January 19, 2021

On a paw and a prayer

Posted on 30. Jul, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Social/Cultural

On July 17, I was contacted by a rescue organization re:  two dogs which were lost on July 3rd in Dalhart, Texas after an Albuquerque couple, Albert and Cyndi Bass, were in a truck accident outside of Dalhart. Albert is a truck driver.  Their two dogs, Max and Maya, were being held by a deputy, but somehow he lost his grip on them. The Basses worked non-stop in Dalhart, putting up posters, talking to people, contacting the newspaper, etc.  Since the Basses have no children, these dogs mean the world to them. Max is a Boxer/Lab mix.

After learning about this sad situation, I called to tell them about the pet detective in Oklahoma who uses tracking dogs to find lost dogs.  It was not something they were in a position to do.  I asked them to keep me posted.  On July 20, I learned that Maya had been found, and Albert and Cyndi had already gone back to Dalhart to retrieve her.  She was covered from head to toe with ticks.  A Ms. Porter had been able to gain Maya’s trust after three days of coaxing, read her tags, and called the Basses.  She had also seen Max, but could not get near him.  I called to say how happy I was at the good news.  It was then that I learned that because Albert’s rig was being repaired, and he is not working, their financial situation did not allow them to return to Dalhart to continue to look for their beloved Max.

Max is shy and has been sighted, but won’t allow anyone to approach.  This is normal lost dog behavior for a shy dog that has been lost this long. I am 99.9% certain that he won’t go to anyone except his people.  He is ranging in a seven mile radius, and also around the accident site.  How horrible would it be to realize that a beloved pet was running in circles, in a strange environment, trying to find you, and you can’t be there for him?

Pet Alert was given a donation from a grateful pet owner for helping in the recovery of his lost dog.  When I learned about the plight of Albert and Cyndi, I knew exactly where that donation had to be used. The Basses left for Dalhart yesterday, with Maya, because it is important to have a magnet animal that the lost dog knows. With two other donations, we are able to help them to stay in a motel through July 30th, and provide the gas money for the round trip.

I was very hopeful that it would be enough time to locate Max, but there has been a setback.  Albert spoke with a man yesterday who had spotted Max and went inside to get a hot dog for him, but when he came back outside, Max ran, and he ran into an electric fence. The man heard him yelp. It is not known whether Max will return to this area, which was the best bet for setting up a feeding station, and getting him to return to one spot on a regular basis. It is very difficult to realize that they may have to leave Dalhart again, without Max.

I met Albert and Maya on Saturday.  These are good people, and Maya is a sweetheart.  It is easy to see how much Maya means to them. I contacted the Amarillo Globe News today, hoping that they will do a human interest story on this, and give people an opportunity to offer help, either with a spare room, or a monetary donation.  I don’t know what the outcome of that will be.   Diane Trull of the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary has graciously agreed to accept any donations on behalf of Max Bass. If you feel inclined to offer any help to the Basses so that they can continue to stay to look for Max, this is the address for the Dalhart Shelter:

Dalhart Animal Wellness Group/The Max Bass Fund

P.O. Box 911

12080 County Rd. #38

Dalhart, TX  79022

You can also send your contribution via  http://luvinlabs.chipin.com/help-max-get-home

Thank you for taking the time to read this through.  I hope I will be able to send out a truly fantastic Happy Tail on this one! The most exciting next step for EMPA is one that I am dying to announce, but need to wait until a little more progress is made.  Knowing how desperately we have needed a tracking dog for our lost dogs, this has been a dream for over two years.  Now, a member has adopted a bloodhound for this purpose, but training has not yet started.  Our trainer is a man who has 20 years experience in search and rescue dog training for people, and the principles are the same. “Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.” – Roger Caras.  Woof!

This article was submitted by Joyce Lewis of the East Mountain Pet Alert. She can be reached at www.eastmountainpetalert.org.  We wholeheartedly support her work and the work of hundreds of volunteers at shelters and veterinary clinics and all those wonderful guardian angels watching out for our four-legged friends when they get lost. – The Editor





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