Jessica with Delilah, Gunner & Lucille
April 26, 2016
I have three purebred Australian Shepherds: Delilah (female blue merle, 5 years old), Gunner (male blue merle, born 100% deaf & 3 years old), and the baby of the Aussie squad Lucille (female, black tri, born 100% deaf and epileptic, 9 months old). I have always enjoyed monitoring our dogs’ activity levels and sleep habits. Fortunately I have never needed to rely on Whistle to locate one of my fur-babies - until yesterday.
I just moved and we are sickeningly close to the five lane highway 50 that goes right though South Lake Tahoe, CA. I was working on moving the last few boxes in our new home when Lucille, our 9-month old, rang the bells on the door to go potty. (If you haven't heard of bell training check it out, it works awesome!) I accidentally hooked my rambunctious puppy's leash to the flimsy jump ring when taking her outside. After one giant tug, she broke the ring and her tags - a locator chip tag, her epilepsy and deaf tag, and her address tag with vet info - all fell off.
I ran after her without my phone, hoping I could get her attention before she got to the highway. But I watched terrified as she crossed the five lanes of flowing traffic on highway 50, thinking my next action would be to run into traffic to pick her up after getting hit by a car. She safely made it across by some miracle. I quickly realized that if she turned around she would bolt back to me, taking aussie-frogger to another level by crossing the highway again. I had to make a decision: keep chasing her on foot, or run back to my house, grab my cell phone, and get my Jeep.
Deciding to lose a line of sight with a deaf epileptic puppy was a major decision. Since Lucy is deaf, I can't call her or use squeak toys or anything, meaning I would solely rely on her Whistle GPS to locate her. I chose Whistle.
I got into my Jeep and began the 3 minute intervals of tracking Lucille while breaking most traffic laws, knowing every second that passed meant another second for her to get hit by a car or bus. The Whistle location ping sent me to an address on Genoa off of Black Bart, very close to protected & undeveloped forest land. We have a major problem with coyotes luring and killing playful pups and small dogs, so if she ventured into the forest that could quickly become a fatality via coyotes.
Once her GPS consistently pinged the same address, I got out of the Jeep and went searching the street, expecting to find her bunny hopping and obliviously chasing squirrels, butterflies and eviscerating flowers (I call it picking flowers for Momma). I did not expect Whistle to ping her at the exact address of this nice guy that had lured her in with french fries, but that was where she was!!! I could not believe it.
I can't begin to thank you enough. I know the Whistle GPS received a lot of criticism when it was rolled out. Lucy is deaf, had no tags on, and was unfamiliar with the area she escaped from. Without Whistle GPS I would have NEVER had found her, certainly not 18 minutes after beginning her tracking session. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone at Whistle for all of your hard work and your product that brought my little deaf girl back home safe. I am a nursing student and incredibly poor otherwise I would send a dozen pizzas and cases of beer to the Whistle office. So I am asking for a rain-check after I graduate in 2018 and land a job in an ICU.
While Lucille was probably bummed her adventure came to an end, I am infinitely grateful and I will be a Whistle customer for life. Thank you for bringing this little angel home safe!