Dogged efforts benefit a stray
It did not take long before a border collie-looking dog walking along highway ditches caught animal lover Eileen Sieger’s eye six to eight weeks ago and it is not because of lack of trying that Sieger and several other county residents have not caught the dog.
After more than a month of roaming from US-50 near Florence to K-150 east of Marion, the dog has settled in a building in Grant Cemetery just off K-150. It is there that Sieger and several others have been bringing food, water, and other items for the past two weeks. The dog’s chosen home has sparked its name, Grantly.
Until last week the dog was called Grant, because it was believed to be a male, however Vicki Williams was able to get close enough to the dog to determine its gender.
“My husband, Skip, and I have been going over there, mostly me, at least twice a day with food and fresh water,” Sieger said. “Others have been stopping by and leaving food, but I have discouraged that as I am giving her what she needs and we don’t want extra food or cans lying there to attract coyotes.”
Sieger has been supplementing Grantly’s food with medication and de-wormer.
“She is looking so much better, I think,” Sieger said. “We thought she was surviving on road kill, but no she doesn’t go far.”
Now that Grantly is staying in one area Sieger is worried about how close she is every day to highway traffic, or even worse, someone might see her around their property and think she is a wild dog.
“Some people see a stray dog and go for their gun,” she said. “She might get hit along the busy highway if we spook her. I worry about that every day. She has survived this long and is very smart about traffic.
“We are committed to rescuing this beautiful dog.”
Sieger hopes to someday catch the dog and bring her home, but Grantly is proving difficult to catch. Several have tried everything from live traps to tranquilizer darts.
“Some have tried to catch her, but I want that discouraged also,” she said. “She always runs away and I do not try to approach her after trying a few times.”
Sieger is hoping a gradual approach will win Grantly’s trust and allow Sieger to take her home.
“I really believe that she knows my car,” Sieger said. “I sometimes pass her when I go to the cemetery, and she immediately heads back to the cemetery as I see her going there when I drive back.”
If Sieger is successful in earning Grantly’s trust, she won’t be the first dog to be adopted by the Siegers. Sieger thinks Grantly has a distrust for humans because she was abandoned along a highway.
“We’ve taken in every stray that has come by over the years, if we could not find the owner, but they are always friendly and happy to be rescued, and make the best dogs ever,” she said.
Currently the Siegers have two dogs, one of which was rescued after being found running loose. All in all 12 dogs have found safe refuge at Sieger’s.
“My Westie kind of takes it for granted that he has a good life,” Sieger said.
Although dogs are Sieger’s favorite, she has rescued all sorts of animals over the years.
“I feel that all animals are so much at the mercy of people who are often cruel, uncaring and unkind,” she said. “They have less control of what happens to them, but some would say, ‘why go through all this trouble it’s only a dog.’ I feel that God commands us to care for his creation, and we each have a calling and this is mine.”
Turtles, baby birds, snakes, raccoons, cats, and even opossums have all been rescued, rehabilitated, and relocated by Sieger.
“I am lucky to have a husband who supports me in all of my escapades,” she said. “He loves them, too.”
Sieger said her daughter often tells her she can’t save all animals that come her way, and while she could try it would be expensive, so she works with the animals she can, when she can.
“Several of us dog lover friends want to win the lottery and then save many dogs,” she said.