READER REPORT:

Jaz's 'tail': Dog found after 20 weeks

CARA THOMAS
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2015
Jaz
Kelly Wolfe Photography

ALL THAT JAZ: Hope is the one thing you have on your side, don't lose it.

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Our gorgeous girl Jaz was missing for 20 weeks to the day.

Jaz went missing from boarding kennels in July 2014. Despite moving heaven and earth and doing everything in our power to try to find her, we couldn't.

Many people have followed Jaz's story, and many are still learning that we managed to get our girl home. We hope her 'tail' provides hope and inspiration to others out there desperately looking for their loved pets.

Time doesn't make it any easier, nor offer any guarantees - but it does prove that giving up can't be an option.

Her story aired on Fair Go on the first Monday of November. Contrary to popular belief, and the result of purely uncanny timing, Jaz's return home happened just two days later.

Jazzi's journey home resulted from a combination of beautiful people, good old fashioned social media, and flyers.

Her facebook page @Jumping Jazzi received a message from a lady on the Monday, who told us she had a black and white dog walk into her house a couple of weeks previously. She and a small army of volunteers offered to distribute some flyers in the area near her home.

On the Tuesday night, we came home to two phone messages responding to the flyers, with possible additional sightings.

One of those was from a farmer and his wife advising they'd seen a dog out the back of the farm over several months, first in late July when calving was in progress. As no stock issues had occurred, they hadn't been overly concerned about its presence on the farm and a neighbouring leased block, an old sand quarry. They invited us to look.

We arrived at the quarry access road that night, met by a couple of lovely ladies that wanted to help. We trundled off down the access road on foot, with one commenting "you haven't even got a dog lead".

My reply "even if she is in here, I'm not expecting to find her tonight" was a case of famous last words

What looked like a lot of going nowhere suddenly morphed into a massive open space, a giant sandpit shrouded with trees. We split up. All the while I called till I was hoarse. Nothing.

Then we heard a bark in the distance. I recognised it in an instant. We followed the barking and spied a black dog - or rather, a sun-faded brown dog.

The dog stood barking at us, growling. Aside from recognising the bark, I wasn't even convinced it was our girl.

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I kept calling her, talking to her, progressing toward her in the hope she might register who she was barking at. Tail between her legs, she looked like a wild dog.

I kept quietly approaching and talking to her when she decided to stop barking. She watched for a while, then began to slink toward me. I stood motionless. 

One sniff of my leg later, her little tail wagged furiously, her happy staffie grin emerged, she ran in excited circles around me and flew up to greet her fellow Jazzi hunters.

Our very happy girl led the way out, trotting with her nose in the air, and intermittently swinging back round, smiling at us.  

We got to the car just as the skyline was lighting up with fireworks. It was a pretty magnificent sight for a pretty magnificent night. We knew she was special, but she is a pretty AMazing AMstaff (American staffordshire terrier).

She had found herself a space where she was safe, and despite being desperately hungry, our clever girl had the good sense not to mess with the farmer's stock and stuck to what she could forage and hunt for herself. Thankfully, the farmer didn't have a shoot first ask questions later approach to her.

Presumably some rabbit lives were lost in the course of Jumping Jazzi's tail but despite having chased small furry things for her survival, she still has the good manners to leave her feline friends alone.

While she lost nearly a third of her body weight and was skin and bone, she has beefed up beautifully and is now looking a rather Amazonian warrior goddess.

Sincerely and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone that played a part in Jaz's 'tail'. Waikato District Council animal control team need special mention as they worked so hard at trying to help us to find her, and willingly participated in my wild goose chases in all sorts of spots on the hunt for our warrior princess.

Our Jaz is oblivious to the legend that she has become. We know just how lucky we are to have her home, and just how special and clever she is. There are many other desperately missed dogs out there.

Jaz went missing the week after Billy (Bring Billy Back), and while we have our girl home, Billy's people's search continues. Keep fighting the good fight.

Hope is the one thing you have on your side, don't lose it! 


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