Even a cast on a broken leg isn’t enough to bring Bailey, a two-year-old Shiba Inu/husky mix, down. Jumping up and down and happily playing about on her parents couch in their Lindenhurst, Chicago home. And why would it? Bailey has definitely had much worse.
“It was your classic hoarder situation,” Joan Boro of Underdog Rescue Inc. said.
There were more than 15 other dogs being “raised” alongside Bailey. It took a while, but officials, along with other animal organizations, finally got the man hording the dogs to give them up in December 2013.
“He didn’t see having so many dogs clumped together in a home as a bad thing. They were just his dogs,” said Boro.
Bailey was brought to one of the animal organizations, and then was adopted out by a family.
Things should have ended there. She found a loving family and was adopted, right? All should have been well. However, things were far from it.
On the 27th, December, while being walked at Grant Woods Forest Preserve, just a few days after adoption, she slipped her collar and became lost. Unfortunately for her, this was during the “polar vortex” last year, which brought with it extreme winds and cold. Sometimes measuring at wind-chill factors of 30 degrees below zero.
Once again, in a total stroke of luck, Jennifer Hilo, volunteer for Underdog Rescue recognized Bailey on a Facebook post.
“I just knew in my gut it was her and after talking with the [adoption] family, I confirmed it,” said Hilo.
Hilo then went, day after day, through blistering cold winds and below zero temperatures, every day, searching for Bailey.
“She just never gave up on finding her,” said Boro when talking about Hilo.
The alliance for Humane Action was also searching for the dog, through the same conditions, daily. Sharon Johnson, a member with the Alliance put out flyers and posted Bailey’s picture near the area where she had been lost.
“She had come from such a horrible situation and she was lost in the worst winter in years,” said Hilo. “I just couldn’t let that happen.”
Forty-seven days after she was lost, someone had made a call to say they’ve seen her. She had been spotted near Fox Lake, in the Lindenhurst area, not far from where pictures and flyers were posted, with an injured front leg, lying in a driveway.
Not one to give up on anything, Bailey was not caught without a bit of work. Numerous live traps had to be set by animal control. She outsmarted every one of them, avoiding the pressure place she needed to set upon to be captured, and just grabbed the food used as “bait.”
“She’s just one smart dog,” says Hilo.
Finally, they were able to trick her into one of the traps, and were able to catch her.
“All the neighbors came out to see her,” said Hilo. They were quite happy to see the dog spotted roaming about the area yards, as she was not going to be stuck out in the horrific cold.
“She’s just a tough pup,” says Boro. “We found her behind bushes at the home where she was caught in a type of igloo she had formed with her body to keep warm.”
Bailey is now safe and sound, and staying with Hilo and her husband, and their dogs. This is only while her broken front leg heals, and the perfect forever home and family for her.
“I’m actually really going to miss her,” said Hilo. “My husband is going to miss her, too. He calls her undefeatable.”