Lei Lei and Cara's Story
I had just gotten married two days ago, and my new husband and I were on our way up to northern California to be the maid of honor and best man in our best friends’ wedding. We had adopted and rescued our lovely Lei Lei for about a year at that point, and she had become part of the family. She is what got me through the final few months of dental school and helped me through all the stresses of planning a wedding. We asked my mom to babysit her for the 3 days we would be gone.
I was doing morning yoga in preparation for the wedding, and after a lovely relaxing yoga session, I picked up my phone and saw 16 missed calls from my mom. I called her back and all I heard was “Lei Lei is gone forever.”
The feeling I had was indescribable. I felt like my life was over. I was just about to start residency in orthodontics and I knew I needed her to help get me through the next few years. I burst into tears and broke down in the bathroom. What should I do? My baby is gone! I wanted so badly to leave right then and drive home to look for her, but I also felt like I couldn’t leave my best friends’ wedding. It was the biggest dilemma.
My husband and I ultimately decided to stay through the ceremony, then embarked on the 8 hour journey back home to find her. We were determined. We HAD to find her. We live in an area swamped with coyotes. It was getting dark and it was 105 degrees outside. I also live right next to a freeway. The chances were so low, but we just knew in our hearts we had to go.
After 8 excruciating hours, we arrived home at 3am and immediately put on our headlights and starting searching. We hiked up the mountains behind my house, ran into 2 coyote packs, walked through every brush and hill calling her name. But no Lei Lei.
Night turned into daylight, and finally there was enough light to see. We called search parties out, posted hundreds of flyers all over the community. I went door to door knocking on everyone’s door asking if they had seen her. We asked gardeners, neighbors, workers.... no sighting. One day went by and night began to fall again. We hadn’t eaten, slept , or drank any water. We were on the verge of fainting but we knew we couldn’t give up. She was all but 12 pounds and in this coyote Infested area, we knew she wouldn’t survive another night.
We searched all night, near and far. We had the help of friends, families, and even my old 17 year old dog who could barely walk came out searching with us. Another long painful night went by, and still no Lei Lei. But we were still not going to give up.
Our neighbors informed us that she had two Pomeranians eaten by coyotes and we should just give up. We hadn’t eaten or slept in 48 hours, and both of us were so fatigued and exhausted that we could barely walk. We knew we needed some water and rest, but neither of us wanted to take a break. We had to find her.
Our moms convinced us to take a break from it and get some rest, and to start to come to terms with the fact that she may be gone. We refused to believe it, but agreed to take the night off to finally get some rest. We held hands, sat on the street out in front of my house, and agreed that we had to start to prepare ourselves for the worst. Three nights out on her own with no food or water would be nearly impossible to survive in. We had to accept the possibility of her being eaten, starved to death, or even hit by a car.
As we sat in front of my driveway holding hands, crying our hearts out, we heard a jingling. I thought I was DREAMING! I looked up and THERE SHE WAS! She came back to us! She survived two nights and three days with no food, no water, and in 105 degree heat!!! She was starving, tangled, scratched up, and exhausted but she was reunited with us!
I have never felt the way I felt as she ran into my arms and jumped into my lap covering me with kisses! It was meant to be! We were just meant to be together! Miracles do come true!