Virginia’s Journey

Let me tell you about a wonderful Dog named Virginia that touched the hearts of many in a little town in New Hampshire.

I was personally looking for an older Airedale rescue dog, I told Barbara NEAR (rescue person) I was not looking for a show dog. Barbara pointed me in the direction of Virginia, an eight year old Airedale. She had some medical problems that where being addressed and had significant amount of hair loss but at one time had a great coat. I called Cathy ATRV and she sent me a few pictures and I fell in love with her just the way she was. She was currently being fostered with a wonderful woman named Marcia. Marcia put a lot of work and time into Virginia’s well being until she could come to New Hampshire. Because of all the snow we have had this year, almost every weekend; it was not until February 26 that we could move her. By this time Marcia had her for 4-5 months. Marcia sent me a picture of Virginia just days before she was to start on her trip to New Hampshire. Virginia looked great and had a beautiful coat. With the help of Bob (Transporter) and others we got her up to NH.

Two days after she arrived at 5:00 AM she got out and over the fence she went. Her head held high, her nose turning into the wind, tail straight up.

The search began.

As soon as the lost pet ads went out on Craig’s List, We discovered that we were not alone on this rescue. Holly and the Granite State Rescue organization responded like angels with lots of advice. They spread the word and were actively searching all day and started a night search also that would last until 1:00 AM. It was such a great feeling to know that Virginia had a huge support team. Our minds were now set. Not a question if we find her but when.

Volunteers and animal Rescue Groups came from all over southern NH to help find her. People were handing out flyers, stuffing mailboxes and putting flyers on surrounding town’s telephone poles. Business owners were talking about her to their customers. The employees from the Animal Hospital were out searching for her. People were looking for her on their lunch hour. I even received an email from the girl at Pet Smart where I got Virginia’s ID tag the day before letting me know she was going to post it. The help we were receiving for our Virginia to be found was overwhelming. It didn’t stop there, to our surprise a restaurant gift certificate arrived unexpectedly for $125.00, what a blessing.

We were fortunate to have the use of Buford, a blood hound mix, a pet rescue dog himself who tracked her about 5 miles from the house. Then a sighting was called in, thanks to all the flyers that went out. We put Buford back on Virginias trail and he found her. She was about 40 feet away in the woods but could not hear me calling because of traffic and snow was so deep, then we lost visual.

We put him back on her trail, he found where she tried to eat acorns for lunch but it didn’t agree with her. She did what Holly said she would do, she back tracked. We had to pull Buford off the trail. The snow was so deep, hidden waterways, rivers, very wet & dusk was upon us. The next sighting was around 9 PM, just one mile from the house so night search continued. We called off search around 1:00 AM

The next morning the dreaded phone call, a school bus driver that had our flyer, thanks to my husband putting them on all the buses around 8:00 pm the night before, found her. It was to no avail. Miss Virginia was hit on the very road we had been calling her name just hours earlier. Our Beautiful Girl went to The Rainbow Bridge the morning of March 2, 2011 7:09 AM. She was very close to home when she was hit by a car and passed on instantly. (She just looked like she was sleeping).

We all gave Virginia a 110% and she did not die in vain. Virginia gave us all the gift of awareness. Fresh eyes were opened to fostering, adoption, nonprofit organizations and search and rescue organizations.

As someone said, “It was a blessing that Virginia touched all our lives for a short amount of time. Take a look at the amount of people she touched that didn’t know her and how she touched their hearts, Virginia’s Life was a job well done. She had a job to do and she
did it.

For a brief period of time starting with her rescue those many months ago Virginia brought new meaning to the words “unconditional love” for all that became part of her life.

Six days later I got a call from a Family that had been away for vacation and found the flyer in their mail box. They had discovered Virginia‘s footprints in their yard and they searched for her and then called to see if we found her yet. The father was so moved by her story and asked if he could honor her by engraving on this special black and cherry wood plaque, the color of her beautiful coat, a long legged Airedale named Virginia.

People were in tears calling me. She was loved by people that didn’t even meet her. That is how special Virginia was. They fell in love with her and her spirit.

How lucky we were to have her in our lives for a short time.

I will miss her very much