I usually write the blog update on Wednesday. I had a fairly good idea of what I was going to write, and now I’m not writing it.

We were due to leave Tucson this morning. When the suitcases came out, Bella was upset, even when she saw that her suitcase was out in the kitchen ready to be loaded. She was still nervous and worried.

Then in a moment in inattention, while getting one car in the driveway gate and waiting for another to arrive, Bella managed to slip out. She was last seen heading eastbound on Tucson’s 5th Street.

We’ve done what we can. We’ve searched every street in the neighborhood over and over. We’ve called Animal Control. We’ve called the Humane Society. She’s chipped but she wasn’t wearing a collar or a tag. Those were in the suitcase. (My fault!) We’ve called Avid, the chip company to make sure they have our current contact information.

So now all we can do is wait and hope for a phone call. When Daphne got out (of the same driveway) years ago, the chip call came from the Humane Society within half an hour an hour. We’re three hours into the vigil right now with no call.

Bill is in his office grinding paper through the shredder. I’m in the living room grinding my teeth.

Bella found us once three years ago. I’m praying she can do it again.

So if anyone in Tucson has seen a little brown long-haired miniature dachshund, please run up the flag.

47 thoughts on “Heartache

  1. Of course your whole family and sweet Bella are in our thoughts and prayers. I have posted on my FB page and have some friends in that area too. I met Bella on a visit she made to Spokane. She is such a dear sweet doggy and needs to come home! Thanks for the heart wrenching update. Polly

  2. I am so sorry. I pray she will find you. I know you will stay till she is home. That is a heartbreak.

  3. Prayers that Bella finds her way home or someone finds her and brings her home. I’m posting your story on my FB page – hope it helps!

  4. Thinking of you. Please let us know when you find her. She loves you so much, as both of you love her, as well as the rest of your family. I have seen her a couple of times in Green Valley Library. What a gal

  5. Have shared it so my friends and I will be on the lookout. Since I am on the far eastside I have almost no chance of being the one who finds her.

  6. I’m so sorry! Although I’ve never met Bella in person, I can tell that she’s a very sweet dog. I remember meeting Daffy and Aggie in person years ago (they were a riot chacing the soap bubbles in your back yard!) and know that you’re a wonderful dog mom. Put up signs in your neighborhood. Some kind person may have taken her in.

  7. Pray that you and Bella are reunited soon and that she is okay. Wonder what she had on her mind? Maybe wanting to stay in Tucson and not travel. Hope this story has a happy ending for all of you.

  8. I will put in prayers for Bella to be found quickly and safely. I can’t imagine your blog posts without her.

  9. I saw the post that Dan Marries posted on FB and like some of the others, I shared it. I run a small dog rescue but since I am on the east side, I don’t believe I will get a call about her. If there is anything any of us can do, please do not hesitate to ask. I will keep you in my prayers.

  10. My prayers, tears, and well wishes are with you, Judith. I have faith that the good folks of Tucson will find your lost, sweet Bella, and have her back in your arms very soon. Please don’t beat up on yourself. Seems that all your fans identify what you’re going through. Praying for Bella’s protection and comfort for you! Looking forward to your happy, updated blog.

  11. Sending positive thoughts and prayers out into the universe to give Bella a short and safe journey back to your arms!

  12. My heart goes out to you over the missing Bella. I had a dog go missing and offered a reward, my 4 month old Golden, was returned by a 10 year old boy the next day. He had kept him safe overnight, and brought him home. Best wishes on a safe return of your mini.

  13. Hope all turns out okay. We had a cat missing for two months once when we lived in Idaho. We had given up hope, but one morning, I heard him yowling. He came home scolding us, it seemed, for his disappearance. And, he was just fine, fat and sassy as always.

  14. So sorry to hear about Bella running off , probably because she thought you were leaving her. Poor little girl. I live in Tucson but foothills so probably won’t see her. But do hope and pray she turns up and soon. We have two Chi’s and a silkie. We did have a Yorkie who was killed by a coyote, so we know how bad it hurt to lose a dog. Bella was just a little upset and I do believe she will come home to you. Praying she will return or will be found. Bella, come home!!

  15. As a hobby breeder for 25+ years and a dog owner all my life, I have unfortunately had lost dogs on occasion. I usually have some sort of intuition if the dog is safe or not and it has always been accurate, even when Taga and Bucky were gone from a Sunday late night until they found their way to Colleen McDaniel’s place by Wednesday morning (that’s what you call seriously LOVEING your boarding kennel!). Another time we tracked Chako for 9 days and got him back, skinny and tired but back home.

    So don’t give up. Keep your pup in your heart. Good luck.

  16. I am so sorry to hear. Over the years, two of our dogs have gotten lose. One came back in a few hours. The other was 3 days, and I was frantic. But they both came back, scared but unscathed. My prayers are for a quick return, and for your peace as you wait.

  17. We pray Bella will find her way home. I know how terribly hard this time can be. Just wish we could be there to help you find her. Our babies (pets) are our children and a dear part of our family!

