Our beloved lifetime Border Collie Mix disappeared into the woods walking with my husband on a trail at the edge of our farm 20 days ago. No possible sightings at all until day 17- one caller “certain” it was our dog-2others in area were “maybes”. Now sightings appear to have be been a local dog.

We have done all the by the book, expected , unexpected-fliers within 10 mile area, signage, shelter notifications within 100 miles, drones, trail cameras, old clothes, other of our dogs’poop,and parts of his dog bed scattered, wildlife expert hired to help ascertain what he was chasing and if he was Coyote prey ( maybe a stray dog, not likely to be eaten by coyote) -social media, dozens of searches, notification to microchip company, reward...,

Nothing..., heartbroken, feeling wounded again with every false lead, checking social media a hundred times a day holding out hope, doing self care, seeing grief counselor, not giving up, but when do I let my heart say he is really gone, stop tilting at windmills?
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You are dealing with what I regard as the worst kind of loss..not knowing where your precious baby is or if he is dead or alive.  I have no answers for when you give up.  Maybe you stop the more active things at some point but on some level, you may never give up.  There is always the slight hope until the death is confirmed...if it ever is.

I experienced this on a small level when I had an out of touch young adult daughter who stayed out of contact for about six months.  Eventually, she came back into the family and we are now close, so it isn't quite the same thing.  But during the period when I had only a vague idea of where she possibly was (probably out in nature somewhere, depending on the kindness of strangers)  there was constant anxiety of whether I would ever see her again and if she was okay. I assumed that she was alive and knew she was going through a rebellious period so again it wasn't exactly the same. This daughter now has a teenage daughter who worries her mother to death--we both call this payback time.

But back to your precious baby.  I pray that he will walk back into your life one day.  But the odds at this point don't look good and you know that.  You may never have confirmation which makes the grieving process so much harder.  How can you grieve and hope at the same time...but you are probably already doing some of that.  Keep us informed about how things are going and how you are doing.  I am so very, very sorry that you are experiencing what I view as the worst kind of loss.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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  I am so sorry about your Border Collie mix disappearing. Please keep us posted with any updates. Everyone in this Forum is praying for you.

Jim Miller
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I am very sorry your sweet border collie mix has gone missing. It sounds like you have done everything possible to find him. Clearly you love him very much and I hope that he returns safe.

I know how hard it is when a pet goes missing. There are so many unanswered questions - alive? suffering? safe with somebody else? give up? keep looking? In my experience I eventually stopped looking but never completely gave up hope. Occasionally months, even years later I would see a similar animal and have to check it out. Sadly she never returned to me. I wish I could share a more hopeful story. I know others have found lost pets after a long period of time.

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Dear Leesa, this is the most awful gnawing worry, and I am so sorry.

You have done everything you could and everything advised....but I do have another idea.
Do you think a tracker dog could find him? I don't know how much that would cost or how easy it would be to find someone with a trained tracker dog.

It's so hard. I know I would be inclined to keep trying and keep hoping. Dogs have turned up sometimes years later. Sometimes they have found their way home too against all odds.
But at what point do you let go? I don't know,  and am deeply sorry for what you must be going through.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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So, so sorry. I hope there's some good news in the end.
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I am SO sorry to read this. This was always a huge worry of my family ... since our amazing border collie mix had a lot of energy and would dart into our woods... 50 acres. I pray you find your dog. My heart goes out to you. Border collies, border collie mixes .... our Ellie was the best dog we’ve ever had.
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Thanks for all the kind thoughts...., Cisco had been gone a month and 4 days now-no credible sightings, a week since the last gut wrenching “I think I have seen your dog “ calls and last wild drive into the night . Living a little more with some peace every day that my super smart 18 pound Border Collie mix probably didn’t lose his way from the farm he hated ever to leave in his 8 years of life; that the little dog with a lion’s heart probably did meet his demise within a few minutes of disappearing into the woods he loved. I look at the feed from my trail cameras with a little less hope of seeing his black and white coat flashing by, and a little more appreciation of the deer,raccoons, squirrels, that I see.....Now obsessively checking local Facebook feeds of lost and found animals 10 times a day,rather than 20. Moving to a place of acceptance that my physical relationship with him has ended, my emotional and spiritual relationship with him remains to be nurtured.
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I'm sorry Leesa, I had held off on responding before in the Hope's that Cisco would appear again. My heart goes out to you.💙
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Dear Leesa,

I too am very sorry to read of what you have been coping with and forced to endure. I am glad that your boy "Cisco" got to live out his years in such a wonderful setting of a farm, and that he was an important part of your family for all that time. And that Cisco knew true love and adoration, affection, compassion & care for all his years. All dogs should be so blessed. I hope that Cisco does return someday soon, but if not, he truly did have a charmed and good life.

As I have shared here on the forum on a few occasions, pets are re-adopted by strangers, much of the time by accident. It does happen all the time. I have run into pets who were adopted by another family just a few blocks away from their original family. And others who ended up being shared via joint-custody by two family's. Which is odd but does occur. My cat Marmalade had friends in our neighborhood who were strangers to me. They would stop by our warehouse gate to visit him and had no interest in knowing me. Lol. They only wanted to visit with Marmalade. Once I heard a little girl speaking to him by name.

Your comment "My emotional and spiritual relationship with him remains to be nurtured" is one of the most poignant statements I have ever read here on the forum. Thank you for sharing that sentiment. It is spot-on and what I have been engaged in with my boy Marmalade the past couple of months, who was the light of my life. He had to depart around 5 months ago, now I am learning to nurture having a spiritual relationship with him. I find it comforting. Thank you again for your insightful comment.

Kind regards,
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