By Pete Thomas/GrindTv
Folks might recall the saga of an abandoned dog named Shaggy, who has eluded capture in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for six months, despite being seen almost daily in neighborhoods and walking alongside residents out walking their dogs.
We can now report that Shaggy, a large Newfoundland believed to be about 2 years old, is on the verge of being captured in a nearby suburb.
Shaggy, who has outwitted animal-control experts armed with a net gun, and has only become more skittish when tranquilized, has for the past several days been hanging out at a private residence where yet another attempted capture will soon occur.
The dog, whose plight became known nationally and internationally about three weeks ago, for the past several days he has been eating from a dog dish placed just inside the garage of a home in Ada.
He sleeps in a cardboard-and-tarp doghouse beneath a tall pine tree in the yard, which along with his bear-like coat helps him stay warm in sub-freezing temperatures. By day he enjoys playing with the family’s two Airedales.
Shaggy even has a favorite toy.
“It’s just this green cylinder toy that makes a noise when he squeezes it,” Haley, one of the home's residents, said in a phone interview. “He’ll chase it and pick it up, but he won’t bring it back.”
But despite Shaggy having finally attained some kind of structure, after having spent night after night in ravines and roaming other neighborhoods, he remains ultra-cautious about people and so far has not allowed anyone to pet him.
And nobody has tried, according to Melissa Borden, who owns a rehab facility for feral dogs and is coordinating the effort to catch Shaggy. She explained that any sudden moves by the Stubbarts or their friends toward Shaggy might result in him running away, and not returning.
The plan so far has been to keep feeding Shaggy, moving his dish a little farther inside the garage each day, allowing him to get comfortable inside the garage. The main garage door has been left open.
Then on capture day, the garage door will be closed, and the smaller side door to the garage will be left open. Shaggy’s food will be placed inside the smaller door, and since he’s familiar with the garage, it's hoped he'll venture in, looking for his meal.
Borden said Thursday that the first capture attempt could be Thursday night or Friday, or on the weekend. “We’re not in a huge rush, and despite the cold we know he’s not going to freeze to death,” Borden said. “So we want to make sure the timing is right.”
Assuming Shaggy is captured by this method, and that’s assuming a lot given Shaggy’s wily elusiveness so far, he will be kept at the evoked Barn until he’s ready to be put up for adoption.
–Images are via the Help Shaggy Facebook page