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Love & Bunky…Not What I Expected

You may have noticed this, but I haven’t blogged since April. What, pray tell, could be so compelling and so life changing that it could distract me from my passion for lost pet recovery and pet detective work? 

Answer: TRUE LOVE!

Yes. I admit it. I fell in love with a Canadian. I’ve been, um, doing some “research” for the romance portion of the teen romance/mystery novel that I’m crafting!

Mystery Canadian Man Whispering Sweet Nothings in My Ear

However, several other things besides romance have been pulling me away from my blog. Missing Pet Partnership (MPP) has been overwhelmed with lost pet recovery work. Since I last blogged, we’ve been averaging 5 to 7 phone calls per day. That is A LOT for an all volunteer organization that has no office staff and that is struggling to survive in this economy! In addition, we held our first fundraiser (Whine Sleuth) in May, in June we trained many volunteers, in July we helped over 70 families who lost their pets due to 4th of July fireworks, we moved MPP’s office from my home to a business complex, and best of all we partnered with a local animal shelter (Regional Animal Shelter of King County in Kent, WA) to launch our first animal shelter pet detective program which we’ve called Mission Reunite.

Our vision for the Mission Reunite program is everything that Missing Pet Partnership stands for–the concept that one day if you lose your dog or cat, you can go down to your local animal shelter and actually receive sound (lost pet behavior-based) recovery advice and hands-on assistance from the animal shelter staff. I will blog more about Mission Reunite as the program rolls out.

A few weeks ago, something else happened. A woman called Missing Pet Partnership asking for help after her indoor-only cat Bunky escaped from her apartment. My plan was simple. I planned to deliver a humane trap, a wildlife camera, and offer her instructions, encouragement, and hope. Instead, I arrived walked around the apartment complex with Bunky’s guardian to determine just where she should set up the camera in hopes of catching Bunky on camera. After walking a mere 20 yards from her apartment, we came upon one of the stomach dropping signs that indicate that a coyote has killed a cat–clumps of fur…MANY clumps of fur.

Not What I Expected to See...


The fur was the same color as Bunky’s fur and we both knew that Bunky was likely gone. As her grief set in, I asked Bunky’s guardian if she had a family member or someone she could call. “No,” she told me. “Nine months ago my husband left me just four days after my daughter and grandson were both killed in a car accident.” Within a span of a month, this woman had lost her daughter, her grandson, her husband, her house, her job, and any sense of a normal life. Bunky, she told me, had come into her life as a stray after the tragedy. He had been helping her to heal from her grief.

I didn’t know what to say. I consoled her the best I could, went home, and wept. I met with her a week later and gave her a booklet on grief and told her that I’d be praying for her. I have stuck to that commitment to pray for her, just like I’ve stuck to several other commitments in my life, including my refusal to give up on my attempts to form Missing Pet Partnership.

I plan to start blogging again. I need to share my stories instead of letting them stack up for months like pancakes. It is a commitment that I am renewing for others and for myself. No more excuses. No more delays. I did not expect to find love when I did and I did not expect to experience grief like I did on the Bunky case. But as a pet detective, my life is filled with heartwarming as well as heartbreaking stories.

My life is also filled with faith, hope and, thankfully, more love than ever before (thanks to my Canadian beau). But like the Bible says (1 Corinthians 13:13), faith and hope and love are all important, but when it comes down to finding your life partner or losing a beloved child, grandson, or even a housecat named Bunky:

“The greatest of these is love.”

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