Monday, June 29, 2009

Wendy, a mutt

Dog Gone: A Liquor Store Dog Gets in a Snootful of Trouble
By Gene Weingarten
April 8, 2005

This is a true story about the recent misadventures of Wendy, a liquor-store dog. "Liquor-store dog" is not an AKC recognized breed; Wendy hangs out all day at Hayden's, my neighborhood liquor store. She belongs to Tom, the store manager.

(Actually, no one would mistake Wendy for a purebred. She is comically two-toned, with a completely black-velvet snoot and a completely blond body, as though a black dog had been held by the nose, Achilles'-heel style, and dipped into a vat of peroxide.)

Wendy's best dog buddy is Ophelia, who lives nearby. My theory is that Wendy likes hanging around Ophelia for the benefit of physical comparison — the way Lucy Ricardo liked hanging around Ethel Mertz, if you get my drift. Ophelia appears to be a cross between a hyena and a wildebeest.

Wendy and Ophelia are personable dogs, and everyone loves them. So it became a neighborhood crisis when word spread that Wendy was missing. She had been in Ophelia's house on a sort of play date; unexpectedly, someone opened the front door, and Wendy pondered her options.

Option One: Remain in the house and in the custody of people who love you and provide you a comfortable, stimulating life, nourished in body and mind by ample food and exciting adventures.

Option Two: Bolt for the street and run like a lunatic, becoming a homeless cur in subfreezing temperatures in an inhospitable city where you will die of exposure and/or starvation in teeth-chattering agony, or, if you are lucky, get squashed by a car into dog goo.

Wendy was gone in an instant, of course.

(I am not making fun of Wendy's brain. Wendy has a fine brain, for a dog. She is, for example, vastly more intelligent than Augie, a collie I once owned. One day, my wife went into a store, leaving Augie tied up by a leash to a metal garbage can. When my wife came back out, Augie and the garbage can were ... gone. My wife tracked Augie rather easily by following a trail of people doubled over in laughter at the sight of a collie, racing in mortal terror, loudly pursued by a garbage can.)

Once it became clear that Wendy was good and lost, Tom and his wife Sarah leapt into action. Sarah is a take-charge type — a practical woman, a CPA, a rational, prudent, chief-financial-officer, executive-boss type. Sarah telephoned a pet psychic in California. (Have you ever lost a dog? I didn't think so. Let's cut Sarah some slack here.)

The psychic — a renowned expert in "interspecies telepathy," according to her Web site — offered many observations, for a fee of $60. They didn't check out. At this point, Sarah knew she had to take some additional, serious action. So she called another West Coast pet psychic. This one was named "Hilary Renaissance." (Does anyone happen to have any extra slack? My inventory seems to be running short.)

Thus, Sarah and Tom learned many more vital facts about where Wendy might be, all of which, for some reason, proved wrong. By this time, more than a week of cold weather had passed. Dozens of posters had been hung, some in full color and the size of a large-screen TV. A battalion of Concerned Liquor Store Patrons had combed the neighborhood. Nothing.

Deep in their hearts, Tom and Sarah understood how bleak things looked. They sensed what they had to do. Sometimes you have to just Let Go.

So they decided to let go of an additional $1,800. They phoned a pet detective in Georgia.

Carl Washington, professional pet detective, hopped in his truck with his two tracking dogs — a toy poodle named CoCo and a Jack Russell terrier named Rocky — and drove through the night to Washington. (I met Carl the day he arrived. He dresses like Indiana Jones. He talks like Sgt. Joe Friday. When on a job, he sleeps in his truck. He is one serious, studly pet-tracking dude with two little sissydogs.)

Carl worked tirelessly, but he didn't make the difference. Two weeks to the day after Wendy disappeared, a Good Samaritan phoned Sarah to say he'd spotted a dog matching Wendy's description on a golf course 25 blocks from where she had vanished. Tom and Sarah raced to the scene, commandeered two golf carts and roared past startled duffers, calling Wendy's name, until they came to a wooded area from which Wendy emerged, skinny but fine.

