sheltieI am fostering a little bi-black Sheltie, Domino, who is as sweet as the day is long but is also tremendously scared and skittish around people. And unfortunately, on Saturday July 23rd, I let all the dogs out in back to do their business and didn’t realize the back gate was not latched. We had just had a thunderstorm roll through and strong winds were pushing in behind the storm. These winds were enough to blow my gate open and let all 5 dogs out.

When I realized that the dogs were gone, I immediately started searching for them. My 3 collies and my sheltie all ran back home with the aid of some neighborhood kids. However, Domino was frightened by the children and took off running.

The first thing I did was call the local police department and asked them to keep an eye out for Domino. Next I called the local animal shelter and notified them that Domino was missing and if he should be turned in to notify me as soon as possible. Third on the list was the MN Sheltie Rescue, Domino’s owner. My fourth call was to Ilga Cimbulis, an animal communicator. I had taken several animal communication classes previously from Ilga and I felt quite confident in her work.

Ilga agreed to help me find Domino. She communicated with Domino and this is what she saw through Domino’s eyes: He ran past a church, a beauty salon, a gas station and then he came to a body of water. She said he had definitely headed southeast from my home and hadn’t gone further than a mile to mile and a half.

I was elated to hear this. I could verify the church since we had had sightings of Domino by Faith Lutheran Church which is two blocks from my house. I could verify the gas station which is located about a half a mile southeast of my house and I could verify the body of water—that being the Crow River. But I couldn’t think of any beauty salon southeast of me. Early Sunday morning I got in the car and drove around the area southeast of my home looking for Domino and what did I drive past but a beauty salon only one block from my home. I had completely forgotten all about it. So I was able to verify everything that Ilga had seen.

On Sunday, my friend Terry came over and we searched for Domino based on things Ilga had gotten from Domino in her communication with him. Ilga had us drive to a street that I didn’t even know existed and she said we would find a cluster of 5 or 6 1960s to 1970s homes. Domino had been in this area looking for food and had drunk water at a slough/marsh area nearby. We drove over to this road and sure enough, there were 5 homes set back from the main street and adjacent to the Crow River. I talked to everyone there but no one had seen Domi. It appeared that the area where Domino was moving was land owned by 3M in Hutchinson. I talked to the gentlemen in the 3M guard house and one of them said he had seen Domino the day before running down Oakland Ave straight towards the 3M plant. This sighting again verified Ilga’s information. I requested and received permission to walk 3M’s property along the river to search for Domino and I set one of the live traps between the 3M plant and the river. Again, Ilga kept getting information that Domino was roaming in this area and was keeping close to the river area.

The MN Sheltie Rescue helped pass out hundreds of flyers in the area, put up signs throughout town and hired an automated call facility to call and alert everyone in Hutchinson within a 1 mile radius of my home. Still the only sighting we received that week was from a member of the Hutchinson police department who said he had seen a large black and white Sheltie in a trailer park in the northwest part of town. The Sheltie Rescue wanted me to follow up on any sightings but my heart was not in it. I did go up there Wednesday evening and passed out flyers but no one I talked to had seen a Sheltie.

I went to work Thursday and unfortunately left my cell phone plugged in to the charger at home. A call had come in about 1:30 Thursday afternoon from a City of Hutchinson park employee who said he had seen Domino come out of the marsh area behind the park maintenance building . By the time I got home and listened to the message, it was 4:00, but I raced over there anyway and tried calling Domino out. Nothing. Since this was the first sighting in the area Ilga had us focus on since the initial sightings the day Domino ran away, I decided to place both live traps in the vicinity. I checked the traps about 6:00 in the morning but I hadn’t caught anything.

About 7:30 in the morning I received a call from another park employee at the maintenance building who had just seen Domino come out again from the marsh area fronting the river. I grabbed one of my collies and we went down to the river calling out for Domino. Still nothing. I called the Sheltie Rescue to keep them updated and as I was talking to them and walking back towards my car, who should come running out of the marsh but Domino? Harley and I ran back to the area and again tried to get Domino to come out. After 10 minutes he finally came out, saw Harley and ran over to him with tail wagging. After a little more coaxing I was able to grab Domino and bring him home.

Ilga’s information had been 100% correct the whole time. And he was actually found about 200 yards from the 3M plant and he was hanging by the river. I am so grateful to Ilga for all her help in getting Domino back home and for pointing us in the right area where he was eventually found. This is one story that has a positive happy ending and a large amount of credit goes to Ilga and her skills at animal communication! Thanks, Ilga.


If you’d like to learn more about Sheltie Rescue, please visit mnsheltierescue.org