Luna was missing for a full 8 and a half days...snoozing on Tuesday morning I was woken by a frantic call for help saying Luna was gone. When I first arrived at the small backroad junction where she had run down a field, I walked with Claire and Nobu, asking them to find Luna and calling her name as we dived along a back road, and along field verges and copses, skirting ponds, and I hit another back road, feeling totally lost. I turned right and was asking an elderly gentleman if he had seen Luna, and asking how to get back to Pension Olive, but he couldn't really understand what I was asking, and I began to feel very lost myself, until I saw Tosh walking and waving from the T-junction on the right...Having walked back to the Pension, the gremlin got in the works, and for some reason my phone wouldn't put calls through. This was really scary, as I knew Luna's phone was on her collar, and I expected a call any minute, only things weren't working. I thought the Softbank reception was down, and asked the Pension to kindly lend me their landline to call the police, the town hall and the animal welfare authorities. I wasn't used to FB on my new phone, or anything, so I was running around again after breakfast up and down the road calling and calling for Luna. Around 11am as I explained our plight to a family going home, they kindly told me Softbank was working fine, and I realized it must be my phone! I had the inspiration to reboot, it being a computer, and bingo, it was working! I immediately called CACI to plead for help, explaining the situation...and the rest is history.
I am so grateful to CACI, the CACI family immediately offered incredible help, warmth, and expert setter advice. I learned to make a rank, odorous scent bag, with hair brushings from Nobu and Claire, mixed with pieces of sweaty T-shirt and neck towels shredded into small pieces, and urine caught in paper towels or toilet paper. Very ripe! I had to get back to Nasu after the typhoon to reset the scents: apparently sweat and spit last for longer than urine, so on the Wednesday when my bag of scents ran out I was spitting along the roadside as I walked, marking the way "home" for Luna. If you look at the map, you can see Luna was running up to the Pension Olive area only on the wrong side of the river, she was sighted on the Friday evening north of Maniwa Farm near Kashiwa Jinja by an elderly gentleman, she was looking confused, he said. No wonder, if the river hadn't been inbetween and confused her, she would have been able to walk home to Olive from there at a right angle...Perhaps she could even smell the scents, only not clearly. Since setters roam incredibly far, perhaps the strong setting of scents around Olive helped to keep her close by. Good girl!
Every day on my behalf, CACI foster Dads and Mums were tweeting and blogging and actually walking the area searching, handing out posters and raising awareness. It was an incredible dynamic effort, and I am just so grateful everything worked out fine in the end. Thank you all so much for your incredible generosity! I am just so overjoyed Luna is home :)
I thought I didn't have the energy to go back up again Wednesday, I was pretty exhausted from the 23 hour stint on Monday, but with comforting cups of tea with friends, walking with Nobu and Claire, and Rie Kaneko CACI CEO sending me powerful energy via the universe, I tanked up on gas in the evening, made a new scent bag, threw a sleeping bag in the car again, woke up at 0100 Wednesday morning and just set off. At 03:30 I got mail saying there was a giant standstill 25km traffic jam and to not bother coming, but thank God I had set off earlier than planned, and hit the tail-end already! So I just called and said, yes, I'm coming, and rolled down the windows, listening to Thalia Habita Me Siempre album "A donde vas, porque tu vayas...." (great driving music, soothing and longing and celebrating the joy of being together, totally LUNA!) and crawling through to Nasu just after dawn 0600 odd. I headed straight for Tensui Soba, where she had been sighted Monday midnight, set scents all round the garden and parking space, and then met up with the CACI team Rie and Atsuko. Atsuko drove me as I threw scent bombs out the window all the way to Pension Olive from Tensui, and then we stopped off at a supermarket to buy brekkie, but I didn't want to get out of the car in case my scent there misled her. I split up from the CACI crew, deciding to walk from Tensui to Pension Olive (roughly 6kms) to set scents strongly, and got there around 09:30, about an hour and a half, stopping to talk to people and hand out leaflets on the way, but not deviating from the roadside, as Luna would get confused. When I got to Olive, they kindly let me borrow their loo, and I set off back again, swigging jasmine tea and poddling along in the heat. There was another set of Bato Kannnon 馬頭観音像・石碑 stones along the way, so I cleared away some weeds, set a flower and prayed again. I got back to Tensui for an early lunch just past 11 am, and after visualizing Luna coming to me surrounded by a great circle of Gods and friends, and asking her to stay safe and wait, I was coming, I fell asleep in their garden. When I woke up, I needed to buy some drink and scissors to chop up my sweaty T-shirt for more markings, I was going to stay the night in the car to see if Luna came by at midnight, so around 1600 I dropped by the 7-11 and then drove out to Olive again, just to make sure Luna hadn't turned up after all, and walked up and down the 2kms to the spot where she disappeared again. It was getting on for supper, and I needed to be awake for midnight, so I thought to get an early supper and turn in, I had just reached the parking spot when the call came in.
I really couldn't believe my ears, a sighting, I said, you've seen her? "We have her" they said. "You're sure it's her, you have her?" Yes, they said we have her here. OMG, I'm coming, I said, where, Maniwa Farm? Just 500m along from Maniwa Farm, they said. OMG, I'm coming, I said. I was able to drive over safely, counted the 500metres on the dial, and there were two guys waiting for me in the driveway, so I made a right turn...and as I got closer, I saw it was her, really, that sweet sad little face, smoochy little Luna....it was really her! I was too busy rushing out of the car and sobbing with delight, falling to my knees and taking her on my lap, the elderly gentleman loosened the twine he had her tied with, so I grabbed her collar and held it tight tight tight as I sobbed, so she didn't head off hunting again, as she wagged and licked me and squirmed. I was so elated, I was scared I might let go, so I put her in the driver seat of the car, and asked for a name and address to send some Yokohama souvenirs as a thank you for finding Luna. All this while a young Dad had been standing next to us, cuddling his toddler and beaming, and finally he asked me to move my car so he could go home, and I realized he wasn't from there, so I asked. He said he saw the hunt for Luna on FB, and had made the special phone call happen, but I was so elated and confused and emotional, I didn't ask any clarifying questions, just stammered thank you again and again, got his name and address, and moved the car so he could leave. I cleared the seat, called CACI with the news, and headed home myself with my baby! The Yokohama treats went out today, they should arrive tomorrow...thank you so much for finding my baby and calling me!
I stopped off at Maniwa Farm, Pension Olive and Tensui Soba to spread the good news, they were all so cooperative during the search, so many people to thank, so much love going round, Chiaro di Luna is truly blessed and watched over by angels. I got home around midnight, driving through in a kind of high, stopping off at Sano parking area when Luna passed a fruity wind to let her pass stool...a quick pee and a drink, and off I was into the holiday rush hour late evening traffic, taillights gaily leading me home through the narrow city freeways: together again with Luna, anything was possible! We got home round midnight....what an adventure!