Wendy approached them in that slap-happy, semi-apologetic dog-who-has-done-something-wrong manner, where the tail is wagging but the dog appears to be simultaneously attempting to wipe the floor with its butt. Wendy seemed to be saying, "Hi. WhattookyousolongI'msorryIloveyouDoyouhaveanyfood?"

The next day, I brought Wendy a welcome-back present of three dog biscuits and a dried pig ear, tied up with a ribbon and bow. She ate the bow, too.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bailey, a small white dog

Don't try this at home, only because you can't. This is extremely unusual, if this dog really did walk home. The story doesn't mention if the dog had a tag, but if he did and if the tag has the home address, this dog may have been picked up and dropped off. But we'll go with he figured out the way and walked home. Oh and I just have to say, there's no way this dog is a bichon frise, at least he's not a purebred bichon.

Dog logs 7 miles in trek home in North Huntingdon
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He may be tiny, but Bailey, a bichon frise, trudged more than seven miles to come home.

Bailey's hike from Darragh to North Huntingdon covered seven miles over three days. "You could tell he is still a little sore, but he's so happy to be home. He jumped the whole way up into my arms when I went out to the front to see if it was him," said his owner, Janet Staigvil.

Janet Staigvil, of North Huntingdon, was so upset over her missing pet that when she heard a dog crying on her front stoop Tuesday, she thought she was hearing things.

After three days of frantically searching for her pet, Staigvil didn't want to answer the door for fear of being disappointed again.

But Staigvil and her husband, Lou, soon discovered their 10-year-old dog -- who was lost more than seven miles away -- had managed to find his way back to his owners near the village of Rillton.

"I was starting to worry we'd never see him again. You know when you have a pet this long, it's really part of your family, and when you lose it, that's all you can think about day and night," Janet Staigvil said.

"We're so happy. And we're really amazed he was able to find his own way home," she said.

The dog's odyssey began Saturday when Lou decided to take Bailey along on a wood-splitting trip near his sister's home. Frieda Bogec and her husband, Bill, live near Madison Cemetery in Darragh, Hempfield Township.

"I thought he should take Bailey along so he could play with their golden retriever while they split wood," Staigvil said.

About 9 a.m. Saturday, the Bogecs' dog came running out of the woods. Bailey was nowhere to be found.
A daylong search by the Staigvils and the Bogecs proved fruitless. On Sunday, they continued the hunt and tacked up wanted posters. They placed an advertisement in the Tribune-Review seeking help to find the dog.
"We found out that there were sightings, but nothing substantial when we went out. There was even a sighting in Crabapple Park in Herminie (Sewickley Township)," Janet Staigvil said. Bailey's return stunned Janet's sister, Shirley Biancheria of North Huntingdon.

"Bailey's no bigger than a white powder puff. That's a lot of walking on those tiny little legs," Biancheria said. Bailey's journey ended about 8:15 a.m. yesterday.

"He was crying, and you could tell he is still a little sore, but he's so happy to be home. He jumped the whole way up into my arms when I went out to the front to see if it was him," Janet Staigvil said.

Bailey rests on the family sofa in North Huntingdon.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coaster, a hound mutt

Microchip allows injured dog another Christmas
Sunday, January 4, 2009

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – When the police officer placed the badly injured dog in the back of a squad car, the dog's life had an expiration date measured in hours.

Police Sgt. Robert Burkhart found her motionless and cold on the side of Walton Boulevard near Bella Vista Road. The dog, hit by a car, was injured. He gently picked up the hound-based mutt, then took her to Sugar Creek Animal Hospital on Northwest J Street.

Without tags on the collar, the dog's future appeared certain: Police policy is to euthanize injured animals if they are found without a way to identify the owner.

"She came in and I said, 'This is somebody's dog," veterinarian Darlene Wier said. "No dogs are going to die on Christmas Eve."

