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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi. My parents recently adopted a 3 month old lab/pit/great dane mix from a shelter. She was the smallest of her litter and weighs about 16 pounds as of yesterday.

Tonight there is a huge thunderstorm, has been pouring rain and lightning/thunder for hours now. My dad and his buddy were out in our garage watching the storm and had the puppy with them. She went out to the mouth of the garage to check something out, didn't seem scared of the storm at this point (according to dad), was sniffing around, and headed out of their view. They assumed she was heading to the front porch to see Mom, but mom was actually inside at the time. So about five minutes go by, and they realize neither mom nor puppy is on the front porch. She's gone.

We live out in the country on about 10 acres of land surrounding our home, those acres are planted with young trees and have tall grass. On walks the puppy has liked to play in the tall grass. There is a very slow road at the end of our long driveway and a few neighbors around. We walked our field and our yard and garage, checked under cars, etc. She doesn't know her name well yet and is a very unvocal dog (we've only heard her bark once, she only whines when she's in her crate and needs to go out. That's literally it).

Does anybody have any idea what a young puppy in the pitch dark during a very loud storm would tend to do? Do you think she got scared and ran? Would she hunker down under one of our thousands (we have about 8,000 trees planted in the field) of trees and wait the storm out?

She is microchipped but there are no shelters within 50 miles of our house so I'm not sure if anyone would find her and think to take her to one. Also, I'm worried about coyotes, they are quite vocal around our house, but maybe they wouldn't be out in such a bad storm? Any advice would be appreciated. (And please, my dad knows he messed up by not keeping a closer eye on her, so you don't need to bother with admonishing him.)
 

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I think its an equal bet between her just bolting and her just wandering around and then seeking shelter when she got wet. It's totally possible she just found a fun scent and wasn't bothered by the thunder, or that maybe she wasn't scared until she was fully outside in rain/thunder/lightning, etc.

I would suggest getting posters with her picture up ASAP, offering a reward might be a good idea too to avoid people just deciding to keep her if they find her. Going to neighbor's houses and giving them a copy of a poster with her picture and your number might be a good idea, too. Make a note that she doesn't know her name or any commands yet, also, and suggest on the poster that if she's found they try to use food to get her to come to them.

Continue to comb the property, also. She might not know her name, but hearing people's voices in a scary place might be enough for a sociable pup to come looking for help.

Good luck!
 

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I would also alert the local police and give them a photo of the dog in case anyone finds her and reports her missing. I hope you find her!
 

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Maybe try leaving out smelly food as well- like canned cat food or tuna.

If there's not a nearby shelter someone would take her to, let local vet clinics and the police station know she's missing, because someone might try taking her to either of those places.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE

Little Fiona is back home safe and sound! My mother had a weird mother's intuition thing or something at about 2AM this morning, went outside and looked around a bit and found her hiding under a chair on our front porch. A little scared but ultimately back to normal today. So we're still not exactly sure where she ran off to and what she got up to while she was there, but she came back on her own and now has an "eyes on the dog at all times when outdoors" rule attached to her, haha.

Thank you for all your suggestions, I was ready to start calling people and pumping out flyers!

Here's a pic of the runaway:
 

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Oh, what a cutie! Very good that she got safely back home!

And about intuition. I once erm... misplaced my dog. I was some kilometers away from home, on a walk and had let her off-leash. I tried to make her do an exercise she could not perform and when she knew she could not get it right she though I was angry and ran away. It was dark and she did not respond to my calls. I had no clock, no phone, no flashlight. Nothing. So I walked all the way home almost sick from worry (what if she tries to cross a road and gets killed by a car), calling her by name every now and then to inform her where I was. I ran into some teens on mopeds and asked them if they had seen a runaway lassie. Nope, they had not.

I collected some items like canned cat food (Alva loves it, it stinks and the noise of a spoon hitting its walls is quite distinct), flashlight and so, grabbed my bike and started peddling towards the spot I last saw her. Suddenly I got the weird thought that wouldn't it be funny if she just appeared out of the blue, trotting next to me.

That idea was off course utterly ridiculous. Straight out of some book that likely copies Lassie Come-Home.

I kept pushing myself uphill and hoped I would find her.

A strange feeling caught me. Was there a shadow on my left? A shadow that was not there a moment before? Off course the angle of lights had changed and it would be just my eyes doing tricks, eh? You know what I thought only few seconds ago. Expect nothing! But I had to look.

The shadow turned out to be sable. It had four legs and it had aligned herself with the back wheel of my bike, trotting beautifully beside me. And it was very happy to see me!

How could Alva have known what I thought just a moment before she joined me! I stopped my bike and petted and scratched her everywhere and she jumped and whined. Then we went home, she got fed and I went to bed.

The stupid exercise? We returned later to seek that geocache we had been looking for, on a long line. I read my notes a bit better, realised my mistake in map reading and this time started searching on the correct slope. We eventually found it, it was poorly maintained and not really worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh, what a cutie! Very good that she got safely back home!

And about intuition. I once erm... misplaced my dog. I was some kilometers away from home, on a walk and had let her off-leash. I tried to make her do an exercise she could not perform and when she knew she could not get it right she though I was angry and ran away. It was dark and she did not respond to my calls. I had no clock, no phone, no flashlight. Nothing. So I walked all the way home almost sick from worry (what if she tries to cross a road and gets killed by a car), calling her by name every now and then to inform her where I was. I ran into some teens on mopeds and asked them if they had seen a runaway lassie. Nope, they had not.

I collected some items like canned cat food (Alva loves it, it stinks and the noise of a spoon hitting its walls is quite distinct), flashlight and so, grabbed my bike and started peddling towards the spot I last saw her. Suddenly I got the weird thought that wouldn't it be funny if she just appeared out of the blue, trotting next to me.

That idea was off course utterly ridiculous. Straight out of some book that likely copies Lassie Come-Home.

I kept pushing myself uphill and hoped I would find her.

A strange feeling caught me. Was there a shadow on my left? A shadow that was not there a moment before? Off course the angle of lights had changed and it would be just my eyes doing tricks, eh? You know what I thought only few seconds ago. Expect nothing! But I had to look.

The shadow turned out to be sable. It had four legs and it had aligned herself with the back wheel of my bike, trotting beautifully beside me. And it was very happy to see me!

How could Alva have known what I thought just a moment before she joined me! I stopped my bike and petted and scratched her everywhere and she jumped and whined. Then we went home, she got fed and I went to bed.

The stupid exercise? We returned later to seek that geocache we had been looking for, on a long line. I read my notes a bit better, realised my mistake in map reading and this time started searching on the correct slope. We eventually found it, it was poorly maintained and not really worth it.
It's quite the panicky feeling when you can't see or hear them anymore isn't it! I got a good laugh out of that story and I'm glad Alva found you, so thank you for sharing! It's lucky that our dogs sometimes seem to know when we can't find them, so they decide to come find us instead :D
 
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