Illusion the German Shepherd Found Safe on Fort Huachuca
When my daughter was in grade school, she was a big fan of movies that centered around animal stories, and she especially loved stories about dogs. My Dog Skip was a favorite, since she was about the age of the main protagonist and could relate to the adventures they went on together.
Was Illusion "Homeward Bound"?
But she particularly loved the Homeward Bound movies and watched them again and again. If you're not familiar with these movies, here's the premise: three animals, two dogs and a cat, become separated from their family. At this point, they set out on a journey to find them so they can be reunited.
The dynamic of an old dog, voiced by the incomparable Don Amece, a young pup played by Michael J Fox, and a sassy cat with zero patience for drooling dogs, was brought to life by none other than Sally Field.
My daughter watched these movies so often we both knew the story by heart, but we were always riveted by the twisting adventures.
The German Shepherd Who Captured Our Hearts
Maybe that's why the story of our very own rogue German Shepherd Illusion captured my imagination so intensely. The community worked hard to bring her to safety.
Trying to Bring Illusion to Safety
I first noticed some of our local "lost pet" Facebook groups lighting up, followed by Chit Chat Sierra Vista. Mary Moran posted a blurry-ish photo of a German Shepherd running around the area near CAL Ranch and Walmart. The dog had a collar and what appeared to be a short leash hanging from its neck.
Mary sent out the call: who would like to try to round up the dog and get it to safety? Several people responded, and then many people tried. All reported coming close, only to have the skittish pup run off and hide whenever anyone got close.
Even repeated attempts by Animal Care and Control Officers Brittany Shultz and Dana Kennedy proved unsuccessful. Each time the dog, who was eventually dubbed Illusion - a hat tip to her elusive nature - managed to slip away and hide.
Fearing the Worst
Last week, a Facebook user reported a sighting of an exhausted, defeated German Shepherd standing in the road, looking despondent.
Shortly afterward, the reports stopped. Everyone feared the worst.
The Final Chapter
Then, just as suddenly, everything changed! Somehow Illusion made her way on foot from the highway 90/92 interchange, all the way through Huachuca City, and finally onto Libby Army Airfield on Fort Huachuca - seven miles away from where she was first reported.
Facebook user Kelsey Herrera updated the community in a post shared to Chit Chat Sierra Vista and other local Facebook groups.
Kelsey wrote, "After a month-long adventure on Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, and Huachuca City, this beautiful girl has finally been caught. Thanks to DACP Jones and Libby Airfield Civilian employees, she is safe and will be evaluated for injuries. Thanks Team!"
We may never know Illusion's story - where she came from or where she was trying to go, but through the hard work of so many in our community, Illusion will get the care she needs and the chance to sleep safely in a warm bed tonight.