Izzy has been missing since February 2015.. here her owner Dawn tells of the impact Izzys disapearance has had on her family.. they will continue to search for Izzy until the day she is found.
We have a Cockapoo called Izzy, she is everything to us, my furbaby. She was with us 24/7, even going to work with my husband Ian every day, she was his shadow and they adored each other and had a very strong bond.
In the February 2015 school holidays, Ian had taken the Monday off with our daughters Lauren (15) and Eve (10). We had moved house in the November before and had arranged for some workmen to come in on the Tuesday to do some work…..as Ian would not be there on the Tuesday, he had given them the spare key to come in and do the work. Ian popped out to with the girls to get some paint to do some work himself before the workmen arrived the next day….he had been out of the house for only 10 minutes and was getting into the car on his way back when he received a phone call…..it was one of the workmen saying “your dog has gone”, Ian couldn’t understand and was confused as he’d left Izzy in the house with the burglar alarm on, “what do you mean my dog has gone”……It turns out the workmen had changed their mind and came a day early thinking that they were doing us a favour…….Izzy was nervous of strangers and obviously didn’t like a strange man coming into our house whilst we were not there, she was frightened, then the house alarm started to go off (because we were obviously not expecting them) which terrified Izzy and she ran out of the house into the front garden where neighbours said she was shaking with fear and cowering……the workmen obviously were worried and went to grab her, this scared her more and she moved away, so they tried again……this is when she ran and ran and ran…..she was so scared and that thought goes through my head every day.
Those first few days & weeks were panic driven, we ran round everywhere trying to find her, putting scent trails down, cutting up old t-shirts and putting pieces into bushes etc to leave her a trail home, Ian went out walking in the early hours every morning and late every night just in case she was trying to find her way home whilst it was dark and quiet……I was constantly on the computer asking everyone if they’d seen her, searching any sight relating to dogs missing/rescues/selling sights…..I saw some horrific things and still do to this day that I can never un-see and the images would go through my mind with Izzy’s face when I closed my eyes, so I didn’t sleep and when I could, I slept on the couch for the first couple of months scared that if I went to bed and she came home in the night, that I wouldn’t hear her. I rang all the local police, councils, rail and motorway authorities to see if she had been in an accident or her body picked up…holding my breath each time and feeling sick whilst they checked their systems…thankfully there was no sign. My daughters were both distraught and would often wake up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare…..how could I tell them that it would be ok when I didn’t know myself? We’d had Izzy 6 years since she was a tiny puppy, we’d done all the things a responsible owner should do, fed and walked her to keep her healthy, regular vet checks too, she was spayed and microchipped to keep her safe (or so I thought) and loved her unconditionally with all our hearts….hearts that now constantly grieve.
We set up a Facebook page, which wasn’t particularly easy as we were not big on social media but through that page we have met some amazing people who although they started as strangers, have now become close friends. They were out searching, leafleting , searching, checking internet sites, spreading Izzy’s story any way that they can….we really don’t think we would have had a clue what to do or had the strength to keep going without them…. I still post every day as I have done since the day she went missing,
Shortly after all the posters went up, the hoax calls started, calls at all times of the day and night, 3am in the morning saying “I know where your dog is” and when you ask where, they say “I’m sure she was just in a kebab I’ve just eaten” or those which try and send you on a wild chase in the night to some random place saying they’d seen her…but she was never there and they’d be laughing down the phone….a lot of teenagers ring too, thinking its funny telling you that she’s dead somewhere, but again no Izzy….or the man who rang regularly to sing “I have your doggy” repeatedly in a strange voice before putting the phone down again……we told the police who sent messages about harassment to those whose numbers we had, but there advise was to change our numbers…..how could we, what if a genuine call came through…..in the end we decided to take my number off the posters…..I’m not thick skinned and couldn’t cope with the cruel calls.
The worst call we had was on Mother’s Day 2015, we had just sat down for lunch, my Mum & Dad were here too and a man rang saying that they had seen Izzy be killed on the motorway at 6am just after she had gone missing, he said he had seen a white dog with a reflective red collar which shone go under a van …..you can imagine what our reactions were, everyone was hysterical in tears…a mother’s day I will never forget ….…Izzy isn’t white and had a clearly pick unreflective collar even in the dark but we checked it out anyway ……With the help of Harvey’s Army we spoke again to the Highways Agency and they still had nothing…nothing in any report or on CCTV…Harvey’s Army even put out a massive request for witnesses but nothing, no one could back up this man’s story (for which the details changed several times as different people spoke to him)….we did find out that the police were following her in the early hours of the Tuesday morning (1am) and she did go on to the motorway to get away from them but they managed to get her back off it and then lost her in a suburban street…..there was no sighting of her on the motorway after that…we also had people call saying they had seen her after that night in the direction of where the police lost sight of her (they did not know about the police sighting) some even saying she was stood less than a few feet away so that were 100% certain…we would go and search but nothing and there has been nothing for a year now….but my mind always wanders to that call…..why did the man ring and tell us that? Why did nobody else see anything? Why was there no evidence of an accident (not even her collar and there were workers on the motorway at the time who found nothing)….did people see her afterwards? Did someone pick her up being kind? Or did someone find her and sell her on?
That was over a year ago now and we are still desperately trying to find her. We have contacted everyone we can vets, shelters, pet stores, groomers, dog walkers, police. Taxi ranks, local councils, motorway highways agencies, local school, every shop we could and anyone else who would listen. We have put up thousands of posters, handed out or posted door to door over 30,000 leaflets and sent out a thousand car stickers. We have some amazing supporters on our Facebook page who have been with us through it all and continue to support us
The truth is we do not know anything. We do not know if she is alive or not. Whether she is being loved or treated badly. I feel like there is a part of my family that is out there somewhere but I don’t know where or whether it will ever be put back together….I don’t like going away from home any more in case I get that phone call…and I pray and dream about that phone call…. Is she wondering where we are?…….our lives are in a constant limbo, we can never be the same again, this has had a devastating effect on my family, it has changed us forever, I’m often exhausted working long hours and then coming home and doing everything I can for Izzy, reading the comments on Izzy’s page, trawling the internet, packaging up leaflets often until very late, its draining and has an effect on your health not to mention emotionally…..the only thing the girls want is Izzy home, it breaks your heart as mum to see them hurt like that.
I have had comments from people saying “you’re not going to find her now” or “I think it’s time you stopped” and also on the page and through the internet when our local paper has put Izzy in saying “get over yourself, it’s only a dog and there are far worse things happening in the world”…..that does hurt…..I am a caring person and I know that in the grand scheme of things there are far worse things going on in the world, things which also break my heart as I cannot imagine what those people are going through…..if I feel like this about my dog, I’m sure they feel a 100% worse and that must be horrific……but to me she isn’t just a dog, she’s Izzy, she’s part of my family who we had for 6 years, we love her so much and I cannot and will not just give up on her.
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