With that, staffers pulled out a wand, scanned the dog's neck. They found the thing that would save the dog's life – a microchip placed just beneath her skin.

The dog – Coaster – belongs to Stephanie Comstock. The microchip was placed when Comstock adopted Coaster from the Bella Vista Animal Shelter two years ago. That tiny device, no larger than a grain of rice, was not only responsible for saving Coaster's life, it ensured she was able to go home to her family for Christmas.
The story of how Coaster ended up injured on the side of the road began at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

"I was taking her and the other dogs out just like I always do to walk them and feed them when (Coaster) decided to bolt," Comstock said. "Over the last several weeks she had been doing fine but she was a street dog and every now and then she gets a burr in her and just wants to run."

Usually, when Coaster decides to go for a run, she stays within a three-house radius of the Comstock home, then comes home. Wednesday morning, when Coaster did not return home, Comstock's children began combing the neighborhood in search of their beloved pet, Comstock said.

Sgt. Burkhart found Coaster in front a quarter-mile away from where Comstock had taken her for a walk that morning. Less than an hour after running off, Coaster had been run over by a vehicle and was a patient at Sugar Creek.

The children were still out looking for Coaster when Comstock got a call at work from Sugar Creek letting her know they had the dog and – although she was a little banged up – she was OK.

"This is the first dog we had that had a chip in it. Before, when you lost a dog, it was just gone. So to have the chip in there and to be able to get them back is just great," Comstock said.

The microchip planted between Coaster's shoulders meant that Comstock could tell her kids that their dog was alive and well.

"There is something to be said about living in a smaller town. I moved here from Los Angeles and the probability of somebody calling and going through the effort to find us – it just would not happen in a big town," Comstock said.

"I like the energy of a big city but there is not much that can beat raising your child in a small town where everyone looks out for you," Comstock said as she gently stroked Coaster's head.

Microchips containing a pet owner's contact information can be placed in dog or cat by local veterinarians or animal shelters.

"The main benefit of having the microchip is so (veterinarians) can easily locate the owners if a dog or cat is found. With the chips, the dogs can be found and returned home," Sugar Creek office manager Melissa Freeman said.

"Collars can get loose and fall off or if the dog is stolen, the collar can easily be taken off – but the microchip cannot be removed," Freeman said.

"(Coaster) is a lucky dog," Wier said, noting that all pet owners should have their dogs and cats microchipped. "We love a microchip."


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Star, A Harlequin Great Dane

Community Togetherness for a Lucky Star

 Nobody wants to even think about the range of emotions that one goes through when their beloved pet goes missing, let alone have to actually experience them. I am certainly not shy about saying that I would absolutely freak out if my little feline buddy Tailer disappeared. Ugh. Not a pleasant thought.

Last month everybody here at Dogster HQ was touched by a story that involved one of our own members who unfortunately had to go through that dreaded situation. Rod and Susan Ensley of Anderson, South Carolina, are the humans that belong to Dogster member Star, the amazing-looking Great Dane that you see here. Susan wrote to us about what their family went through last month, and wanted us to share Star's story with you.

"On April 12th, 2009, we enrolled our Dogs in your TogetherTag pet recovery service. As I was online enrolling, two of our Great Danes went missing from our yard. The security alarms had been activated at 8:00 a.m. Our fence had been cut and our Danes' collars were found on the back of our property. We contacted the local sheriff's department to report the incident and our missing Danes. We filled out a lost dog report with the Dogster/Catster Together Tag program. They sent the Lost Dog Alert out to rescues and shelters in our area."

What happened over the next few days I can only describe as chaotic. In a state of shock and overwhelmed with grief, the Ensleys set out to do everything in their power to get the word out about their missing dogs. They drove all over Anderson County looking for them. Thankfully, one of them returned home a couple hours later, but with chemical burns around her eyes from the use of pepper spray. Star, however, was still nowhere to be found.

