When I left you last, we’d finally caught Brownie. But little Gracie is another story. That gal’s quite the survivor — smart and stubborn, refusing to enter any type of trap.
I disguised our remote control drop trap with clippings from my garden…no luck.
I made a taller prop to hold up another drop trap for her easy access…no go.
We tried using nets, walk-in traps and fat-cat traps. We followed on foot and by car hoping she’d tire so we could net her…still nothing.
Each time I arrive on the island I hold my breath hoping I don’t find Gracie lying in the road. If we don’t catch her, I’m afraid that’s her fate. My heart stops when I think I see her approaching, only to realize it’s a jackrabbit. I swear I’ve aged 10 years this month.
One day last week we fanned out with 6 reinforcements. I headed into the brush behind an abandoned building where a large tree sat. And there, perched on one of the lower branches, was a sweet gray and white cat meowing at me.
Why was she in this remote area? Seemed she was just waiting to be found. So I set a trap while the famished cat nearly knocked me over trying to reach the food. Easiest catch I’ve ever made.
Heading back to my car with the polydactyl (who looked pregnant), I stopped to pee when the hugest snake slithered across the path a foot in front of me! NEWSFLASH: Woman Dies From Snakebite On Butt While Peeing. I wanted to scream, but for once I was speechless.
Anyway, Toni held the cat at her home while our search continued. Again, her innate radar found Gracie hiding in bushes. Once discovered, the pup sprung up and dashed off, her matted dreadlocks whipping in the wind. This dog’s speed is unbelievable. And she’s a poodle mix, for Christ’s sake!
Some of the gals tailed her in their cars while I was under the mistaken impression I might head her off on foot. Foolish girl. After running as fast as I could with my gimpy back for what seemed like 2 miles (but was more like 100 yards), Toni swept in and picked me up, bless her heart.
We all caravanned behind Gracie. Along the way, passers-by pointed out her direction. She dodged and weaved like Muhammad Ali until we had her cornered. A couple of us, nets in hand, jumped from the cars (figuring she was exhausted), only for her to sprint in another direction. Needless to say, a car pursuit of a terrified dog was a horrible idea and we lost her deep into Mare Island.
Despondent, we hoped she’d find her way back. Planning to regroup the next day, we prepared to leave when we spotted Gracie back at her feeding station. How was that possible? Did she have an identical twin?!
It’s been over a month since she and 6 other dogs were abandoned on the island. The others were caught relatively quickly, but Gracie is a challenge. We’ve spent 10 and 12 hour days waiting for her to enter traps she runs from. And drugging her is too dangerous since she disappears when we blink. And we tend to blink.
Toni and I just devised a plan (a brilliant one, if I do say so myself) to finally catch Gracie. If you’re reading this on Sunday, we’re on the island implementing our last hope at success in reuniting Gracie with her buddy, Brownie. Here’s a hint with how we’re going to do it. Wonder if you can figure it out?
Oh, by the way, the morning after the polydactyl arrived at Marin Humane, she gave birth to 4 healthy kittens. Mom and her offspring are being fostered and will be available for adoption in a couple months.
Needless to say, stay tuned for the final chapter next week of Holy Crap, Part 5. I promise.