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Dog Survives 42-Day Saga in Yellowstone: A Veterinarian’s Joy

Posted September 09, 2015 in A Vet's Life

Hurray for happy endings! According to Adam Carlson of, after 42 days of being lost in Yellowstone National Forest, “Jade, a 17-month-old,” blue-eyed, Australian Shepherd, was reunited with her family.

Australian Shepherd looking to the skyHow was Jade lost?
On July 23, Jade and her owner, David Sowers, were involved in a head-on collision in Yellowstone, says Whitney Bermes of Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Sower’s girlfriend, Laura Gillice, was also in the car.

Once freed from the car, Sowers was airlifted to a hospital in Bozeman with a shattered knee and multiple broken bones, reports Carlson. Unfortunately, Jade bolted from the scene when park rangers attempted to free her from her crushed cage.

The search for Jade
In her article, Bermes details the exhaustive hunt for Jade. During her 42-day absence there were several Jade sightings, as many as three or four in one day. At one point, there was a lapse of 16 days without a single sighting. Sowers and Gillice had pretty much given up hope. They traveled from Denver, back to Yellowstone four times with hopes of finding Jade. In the meantime, Kat Brekken, a senior reservations agent for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, busied herself with rescue efforts. She recalled thinking, “I have to find this dog1.”

Brekken set up a Facebook page for the search and put up posters. She used a recording of Sowers calling for Jade and played it in the areas where Jade was sighted. She even used some of Sowers dirty laundry as bait hoping to lure Jade into a trap1.

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Nancy has more than 30 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified veterinary specialist in internal medicine as well as a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2014.

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