Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers, emails, phone calls, and help during Bunny's time in the wild. To recap, Bunny left home at about 5:25 pm on 12/22/10, to find her center of the universe, my wife Lucienne, who was preparing meals at a local soup kitchen. From 5:25 to 5:50 pm, Bunny returned home several times to see if Lucienne was there. Not seeing or smelling her, she immediately left the yard to continue her search. My daughter, Zoey and I, left the doors to the house open from the time she left until well after Lucienne returned about 6:10 pm, but Bunny did not come back after Lucienne came home.
At a few minutes before 6:00 pm on 12/22, a moderate snowfall began. So we looked for tracks beginning about 8:00 pm, because at that time there was enough accumulation to see tracks. No Bunny tracks were found, but a set of fox tracks were. I followed those tracks for around an hour until those tracks looked like they were made seconds earlier. They disappeared into a storm sewer and reappeared on the opposite side of the street, which was enough to let me know we were not on Bunny's trail after all.
Bunny was in the wild from 5:25 pm 12/22/10 until about 1:40 pm on 12/30/10, for a total of about 7 days, 20 hours, and 15 minutes. At 1:41 pm I took a call from a woman named Connie who had helped us search for Bunny for days. During this time, Connie was quite ill with the flu. Nevertheless, she likely spent more time and energy helping us than any other individual. As I mentioned in an email, Connie owns a Basenji mix (whose name is Ahu, and who came to the U.S. via Pakistan) that she rescued through Our Companions (http://ourcompanions.org/) . A kindred spirit, Connie is!
As you can see from an earlier post, we set a large Havahart-type trap (about 18" x 24" x 72"). Inside that trap was dry dogfood, cat food, bacon, chicken broth, and dog treats. Outside of the trap were 2 bacon fat trails; we wanted Bunny to scent the trail, but we did not want her to have a chance to eat anything until she was in the trap. At a different location 5 days earlier, we placed a carrot (Bunny's favorite treat; probably the reason for her name, though we're not sure. Her birth name is Attullah RU Ready to Party.) outside of the trap. According to the homeowners (Doris and Donna), who happened to be looking outside their darkened window when Bunny arrived, she snatched the carrot outside the trap and immediately ran to the woods. So, lesson learned, food inside the trap only.
Lucienne, Zoey and I, as may imagine, immediately sped to Connie's home after she called to tell us "Your dog is int the trap". When we arrived, Lucienne raced to the trap ahead of Zoey and I. When she arrived at the trap (about 15 seconds before Zoey and I) she started sobbing tears of joy. Zoey arrived a few seconds ahead of me and the sobbing became a chorus. Having a little more dignity than my wife and daughter, I cried quietly (okay, that's a fib). So, there we are, all crying tears of absolute joy and amazement (remember, the little crapper had us worried sick and riding a roller coaster ride from hell for nearly 8 full days!) …