"We made phone calls, printed and posted flyers and contacted veterinarians within a two hundred mile radius of our home. We cross-posted our Dane's information to get out as much information to as many people as possible to locate our dog. We continued to search for our Dane, driving the roads and walking hundreds of private acres, checking barns and chicken coops - anywhere a scared Dane could possibly hide - we checked it. With no luck.

On Monday afternoon, I received a call from a veterinarian who explained that one of their employees went to a flea market called "the Jockey Lot" (it's an awful place), where they have a puppy row where they sell animals."

Apparently, the employee saw a woman who was walking around with a dog that matched the description of Star. She was trying to sell her. Thanks to the posters that the Ensleys had been putting up, the employee recognized the dog. Others at the flea market also saw the dog and thought that something seemed out of place. According to them, the dog "would not raise her head and appeared to be frightened."

The Ensleys immediately contacted the sheriff's department. Two deputies were sent to the flea market lot, but by then the lot was empty.

The family had followed the Together Tag missing pet suggestions to a "T" AND the responsive involvement of the community was phenomenal, but the Ensleys were still without their super-Star.

"By this point, there were thousands of people looking for our Great Dane. My husband and I were emotionally and physically exhausted.

My husband went to the other side of town and began searching. He talked to people, handed out flyers and put up posters. One of the people he spoke to told him a young Harlequin Dane was spotted in their neighborhood on Monday evening. They explained where the Dane could possibly be staying. Wednesday morning we received a phone call the Dane was spotted again that morning at 6 a.m.

They continued searching the next day with no luck. They were about to leave when his cell phone rang. One of the neighbors saw Star go into a barn on his property. Rod parked between four barns and started searching. They started calling her name again. My brother walked into one of the barns and there she was!"
Scared and confused, Star at first started barking, not too sure of what was going on. But when Star saw her Daddy, she ran at him, and tackled him! She covered Ron with kisses and then ran over to the family's SUV. Sniffing the vehicle was the final confirmation... and then she knew for sure: Star was going home!

Other than having four ticks, being dehydrated and sunburned, and having a slight infection on her leg, Star was just fine and went home to recover on the couch with the rest of her family.

I want to personally thank Ron, Susan and Star for sharing their inspirational story with all of us. It's heartwarming to know that when communities come together, lost pets CAN be reunited with their families. It really is that simple. If you're prepared, you'll be many steps ahead when it comes to being reunited with your pet, should he or she unfortunately go missing. As evidenced by Star's return, the quicker you are at getting your community involved, the better your chances of a safe homecoming.

We are also super pleased that Susan's quick actions involved her printing up and distributing our Together Tag lost pet posters. We're very VERY happy that our service played a role in Star's return. This is exactly why we started Together Tag in the first place.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Julian, a Shih Tzu

I found this story on a website related to the Home Again microchip registry. I like the site because it has lots of stories, all of pets found via their microchip.

King Julian Alexander is Back Home!

Usually Julian is awaiting my arrival from work everyday between 6:00 and 6:15 pm. On the evening of Thursday, November 6th, that would all change.

Earlier that afternoon, Julian escaped through a metal gate door in our backyard that leads to a busy shopping center. Along with the many shoppers that occupy the shopping center there is a pet supermarket, a beauty salon, and a veterinary clinic.

As luck would have it, a beautician from the salon spotted Julian and immediately picked him up. She called friend who coincidently had been looking for a small dog for her little girl at which time he was taken into the woman’s home that evening. The beautician had mentioned to the woman to bring Julian to the veterinary's office in her shopping center for a checkup as he was reasonably priced and had a good reputation.

On Friday afternoon at approximately 12:15pm, I received a call from Home Again that Julian was at the veterinary’s office right behind my house with the woman who had taken him in for a checkup. I had my cell phone in one ear and my mom on the other exclaiming that she had just picked him up; Home Again had first called my house notified my mother and before I could say word she had him in the car on the way home!! I started to weep inconsolably when I heard her telling me she had him, and thanked God for the miracle of returning Julian back to us!

