Girl, 6, Rescues Stray Dog Others Spent Months Trying To Catch - NBC 6 South Florida
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Girl, 6, Rescues Stray Dog Others Spent Months Trying To Catch

"She told me if Mom stayed in the truck she would come to me and I believed it"

Meghan Topping says she used all of her "experience with dogs" in the capture of Daisy. (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

After two months on the run and countless attempts by adults to capture her, it took the charms of a 6-year-old dog whisperer named Meghan Topping to finally bring Daisy in from the cold.

"I used all my experience with dogs" said the Morgan Hill girl.

The tale of Daisy began in late October when the shepherd-mix, rescued from a Northern California animal shelter, was adopted by a "forever" family in Hollister.

She escaped their back yard just two days later.

For close to two months, members of the Hollister Animal Lost and Found Facebook group chronicled Daisy sightings all over town. Repeated attempts to capture her, though, failed.

"She was in fight or flight mode," said Deanna Barth, and expert in animal rescue with decades of experience. Barth likened Daisy's skill at eluding capture with that of a coyote. But even coyotes can be captured eventually.

"All the typical things, like cage traps and baiting with smelly foods, was not working," Barth said. "Our only way to earn her trust was to get someone she might remember."

Barth had heard that before being adopted, Daisy has spent time with a foster family and had become attached to a little girl there. They set out to find her.

That girl turned out to be Meghan.

Meghan and her mother, Karen Topping, are prolific at fostering and training rescued and even feral dogs. Seventy-five dogs have passed through their home in the past year along. Daisy, though, was special.

"Her bond with Meghan was uncanny," Karen Topping said.

This all explains why, in late December, Meghan and her mom drove from Morgan Hill to Hollister to see if they would have any luck at capturing the dog.

They found her in one of her usual haunts, an empty field.

Karen Topping began taking pictures and video to document the sighting, but it was Meghan who decided on her own to take action. Well, not completely on her own. Meghan says Daisy told her what to do.

"She told me. Because you can talk to dogs in your brain," Meghan said. "She told me if Mom stayed in the truck she would come to me and I believed it."

So Meghan got out of the truck, walked to the middle of the field, sat down, and waited.

Daisy was cautious at first eventually crept closer and closer to the little girl, seeming to recognize her as an old friend.

The last few moments were captured on video by Karen Topping.

Tail wagging, Daisy comes up to Meghan and allows the girl to pet her. Meghan eventually walks back to the truck, gets a leash, returns to the dog and puts it on her.

"I was just amazed," Karen Topping said.

"It's hard to watch that video and not cry," Barth said.

"I was just thinking whatever was meant to be was meant to be," Meghan said. "And that was meant to be."

Daisy and Meghan have spent plenty of time together since the rescue, but the dog won't be coming to live with the Toppings. They say there are focused on the thousands of other dogs out there in need of fostering and training. They have already found a great family to be her new "forever" one.

Though, if she ever goes on the lam again, they'll know just who to call.

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