Shikoku Ken Discussion
Rakka's Escape and Other Mishaps
We know that Kai Ken tend to release themselves into the wild when spooked, but I haven't seen too many accounts of how Shikoku act when they've escaped and particularly when they are hurt or scared. Feel free to add your own accounts. I think it's helpful to have this information available in the community.
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Last week, the kids let Rakka and Sosuke out, who immediately took off into the distance. First, I'll say what Rakka usually does when she gets out or takes off. This has happened a handful of times, and normally they come home on their own within half an hour or so, or I find them nearby and they jump into my car. Sometimes someone finds them and attempts to catch them, but they only ever catch Sosuke. I once found Rakka barking at a lady who was trying to lure her in to grab her. As soon as Rakka saw me, she ran to my side and kept barking at the stranger. This is generally what she does when strangers try to catch her. Stand out of reach and bark at them to go away.
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Rakka's also run off during off-leash walks, but always finds me again, even if I'm in a completely different place. She once took off after a deer and didn't come back for 45 minutes (which up until that point, was the longest she'd ever disappeared). I looked for her until it got dark, then I went back to my car, which was on the other side of a 5 foot chain link fence (we had entered through a gate) and a few km away from the last time I saw her. My intention was to make a missing dog post online when she came trotting up to my car. She was soaking wet (the river was over 5 km away). She'd apparently run to the river and then come back and gotten over or around the fence to find me at my car.
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So back to our incident last week. I thought it would be business as usual, so I got in my car to cruise the neighbourhood, but an hour later, I still hadn't found them. Very unusual. Noah called to say that someone had picked up Sosuke and brought him home, but they hadn't seen another dog. Also very unusual. The only time they ever split up is if Sosuke comes back to me to tattle on Rakka for running too far away.
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So I called Animal Services. They'd never catch her in a million years, but they may have had some reports. Turns out, they had received several reports of dogs matching Rakka and Sosuke's description running loose on my block, and that one of them, a "husky" (=Rakka) had been struck by a car, then gotten up and bolted. Animal Services and a few people searched all over for her and couldn't find her. According to the reports, it happened about half an hour after they got loose, across the street from my house (but I was out somewhere looking for them, so I missed it).
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Noah and I took turns looking for her until Noah had to leave for work at 23:30. Around 3:00, I woke up to Rakka at the back door wanting to come in. Her foot was bleeding, but she seemed fine otherwise. After a trip to the vet, the diagnosis was: bruised elbow, bruised lungs, some road rash, broken nails, and a torn foot pad.
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I had also posted on a local Facebook group that there was a missing dog and received a few more witness accounts. From what I can piece together, as soon as Rakka was hit by the car, she ran as fast as she could out of town and into the coulees by the highway. Sosuke followed her, but he's not the wanderer, he's the tattler. So as soon as a car slowed down, he ran up to it and hopped right in, happy to be rescued. Rakka, on the other hand, ran away from the rescuers and spent half the night in the coulees before finally coming home.
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My conclusions:
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-Rakka is a boomerang dog. She wanders far, but always finds her way back
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-She will not be caught by strangers, and in fact, it's better if no one other than her owners try to catch her
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-She bolts when hurt or scared. In this case, I think it was the combo of being hit by a car and having strangers chasing her
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-It's always best to have someone waiting at home when looking for her when she's lost.
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