Having Julian microchipped 3 years ago was the best investment I've ever made in my LIFE!!! I can guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that had he not had the microchip he wouldn't be home today, Julian was not wearing a collar to identify him or who he belonged to.

The team of representatives that assisted me during this trying time were not only professional but compassionate and words cannot describe how truly thankful I am for all your help and dedication in getting Julian back home safe and sound!!

Posted By: Liris Acevedo, Miami, FL - 11/12/2008
Pet Name: Julian Alexander
Species: Dog
Breed: Shih Tzu
Sex: Male


Monday, June 22, 2009

Shadow, a poodle

The couple that lost this dog were obviously overjoyed to get her back, yet they made no attempts to find him when released from the hospital after being treated for injuries from the auto accident they were in. It seems hard to believe, but I think they really felt there was really just no hope of finding him. The story illustrates what can be the debilitating effects of a lost dog owners' hopelessness for the dog to ever be reunited with them. But this story, fortunately, has heros in the CHP officers that considered the possible connection of an uncontained dog showing up, and an accident earlier in the same day.

Lucky dog going home
Animal rescued after surviving car crash and romp on Highway 152
By Kim Yancey
Friday, Jul. 11, 2008

Kim Jones of San Diego is thinking of giving her dog Shadow a new name -- "Lucky."

The 9-month-old poodle not only survived a rollover accident on Interstate 5 that sent Jones and her husband Loren to the hospital early Monday morning, but also lived through several hours of wandering in and out of traffic on Highway 152, some of the journey involved traveling west along the centerline of the eastbound lanes.

Fortunately for Shadow, Debbie Bassford and her family were on their way home to Los Baños from the Bay Area at about 2 p.m. -- 10 hours after the accident -- and spotted the dog trotting west in the center of the highway near the intersection of Highway 33.

The Bassfords turned around at the Interstate 5 interchange, and again through the median near Highway 33, to get in front of the dog in hopes of coaxing it off the highway.

"The dog was within inches of the tires of passing semi-trucks and kept wandering across the lanes into the median and back into the lanes," Bassford said. "I told my kids not to watch because I just knew the dog was going to get run over."

But with the help of another passing motorist, Bassford was able to convince the animal to abandon its meandering through a jungle of honking, swerving and speeding cars in favor of a ride to the Bassford's home.

Other than being hungry, a condition quickly remedied by Bassford's children as they fed the dog fries from In-N-Out Burger, and thirsty after 10 hours "on the road," the dog seemed to be in good health.

"The dog was obviously well taken care of and I knew somebody had to be looking for him," Bassford said.

She called the local police department and California Highway Patrol inquiring if anyone had reported losing a poodle; no one had. But CHP officers wondered if the dog and the accident hours earlier were in any way connected.

Two days later, the pieces of the puzzle came together.

Released from the hospital Wednesday, the Joneses decided to continue their journey to Yreka to visit family. Neither Kim nor Loren held much hope of ever seeing their dog again, an especially painful thought since the couple has no children and Shadow had become the center of their attention.

"I cried every time I closed my eyes and thought of him (Shadow)," Kim Jones said.

The couple had stopped in Corning to have breakfast on their way north when Loren Jones received a call on his cell phone from the highway patrol asking if there had been a dog in their vehicle at the time of the crash on Monday.

"I couldn't believe it -- my heart stopped," Loren Jones said.

The CHP gave the Joneses Debbie Bassford's phone number. A call to that number later, Loren and Kim were on their way back to Los Baños to be reunited with the dog they thought they had lost.

"Something in my heart said we'd find him," Loren Jones said.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chico, a small poodle

To the discouraged dog owner that thinks he is alone in looking for his lost dog, this story offers proof that there are people out there that will give their time to help. And this may well be a case where the dog might have never been recovered if this wasn't the case. Enjoy the story.

Little dog lost, found by leaf-peepers
November 28, 2006
By Diana Jorgenson, Portola Editor

QUINCY, California (STPNS) -- Chico, a 15-year-old French poodle from Quincy, became separated from his owner in the Lakes Basin one day late in October. His owner, Louis Thomas, age 87, and family members searched and searched, but were unable to find him.

