Christopher Monahan has been looking for his 7-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Bear, since he ran off Monday night.
"I got a call last night at 20 after 10 that he had been seen about a mile and a half from here. And I went down looking for him, calling for him, but again, he is so traumatized he won't come to me. I keep hoping he will come to the car. He loves the car, but that is not happening either," Monahan said.
To make matters worse, Bear is afraid of loud noises and has not had his medication.
"He does not like sharp noises, that is part of the problem. It's getting to be hunting season; the neighbors were practicing target shooting and that drove him off the yard. He doesn't usually leave the house, but he does not like noise," Monahan said.
So, Monahan called in some help, in the form of a bloodhound. Meet Redford. Owner, trainer and tracker Lisa Robinson has been looking for lost dogs and cats for several years, she says, with great success. She says she got into pet tracking by accident.
"I did go to a training seminar at the State Police Academy a few years ago with my first training dog and I learned a lot," Robinson said. "My dog got to practice what he already knew."
Honing skills he was born with. But Robinson was told dogs could track people or pets, but not both. She picked pets.
Her first dog, Thurber, passed away a couple of years ago. She then rescued Redford.
"I didn't know whether he would do it, but he did. He fell for it right away. He went right into it and I just had to learn to read him. He was a little different from Thurber," Robinson said. "He is impetuous. Don't let him go anywhere; get him back here. REDFORD! Come here, buddy."
After Redford was given the scent of missing Bear, he was off.
Monahan then got a call from a neighbor who spotted Bear. Redford was taken to the scene.
Robinson said she wasn't sure how long she and Redford would continue to look for the missing dog. She said maybe five or six hours or maybe until they find the dog. She says a large part of her and her dogs' successful searches has to do with the fact her bloodhounds had also been strays.
"I started with my first dog, Thurber. He was a rescue dog from West Virginia. He had been abandoned. This guy was found abandoned in Birmingham-- Redford. And I have a theory that especially because they are rescue dogs and have lived on the streets, they have a better feeling for what a lost dog will do," she explained.
After taking a water break, it was off to find the scent trail again and hopefully reunite Bear with his family.
The search for Bear was called off late Thursday afternoon due to thunderstorms. Lisa Robinson and Redford will be back in Essex Saturday to help look again.
Just after 9 p.m. Thursday, Chris and Bear were reunited thanks to Redford's help.
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