, you can get another”. Would you say that to someone whose child has gone missing? It is just as true – you can have another! If something upsets me, they say Has it brought it all back? The answer is No, it has never gone away.
We will not give up until we find out where Rags is.
If you have her, you know her as lovely, funny, infuriating, adorable girl and you must love her deeply too, just get in touch, you can do this in a number of ways in confidence. You can talk to me anonymously though K9searchuk, doglost or Dog Theft Action. ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTIONS, NO BLAME, NO RECRIMINATIONS. Please, we just need to know where she is and how she is.
If you have any information at all.. please get in touch... you would have loved her for 5 years.. the same amount of time that I have desperately searched for her... please if you have any information.. i just want to know she is safe and happy. contact me 0121 4761828 or 07905 472 810
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