Discouraged by their inability to find the dog before night set in, they left a note on the information board at Frazier Falls with a description of Chico and Thomas' phone number in Quincy.

Thomas had originally gotten Chico from the animal shelter when the poodle was only 2. In their early years, Chico had served as Thomas' "hearing aid." They had been together a long time.
Meanwhile, veteran leaf-peepers from Sonoma County were visiting Plumas County to enjoy the fall foliage highly touted in the area. It was an annual pilgrimage for the couple. After visiting the Plumas County Visitors Center at the airport in Quincy and chatting with Karri Underwood, Chris Cox and Tracey Sterling drove and hiked their way through the county armed with maps of fall color tours. They visited Lake Almanor and Chester, wound their way over to Graeagle, hiked to Eureka Lake and then headed over to Frazier Falls Fall Color Tour #6. At the trailhead to Frazier Falls, they read the note about the lost dog.

They started to hike to the falls, but Sterling was disturbed by the thought of the lost dog, old and probably scared, who had already survived one night in the cold mountains. Thirty seconds into the hike, she and Cox turned around.

They determined to search for the lost dog. In the process, they met another couple from Sacramento who found themselves compelled to do the same thing. Both Cox and the other man, Tommy, searched for the dog for most of the afternoon.

Occasionally, they thought they heard a dog bark; sometimes they thought they heard a whimper. They searched in the direction of any sound and fought their way through the manzanita brush in one fruitless direction after another.

At dusk, with less than an hour of daylight left, Tommy came down the mountain back to the vehicles where his wife waited with Sterling. He came empty handed. Cox, too, was sighted on a ridge on his way back.
Suddenly, to the surprise of the trio watching his return, Cox turned and ran back down into the canyon.

Cox was winded and he had to quiet his breathing in order to hear the rustling of the manzanita branches. He peered into the brush and saw one small brown poodle, so scared he was even hiding his head. Chico was shaking like a leaf, hunkered down and trying hard to be as quiet and invisible as possible.

Cox coaxed him out and carried him down the mountain to the waiting fellow rescuers. Soon Chico, saved from cold and hunger, mountain lions and coyotes, was reunited with his old friend Thomas.

According to granddaughter Jamie, both Chico and Thomas recuperated from their separation in record time and are both doing well.

Chris Cox, Tracey Sterling, and the couple from Sacramento were pleased that their "random act of kindness" had a happy ending. And Suzi Brakken of the Visitors Center in Quincy found herself delighted with the story of how resident and tourist met and interacted in the common quest for beautiful fall colors?leaf-peepers all.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Caesar, a German Shepherd

Hail, Caesar, for triumphant return after two months
by Beth A Brooks
February 2, 2006 Issue

Those familiar with ancient history know that Caesar was considered to be a military genius and powerful leader. Those familiar with the story of Caesar, the German Shepherd, might say he’s lived up to his name. As Julius Caesar thought himself to be invincible royalty, much the same could be said about the canine Caesar. Caesar, part of the Thorpe family since he was six weeks old, was reunited with them on Monday, Jan. 9.

The story began on Thanksgiving evening when Caesar vanished from his comfortable Laverock home. For two months Caesar was sighted all over the area — Wyndmoor, Roxborough, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill — even as far away as Conshohocken. Owners Charlie and Barbara Thorpe and son Chris launched an all-out search for their beloved Caesar, who had been part of their household for the past nine years. Chris said he often thought, “If I needed Caesar’s protection, I think he would be there for me. So I wasn’t about to let him down.”

The first sighting of Caesar came from Carole Anne Hensley, owner of Furry Buddies In-Home Pet Service. He was seen at the St. Martin’s stop on SEPTA’s R8 line. As a licensed veterinary tech, who also does rescue work at the Valley Green Inn, Hensley employs 10 women whose duties include walking dogs. It was on one of these walks that a flyer of Caesar was spotted.

