After two whole months, countless sightings and a number of failed rescue attempts, it seemed like this was the last chance to catch Daisy. After all, the dog had been on the run for weeks on end, with no signs of giving herself up. But when six-year-old Meghan stepped up to the pooch, something incredible happened.
In October 2016 German Shepherd-mix Daisy got her lucky break. For that’s when a family in Hollister, California, adopted the pooch. But while her new owners no doubt thought they’d given Daisy her forever home, the pooch had other ideas.
After just two days in her new home, Daisy escaped from her family’s backyard. So the family contacted the Hollister Animal Lost and Found Facebook group for help. Of course, the community group vowed to keep an eye out for the lost canine.
And it wasn’t long before sightings of Daisy started flooding the group’s Facebook page. “Just spotted [Daisy] entering Ridgemark Park via George’s,” read one post from November 2016. “She stopped to look at me and continued walking on her way into the park. She seemed weary, but calm.”
“Just saw [Daisy] next to the bee boxes and the orchard on Enterprise. She looked tired. She was pretty close to the road,” another update later in November 2016 read. However, despite the regular sightings, no one got close enough to catch the elusive doggie.
In fact, Daisy seemed terrified of people – even those trying to help her. On top of that, she didn’t stay in any one place long enough for anyone to gain her trust. “She was in fight or flight mode,” animal rescuer Deanna Barth told NBC Bay Area in January 2017.
Barth and her fellow rescue team grew so frustrated with the situation that they even considered using a tranquilizer gun on Daisy. However, after deeming it too risky, they tried a number of different techniques. For instance, they tried using another dog to win her trust. But nothing seemed to do the trick.
“We’ve tried earning her trust with the same person feeding daily. We tried using another dog to ease her fears. She’ll stay in the same location for about three days – enough for us to think we’ve established a pattern and set a trap and then she moves again,” Barth explained on Facebook in November 2016.
“All the typical things, like cage traps and baiting with smelly foods, was not working,” she later revealed to NBC Bay Area. “Our only way to earn her trust was to get someone she might remember.” That’s when Barth decided she’d have to think outside of the box.
The animal expert discovered that another family had fostered Daisy prior to her adoption in Hollister. And while there, the dog had formed a strong bond with a six-year-old girl named Meghan. In fact, Meghan’s mom, Karen Topping, fosters numerous dogs each year, but she’d never seen a relationship like the one her daughter shared with Daisy.
Barth believed that Meghan was the best chance they had to finally catch the runaway and bring her to safety. So, Meghan and Karen made the 26-mile journey from their home in Morgan Hill to see if they could help with Daisy’s rescue. At this point, the dog had been on the run for more than two months.
Thankfully, the mother and daughter duo managed to track Daisy down to one of her favorite fields. But once they were there, mom Karen wasn’t sure how to tackle the attempted capture of the unruly dog. Curiously enough, though, little Meghan knew exactly what to do.
“She told me if Mom stayed in the truck she would come to me and I believed it,” Karen revealed to NBC Bay Area. So, believing in her daughter’s abilities completely, Karen let Meghan do her thing.
The proud mom looked on as Meghan slowly approached Daisy and lay down in the long grass a few feet from the canine’s face. At first, the dog looked cautious of the little girl, but after a few minutes something seemed to click. It was as though Daisy had recognized her best friend.
With her tail wagging, Daisy jumped up from the ground and approached Meghan. She then sniffed around the little girl’s face before allowing her to stroke her. Next, the dog whisperer returned to her mom to get a leash and finally secured Daisy.
It’s safe to say Meghan’s mom was completely astounded. “I was just amazed,” she confessed to NBC Bay Area. The whole incident also moved Barth. “It’s hard to watch that video and not cry,” Barth admitted.
However, Meghan herself didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in what had just happened. “I was just thinking whatever was meant to be was meant to be,” she told NBC Bay Area. “And that was meant to be.”
Daisy returned home with the Toppings for some temporary quality time with Meghan. But as the family only fosters dogs, Daisy would still need a forever home. Thankfully, Susan Dommert Hilden, part of Daisy’s original rescue team, stepped up to adopt the dog.
In her new home, Daisy would have plenty of company – including four dogs, three cats and one white bunny. And, given her affinity with children, the hound was no doubt thrilled to meet Hilden’s six-year-old granddaughter, Ava. In fact, because of her nature around children, Daisy may later work as a therapy dog in the future.
And while Daisy will certainly make many more friends, some people just can’t be replaced. That’s why Meghan and her mom plan to keep in touch with the dog while she settles into her new home. It seems the pair share a special bond that will hopefully never be broken again.