MASCOUTAH — Bonnie the Scottish Terrier is missing. And there is a four-dog tracking team and a professional dog searcher looking for her.
Bonnie disappeared 15 days ago when she walked out of a door left ajar at a home in the 400 block of Main Street. She hasn't been seen since.
Daine and John Brundage, Bonnie's foster parents, started looking for her, posting pictures and offering a $1,000 reward. They got a couple of prank calls but no solid leads on Bonnie's whereabouts.
So, they called Karin TarQwyn, who runs Lost Pet Professionals in Nebraska.
TarQwyn first "profiled" Bonnie by looking at her history.
Bonnie had a tough life before she was rescued by St. Louis Scottish Terrier rescue from a Michigan puppy mill, Daine Brundage said. For years, Bonnie was used exclusively for breeding. She rarely left her crate for the first three weeks she was at the Brundages.
And that history would make it more difficult to find Bonnie, TarQwyn said. Bonnie would be shy, timid and avoiding. Some of the tactics the Brundages were using would make it even more difficult to find Bonnie,.
"She told us that we shouldn't call her. We shouldn't have a bunch of people out looking for her," Daine Brundage said. The Brundages offered a $1,000 reward for the pup.
"That would drive her further underground, further away," TarQwyn said.
A dog like Bonnie would seek a remote area without a lot of people or stimuli. That need for security would trump everything else, including food, water or shelter, TarQwyn said.
TarQwyn then studied aerial maps of the area where Bonnie ran away, looking for an area that may fit Bonnie's need for isolation.
On Friday, TarQwyn brought her tracking dogs, Cade, a chocolate Lab, Harper, a Jack Russell terrier, and Yaeger, a Belgian Malinois mix, and Paco, a Chihuahua, to a remote area south of Mascoutah to pick up Bonnie's scent.
It was her best guess where Bonnie could have went.
After taking a sniff of Bonnie's halter, Yaeger caught a scent near a weedy ditch and led TarQwyn up near a reservoir. No Bonnie.
Harper sniffed in a ditch near a country road. No Bonnie.
TarQwyn wasn't discouraged.
She was heading to a freshly plowed field to search for a scent and find the best place to set a trap for the 8-year-old black Scottie.
TarQwyn also started a social media blitz to find Bonnie, along with a Facebook page called "Help Bring Home Bonnie the Scottie Dog in Mascoutah Illinois."
TarQwyn will only be in Mascoutah for one day, Brundage said. And Brundage and the Scottie Rescue agreed to pay her with hopes that fundraisers would cover the costs which may be as high as $4,000.
The Brundages hope if someone spots Bonnie, they will give them a call at 618-979-8259 or 618-978-0693. They ask that they not try to catch Bonnie or call to her. Just call.
"We hope to find a dog who may need veterinary care, who may be hungry, who may be dirty, but one we can bring home," Daine Brundage said.
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2570.