“As a business owner, I try and use information to make the connection with owners and their lost pets,” Hensley explained. Hensley is known in the area for reuniting lost pets with their owners. As such she has become a resource for those who need advice on missing and found animals. Spotting Caesar, Hensley called the Thorpes. She also notified her brother [who is always out in the area as the owner of a fencing business] and others in the community about the missing Caesar. Proud of her rescue work and happy to be of service as an “animal advocate,” Hensley can be reached at 215-836-APET.

Carole Anne Hensley (standing, left), Charlie and Barbara Thorpe, and their son, Chris (holding Caesar), are all thrilled about the return of the beautiful German Shepherd.

Every time there was a “Caesar sighting,” one or more of the Thorpes would rush out and canvass the area, sometimes riding around for hours. Papering these communities with flyers, the Thorpes even ran ads in the Chestnut Hill Local, West Oak Lane Leader and Roxborough Review. Charlie and Barbara explained, “You had to be quick when a call came in because Caesar wouldn’t let strangers touch him.”

A house dog, Caesar braved the elements. During the time he had gone astray, cold gripped the region, leaving behind two snowstorms and rainstorms during December.

Barbara Thorpe said, “I couldn’t believe he was gone and thought he would come home on his own. After a couple of days, we really got worried.” Following up on all leads, the family joked that they now know all of the back streets in those neighborhoods where he was sighted. The family thinks it was a miracle that he wasn’t hit by a car, considering the distance he traveled. Chris said he was “glad no one took him and put him in a dog fight.”

Caesar did befriend Marie Ruch of Roxborough, who left food outdoors for him for several days. At first, Caesar ate the cat food he found. When Ruch noticed that, she put dog food out for him. Caesar was even treated to the carcass from her Thanksgiving turkey, but he would run away right after eating. Making her own homemade signs, Ruch hoped to reunite Caesar with his owners. Ruch alerted her neighbors, all animal lovers, about Caesar.

The Friday before Christmas, he was spotted at Waverly and Church Road. That dog really got around!
Spotting Caesar at Fit Life, employee Christine Oliger called Hensley for advice. Hensley immediately called the Thorpes. This last sighting proved to be the one that bought Caesar home.

Racing over there, Charlie and Barbara finally saw their pet for the first time in two months. “If we weren’t quick, Caesar would be gone by the time we got there,” Charlie said. “I couldn’t believe it when I first saw him”.

Exiting the car, both Charlie and Barbara called out to him. Hearing his name called by a familiar voice and spying the car, Caesar turned toward the Thorpes. With both doors open and the Thorpes calling out to him, Caesar jumped into the driver’s seat, muddy feet and all, before either Thorpe could react.

Barbara had to put a leash on him quickly and tug at it for a bit in order to get him into the back seat and onto the blanket she had brought. From the sound of it, I’m not quite sure who was happier at the reunion, the Thorpes or Caesar. Upon returning home, the Thorpes called Chris and gave him the happy news. Of course, Chris rushed right home to see Caesar.

The Thorpes own another Shepherd, Thor, who was overjoyed at the return of Caesar. The family says that during Caesar’s absence, Thor showed signs of withdrawal and was depressed. Once reunited, it took both dogs two full days to calm down. That first day they both howled with delight and ran and jumped all over the house.

Caesar, the older of the two dogs, has now assumed his rightful place as the canine leader in the home. Even 20-month-old Yasmine, Chris’ daughter, was delighted to see Caesar back home. She grinned and called out his name when she first spotted him.

Caesar has been taken to the vet, where it was discovered he had lost 20 pounds, but was otherwise in good shape. Caesar has adjusted to the comforts of home and will occasionally play ball and go to the doggy park at Pastorius Park. He, of course, is being spoiled by the Thorpes (who are keeping a watchful eye on him) and is adored by Thor and baby Yasmine.