  18. I am so sorry about your Doxie. I came home earlier this week from work and found out that the lawn people had not secured my gate. My golden had left the property. I had a phone message that someone had my dog and had been found out by a main roadway. But my doorbell rang and my neighbor saw her out at the entrance of our housing plan and Sadie went right up to her. So my story turned out well and my two chihuahuas chose not to go exploring. I have 2 different Id tags on them plus their rabies tags (and they are all chipped). I just never wanted to loose one of my animal family members. Life can change so quickly (just like when your family members were hit by another car). They were fortunately all okay and hopefully your dog will make it home safely as well. You all will remain in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know when your dog makes it home, please.

  19. I am so sorry maybe by now she’ll be found. I could say all the things people say to try to make you feel better but nothing really helps. I can only tell you may heart aches for you and our prayers are with you. Our little guys get into our hearts and it just hurts.

  20. It looks like you have a tremendous amount of support, but still feel I should add my thoughts as well. My heart aches and breaks for you as it is difficult to lose a ‘family member,’ which I know she was for you. Prayers will be added on yours and Bella’s behalf for a safe return and family reunion.



  21. I sure hope you have found her. Such a sweet looking daschund and our dogs are our family and such good companions.

  22. I have friends down in Tucson and will spread the word.fingers and toes all crossed for Bella’s safe return.

  23. Post photos of her everywhere if you haven’t already…..REWARD gets people’s attention. Call vet clinics too. Call the radio stations, newspaper and TV too. You are a famous person..use it to your advantage now. She will be found!!

  24. I would hop in a car and search if I was close. Nothing wrenches the heart the heart harder than a lost puppy

  25. These two sites have great, innovative tips for recovering lost dogs and cats -http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-posters.php
    http://m.granitestatedogrecovery.com/Lost-Dog-Quick-Action-Plan.html (may need to delete the ‘m’ at the beginning of the 2nd site address if you’re not on a phone)

    Offering as large a reward as you can will motivate some people, who otherwise wouldn’t care, to keep a lookout, and noting “no questions asked” may help bring people forward.

    Please let local vets know – if possible, contact all vets within a 2-4 hour drive; call and ask to speak to the vet and/or the office manager before mailing, Emailing, or FAXing your ‘lost’ poster, and ask them to keep a lookout over the next days/weeks. Remember that some Petsmarts have vet practices, so include them as well.

    Posters should also be placed anywhere that allows you to post them – not just at pet stores and vet’s offices, but also, and very importantly, including gas stations, Starbucks, grocery stores, deli’s, wine/liquor stores, gyms, hair & nail salons, etc. Keep tape and thumbtacks in the car with you, so you’re never without supplies to put your posters up.

    Also, if there’s a local Hispanic population, add the words ‘Perro perdido (or gato, if a cat), grande recompensa, sin hacer preguntas’ to all posters (“lost dog/cat, large reward, no questions asked”). Please keep your search efforts strong – don’t give up.

  26. Thank you so much to so many that have reached out to help and offer kind words. My parents are worried sick but, I know there is comfort knowing so many care and understand what they are going through.

    Jeanne T. aka J.A.’s daughter

  27. My heart breaks for you. I’ll keep sharing your posts about little Bella, and pray for her safe return. I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I wrote you a few years ago. You were so kind, I was very touched that you wrote back.
    We’ll find your sweet Bella.

  28. Post on Craigslist Tucson. Post in Pets as well as Lost and Found. Also check those spots for Found Pets. Check and Post on Pets911.com and also Petfinder.com.

  29. I’ll keep Bella in my prayers and also will let all my friends in Tucson know and we will keep our eyes and ears open. I also have a weinner dog and 4 others that are all rescue and my friends are animal advocates also.

    I’ve lived in Tucson for 4 years – moving from North Carolina to help with my grandson who had cancer…..he passed and I decided to stay in the warmer weather and to be closer to my daughter, who lives in CA.

    I am an avid reader and have read ALL your books, especially Sheriff Brady….but since I am on social security, I have to reserve at the library. I do notice you come to Tucson quite often for book signings, and would love to meet you, but I cannot afford to buy the books….sorry….and I know that is what you do at book signings. I DO enjoy all your books and look forward to the next one.

    Again,will keep you and your dog in my prayers and will begin a hurt for her with friends in Tucson.

    Charlotte Cox

  30. Shared on my FB with family and friends in Tucson. Definitely put her on CL, your FB page, and anywhere else that people will see it. Have faith you will find her.

  31. words will fall short I’m afraid when you’re worried about your pup….but do know that your fans that are dog lovers are all behind you. Please keep us informed if there is anything we can do for either of you…

  32. I immediately shared this last night as we do have friends in Tucson. It seems that you had Bella with you when we heard you speak in Silver City. Hoping that she is back home soon.

  33. Just shared your information with my daughter as we foster cats and kittens for various rescue organizations in Tucson. She has connections with almost all the foster homes and shelters throughout the city for both dogs and cats, so will pass on the message. They will all watch for Bella.

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