So many players have had this problem that I have added a little section to my General Guide. It actually is something that can occur in almost any Harvest Moon game. One of your animals, whether a Pet, Cow or Sheep, either vanishes from the screen or becomes stuck in a wall. This can be very distressing to players, as one might imagine. Many players found that their cat or dog was immured in the wall or behind the furnishings when Gotz expanded their houses for the last time in HM DS. There was a problem with a vanishing cow or calf in AWL or AnWL (can't recall which from memory). Now there is a problem in IoH. When left outside, the dog or horse may disappear from the screen. You do not lose the animal but you neither can see it nor interact with it. Another problem is that of a Cow or Sheep that becomes stuck in the wall of the Barn. In this situation, you actually can see the poor creature, day after day...
What you need to do here first and foremost is to continue to FEED the animal daily. Make certain that a portion of food is left in the food tray each day whether you see the Animal or not. Remember that pets WILL eat their food even when kept outside in IoH.
There is a solution whichever animal is affected, thank God! In IoH, each type of Animal has a Festival once each year. On the day before the Festival, Mirabelle will come to the farm to ask if you wish to enter an Animal in the Contest. At that point, the Animal that you enter should appear next to Mirabelle. At the end of the Festival, she will return the Animal directly to its stable or Barn and the problem should be solved.
Another solution with respect to an Animal caught in the Barn wall was tested and confirmed by a player who experienced it. She bought Miracle Potion and impregnated the Animal, realising that a pregnant Animal would appear the next morning next to the Birthing Pen. This solution worked beautifully. The only difficulty is in positioning oneself correctly in order to be able to sprinkle the Potion over the Animal while it remains caught in the Wall.
A more drastic solution with respect to Livestock would be to sell the Animal back to Mirabelle. If you are impatient and cannot bear the sight of the creature in the wall, sell it back to Mirabelle and either purchase or raise another. Remember though, that ANY animal can be recovered at the appropriate Animal Festival.
Finally, a tip when any Animal in the wall becomes stressed or cannot be milked or sheared. If you set Red or Blue Wonderfuls in any Ranch Tool, you will increase its range in the same way that the range of any Farm Tool would be expanded. You then may be able to use the Brush, Milker/Clippers on the Animal caught in the Wall, preventing it from feeling neglected!
27 October: More players have experienced the 'vanishing animal' situation now. A chicken has disappeared twice now in one player's game. In the player's own words: 'It disappeared before the day after a storm (typhoon), but I found it wandering around my farm. Well, no storm in awhile and one day it's gone. It's been a week (in the game)... I've looked around my farm about 20 times each day on the game.'
At least a chicken will find its own food outside, as the player noted. In my own game, I have experienced a rather bizarre situation with respect to chickens left inside their pens in the field. Safely ensconced in the pen at night, I have found them wandering OUTSIDE the pen the next morning on occasion. Fortunately, no stress was suffered. There must be some programming in the game that moves animals randomly. It can be rather disconcerting.