To the community:
Thank you again for everyone’s support and kind words.
I just wanted to provide those who have checked-in with a little more detail as to how things ended.
We received some calls with information on Wednesday that , made it back in our direction on Monday late afternoon, and back towards McLean Hamlet on Monday evening before dark. For those who have seen the map link and/or are familiar with the area, you know this is not an easy feat – in one of the most trafficked and congested areas in the country, Theo made several round-trips in his attempts to come home. We received several calls indicating that traffic actually stopped for him and many people got out of their cars and attempted to summon him. Thank you to those who had a heart and at least tried to do something and thank you those who called us to tell us what happened.
With the help of several recommendations and the support of the owner of the company that was providing the walking services when Theo escaped, we got Sam and her expert tracking dog from Pure Gold Pet Tracking to come down and help us on Wednesday night.
While waiting for Sam to come down, we received a call from a gentleman named Taylor who indicated he saw and tried to pursue Theo on Monday night near Anderson / Rt-123 – unfortunately Theo went to hide in a construction site and Talyor left his car stopped on Rt-123 during rush hour so he had to stop and go back. This gave us tons of hope and provided a new lead (thank you Taylor!).
Sam and Salsa arrived early evening on Wednesday to begin the search. They started where Taylor last saw Theo on Monday, and tracked a path up to the Mclean Police Department, specifically to a secure area that we where initially not allowed to go. The officers on duty (rightly) were suspicious of the random request to search a secure area, but thanks to the folks on this page who called various organizations and the beneficence/kindness of the officers there that night, the Police Chief and Animal Control allowed us to do what needed to be done (all supervised and within regulations). Unfortunately, this process delayed our search by at least one hour. Sam and Salsa found a very clear (and obvious) path that Theo likely followed; we believe he was hiding there for some time. The found a path out of the station up Lewinsville; however, Salsa indicated his path stopped around Windy Hill Rd. Sam was certain, based on Salsa’s reaction that Theo’s path stopped there (hoping that someone picked him up there). We disbanded at that point (around 11:30 p.m.).
Around 12:15 a.m. Thursday we received a call from an officer stating that he had JUST spotted Theo near Scotts Run Rd. (near where tracking stopped) and that he was not looking well (he stumbled towards the officer and took a few steps back – the officer did not pursue). We immediately bolted for his location. Unfortunately, when we arrived on the scene a short while later, we found the officer guarding Theo’s body on the overpass on Lewinsville a block away; he was just off the sidewalk. The officer assisted me getting to the car with Theo, and we rushed to the Hope Center. On the way over we administered CPR in the hope to save him; sadly, it was too late. The Hope Center tried everything and in the end said it was best to stop all attempts as his injuries looked so damaging that it would be inhumane if he were to be brought back. We decided to stop all attempts to bring Theo back. He was declared dead at approximately 1 a.m. Based on his condition, it wasn’t clear exactly what brought his end (he had some injuries consistent with possibly being smacked by a car, but nearly 3 days of being alone in McLean took its toll). Nonetheless, we're very proud of him for surviving as long as he did and under the conditions he did; we're also proud to know we live in a community that allowed him to survive as long as he did and helped us try to find him. The end.
We have tons of people to thanks for the help, support, and kind words in the last few days. I can’t name everyone here, but I will do a quick summary:
Several folks from our community (including some at The Colonies – thank you Allison, Pamela, Carol, Patsy and all the other unnamed folks for coordinating/supporting locally) volunteered some time to go out with their dogs and search; some non-local folks came down too (thank you to Debra and her bichon team). A very nice person from the McLean Hamlet neighborhood supported us by keeping in touch and distributing our info to their community email distribution list (thanks Roxanne!); we also encountered many nice/supportive folks there while out searching this week.
The folks on various forums, other FB pages (Lost & Found Dogs – VA and DC), local news sites (McLean Patch – thank you Erica and Allison!), and the Washington Metro Express newspaper (thank you Rachel for getting in a late addition ad and to Maxine for responding and distributing information!) also provided us with critical support through this.
The owner of the company who was providing the walking services when Theo escaped and her team also helped us do a lot of canvassing, postering, and helped us work with Sam; gratitude to them for helping. The local community also sustained a lot of postering from many sources – thank you to everyone in those communities for your patience in dealing with the posters (we trust that they understand it was for a good cause). Several local businesses were EXTREMELY willing to help/allow us to poster (7-11 in McLean, Safeway, Safeway gas station, Starbucks, McLean Hardware, Wylie Wagg, ABC store in McLean, some folks in Tysons Corner… I’m sure I’m forgetting some…); there were some that weren’t so helpful.
To all the folks that called us with information… THANK YOU!
To the officer who made the call to us at the end… THANK YOU!
To the doctors at the Hope Center who tried to save Theo… THANK YOU!
To those who have been reading/keeping up on this and sending us kind words… THANK YOU! We could definitely use your words of support, advice etc. as we try to keep up our spirits. We have to move forward and make sure that his brother, Ares, can also move forward without his companion and best friend of 4 years."
- Carmen and Mike Zapata, McLean