Final Cut Producer header image 1

A Risk I’m Willing To Take

July 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Monday morning I was supposed to begin a new job as an video editor/shooter. My ethos compelled me to ask for an additional week before I begin. Here is why I asked that…

The Hike
On July 6th, 2011, I drove from Greensboro to Pinnalce, NC, to hike with a friend, my dog Kisa and my neighbor’s dog Piper. It is about a 2 mile trail that is less traveled which allows me to take my dog off the lease. I’ve hiked this trial numerous amount of times and Kisa absolutely loves it. It is a time where my friend and I can air things out and leave it in the woods. Very peaceful and tranquil.

Both dogs were off their leashes and the hike was a go. We hiked to the end of the trail and both dogs were exhausted and were well behaved. We carried a bowl and a gallon of water and rewarded the dogs often. Kisa is the pack leader but always turns her head to see where we are. Piper is walking right behind us smiling along. About a quater of a mile before we reach our car Piper trots ahead and is right besides Kisa. We came to a hill and Kisa goes left down the trail and Piper continued straight ahead into a high grassy area. I set down the bowl and poured out the water and called to both dogs…Kisa came and slurped up the water…no Piper. I continued to call for Piper and she never showed up. There was no sound of her running off, yelping in pain or barking. She just wondered off into the woods. I knew right away something was off. My friend and I searched the area for the next 8 hours. No luck.

I had to make one of the most difficult phone calls in my life…I called my neighbors during their vacation and told them that Piper went missing. They came home the very next day and headed out to the trial and instantly became part of the search. We posted flyers, called every close county’s animal control, shelters, police, park rangers, ads on Facebook, they even hired a dog tracker. Numerous amount of friends and even strangers helped in the search. We all drived in circles calling for Piper.

The first two weeks were frustrating. We live an hour away and would get calls about spotting Piper in a certain locations. By the time we get up there she would be long gone and even worse we couldn’t confirm if it was even her. That drains you emotionally…the hope then the dispair.

Last week we got a call from a sweet married couple that live across from the trail that we hiked and claimed they saw Piper in their backyard a couple of times. We went up and walked through their yard and went into the woods. We came up empty. They allowed us to camp out in their backyard in order to bring Piper home. My neighbors went up Friday night and confirmed a Piper sighting. When they called her name she scurried back into the woods. It broke their hearts that she ran from them. They camped out again Saturday night into Sunday afternoon with no Piper sighting. They have searched daily and have been immersed into the emotional roller coaster from day one. Both of them work full time and can’t afford to take the time off to hunt with no good leads during the weekday. It is now up to Piper to been seen and swayed into a caring home. She does have her collar on and has tags for contact. She is the sweetest dog but is skittish around new people which makes it even more difficult for her to trust new people.

The Empathy
13 years ago my sweet dog, Indra, went missing. I did everything you could do at that time to get the word out. I chased leads and it would always fall short. People were so kind and wanted to help in anyway. I received call after call about a found black lab…I would be so hopeful until I showed up and it wasn’t my Indra. About 5 weeks after she was reported missing I got a phone call from a lady that claimed to have my dog. To make things short. She questioned me to make sure it was my dog…after she knew it was my Indra she then went on about how good of a dog she was and how caring she was around children. I knew, I trained her to be a peaceful dog and I showered her with love and effection. She then began questioning about the kind of dog care taker I was. I knew there was a hidden agenda but I was so excited to know she was okay I continued to answer her questions. The tears started rolling when I began to ask how I can get her back. She cried uncontrollably and then hung up the phone. I was shocked until fury entered into my blood. I called *69 and she blocked the phone. I was irate!

The next day a man called and was a little more rational. But he continued to question me about how I took care of the dog. He brought up personal things like how I was about to graduate collage and if I knew what I was going to do with my dog. I asked him kindly to meet so I can get her back. I offered a reward, even though I was a poor college student. He ended the conversation with, “We will communicate with you in a couple of days to inform you about our decision.” and hung up. I lost my shit. *69 and this time I had a phone number. I researched it and it turned out to be a public phone in McLeansville at a supermarket. I went to the police and reported a stolen dog.

Two days later I got a letter in the mail stating the reason they were keeping my dog. I will never forget the one line from the letter that is permanently imprinted in my brain. It said, “After long consultation, meditation and prayer we came to the conclusion that we will keep the dog for her best well being.” That killed me. My school work suffered, work suffered and I was dragged into a pit of depression. But I never gave up looking for those asshats. I did a live broadcast on public access, went to the newspaper and even the local news did a story but no one turned them in. I know my dog had a loving home but those people stole not just a dog but an amazing companion who I showered with love and affection and she responded in being the sweetest dog in the world. I miss my Indra and I hope Karma bites those people in the ass.

The Steakout
Back to the present…for the remaining of the week I will be camping at the spotted site of Piper until Saturday. I have a hard time sitting on my ass knowing that I can do something and not do it. I never got a response for my request to begin my new position for next week. But this is something that I have to do. I know the feeling of loss, I understand the frustration of loosing hope over and over, but I don’t know what it feels like to have a close friend loose your beloved dog. I alone, have to go to sleep at night knowing the pain that my actions have caused. But, this is not about me…it is about doing whatever I can to reunite that dog to their owners. Even if I can’t bring Piper home by Saturday I know that I did everything that I possibly could…that, I can live with.

My Actions
I hold myself accountable for my actions with everything in life. I continue to kick myself for the fact that Piper trotted off into the woods and is still not home with her owners. Looking back, would I have put her on a leash?

  • If I knew she was to trot off of course I would.
  • If I ever take another hike with any dog including Piper…yes, I would.
  • If this experience never happened, I probably would not based on how she was right behind us the entire hike.
  • If I took her off the leash and she jetted into the woods and was running around, I would’ve leashed her right up.

I’ve been unemployed for the month of July and I’m very fortunate and grateful for the position that I was offered. I do not take this offer lightly. I understand the significance it holds for me. It is a position that will allow me to continue working as a video professional. I’m so proud of the fact that I get paid to do something that I love to do. I know this is not the best way to enter into a new job. I do understand from their perspective if they go with another candidate. I just hope my actions show the kind of person that I can be for their company. Not the actions of delaying my employment but the actions of compassion for others and that I am responsible and accountable for my actions. I’ll just have to wait and see by Saturday or if I can bring Piper home earlier. Wish me luck.

Tags: Personal

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel // Jul 26, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Good luck on finding man’s best friend…
    I think what you are doing is the right thing…

  • 2 sean // Jul 26, 2011 at 2:26 am

    you’re a good man, charlie brown. good luck.

  • 3 // Jul 26, 2011 at 2:42 am

    “After long consultation, meditation and prayer we came to the conclusion that we will keep the dog for her best well being.”

    Did Jesus tell them to steal your dog?! That takes the cake man.

    I hope that you get Piper back and I wish you well for employment. Good luck man.

  • 4 Lucy girl // Jul 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    No, you didn’t bring her home Saturday ):
    But you brought her home TODAY!!!!! Thanks for your dedication. And a good writer (:

Leave a Comment