From: Emmaus, PA
Lost: July 25, 2015
Trapped: September 29, 2015
AN OPEN LETTER and TESTIMONY from Lauren Elizabeth, Oliver's MOM.
When your dog is a family member and runs away from home a lot goes through your mind. These thoughts eat at you every moment he’s gone. You wonder if he’s ok, if you’ll ever see him again and if there was ever anything you could have done different. But surprising to learn there is also a lot that you don’t expect to think about. Like the people that will tell you to get over it “its just a dog, get a new one”, the angry bitter individuals that yell at you for posting too many flyers on telephone poles or the groups that tell you they’ll help you find your best friend but then turn your back on you because they only want you to work with them, and them alone. When Oliver broke out of our fenced-in yard my world was in pieces. I kept thinking about the first time I ever held him when he was so tiny and how happy he made me. I never in a million years thought he would be gone but here we were walking the streets of our neighborhood until 4 in the morning with tears in our eyes calling his name. My boyfriend, myself and a group of caring friends combed our neighborhood for hours, then days and still he was gone. Finally we met Beth and Julie, two really energetic women with determination in their voices. They brought flyers with Oliver’s face on them (I loved that picture I never thought it would break my heart to see it everywhere), Brightly colored poster board and a staple gun. “Lets get started” Beth said. We set up a humane trap at his last location, trail cameras and a feeding station. Every morning for the next week we would get calls of sightings, some credible and some far fetched but with Beth and Julie we followed every single one of them. Then the phone stopped ringing. We would wait, and wait, and wait but nothing. Robyn another member of their rescue group set up an areal search with a helicopter to scower the area were we thought he was. I kept thinking to myself “Oliver this is for you my friend”. After we saw nothing the game plan never stopped. Every single day in the hottest days of summer we were out with Team Ruby flyering, walking in wooded areas and talking to so many people. Most people had such kind hearts and wanted to help, others were rude and heartless. We believed Oliver was following the train tracks that run through our town. Beth said she could feel it in her heart he was still out there and she was never going to give up. There were days when my heart felt like I couldn’t take anymore, but a quick pep talk from Beth and Julie and I was ready to keep going. One day out of no where a really sweet woman called that knew my boyfriend saying she just saw Oliver if her back yard. We were ecstatic. She mentioned where she was located and suddenly my heart dropped. She said she was 9 miles away from our home. 9 miles? My 10 pound lap dog who ate grilled chicken and napped all day…. nine miles? Beth said we have to look into it. Robyn mapped out the location and we soon learned that the rail road tracks that run from our area also run into his supposed location. Beth and Julie went out and flyered. The calls came pouring in of Oliver sightings. Robyn drove around the location and figured out his pattern of travel. Finally we had hope again. After they set up a trap, cameras, and chicken galore we waited. Every image the trail cam sent us built up more and more anticipation. After the second night of the trap being set it began pouring rain. I remember Marc’s phone going off at 11:00 at night and hearing the girl on the other end saying “Your dog is in the trap, he's in there and he’s barking”. We rushed out of bed. Beth called right after screaming “WE GOT HIM WE GOT HIM” one hour later I was holding this skinny, smelly, wet dog and it was Oliver. He was home and I felt like I was whole again. The entire experience was draining, it was like being on a roller coaster that you never wanted to go on. But at the end of it all we not only had our dog back, but we made a friendship with Team Ruby that feels more like a family. I never thought meeting a stranger could change my life so much until I met these woman. They never once turned their back on us, they went out and spent their own time looking for a dog they never met. I don’t think I could have kept my head up if it wasn’t for them and the work they do. Every time I look into Oliver's big brown puppy dog eyes I smile, and I think of Team Ruby.
Lauren & Marc