Charlie said to Hensley, “There are no words to thank you for your effort.” The Thorpe family would also like to thank all of the people who called with tips and sightings of Caesar while he was missing.

Now dog-tired and sleeping in his customary place by the front door, Caesar guards the Thorpe family each evening. He may not even know how much he was missed.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Max, a sheltie

Girl, dog reunite
By Terry Karkos , Staff Writer
Monday, June 15, 2009

DIXFIELD - A young Dixfield boy's birthday wish and a truck reunited a Shetland sheepdog named Max with its Sumner owner 51 days after the lovable sheltie was lost in the Maine woods.

Shetland sheepdog is reunited with its 11-year-old owner after being lost 51 days in the woods of Maine, then hit by a truck.

Six days after the reunion, late Friday afternoon at Towle's Corner Store in Dixfield, Tina Hicks of Sumner and Zachary Brown, 11, of Dixfield, hugged each other.

Hicks thanked Brown for finding Max; Zach thanked Hicks and her daughter, Riley Hicks, 11, for the thank-you card, cash reward, and other gifts they gave him.

"You're a hero, man. You rule," Tina Hicks told the boy, who sat back down beside Max and petted him.

"Thank you for finding him," Riley Hicks told Brown, whose birthday wishes on June 5 were simply to find Max and get a spaghetti and meatballs dinner.

"He didn't ask for anything material," Maria Brown said of her son. "All he wanted to do was find this dog."

"That's so sweet," Tina Hicks said. "If he hadn't have done that, we wouldn't have found him."

On April 16, the day the Hicks family left on a Florida vacation, Max chewed through a rope and escaped from the Dixfield home of Ben and Rebecca Skibitsky. Rebecca, who is Tina's daughter, was dog-sitting.

Last month, Max was spotted near Welch's field off Route 142 in Dixfield.

"There were no sightings of him for three weeks and then there were sightings every day," Tina Hicks said. Several Dixfield residents, including the Skibitskys, searched daily for Max, left food for him and tried to trap him.

But Max evaded capture, twice escaping from Havaheart traps.

On June 5, Maria Brown took Zach looking for the 2½-year-old dog and returned the following day to refill a feed bowl they'd left for Max.

As they approached the bowl on June 6, Brown said her son heard Max there.

Max heard them, too, however, and bolted, darting onto Route 142, where he was immediately struck by a braking truck.

"We heard the crack, crack of Max running and then the (screech) of tires," Maria Brown said. "Three vehicles stopped and pulled over. The dog rolled off the road, got up and took off."

The Browns gave chase.

Despite suffering a fractured pelvis in two places, collapsed lung, pierced liver and ruptured spleen, Max ran 1,000 feet before collapsing in a yard. He had porcupine quills entangled in fur around his face and was covered in ticks.

Maria gently picked Max up and carried him to her Jeep.

"It was a bittersweet moment," she said. "I was so happy we'd found him and yet so sad that he got hit."

She drove to a utility pole on which the Hicks had posted a flier about their missing pooch, tore it down and called the number on it.

When she took the call, Riley Hicks burst into tears, her mother said.

"Riley was crying, 'They have Max! They have Max!' and I thought, 'Nobody has Max. He's like lightning,'" Tina Hicks said.

"Shelties freak out when they get lost," she said. "They don't even come to their owners."

Max, who suffers from night blindness, had been given up for dead.

"It's bad enough that he got to live in the woods for 51 days and then he gets hit by a truck," Tina Hicks said.
Shortly after the call, Hicks' son-in-law, Ben Skibitsky, arrived to get Max.

When they finally got him back, Tina Hicks said she didn't think Max would live through the night. But he did. A veterinarian revived and mended the family pet, but his collapsed lung has yet to refill.

Still, despite many injuries, Max is expected to make a full recovery.

The vet said we have to punch two holes in Max's nine-lives' card," Tina Hicks said.

As for Zach, whose sheltie "Tickles" died of old age a few years ago, he was just happy to help reunite Max with the Hicks family.

"It's pretty cool," he simply said.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bella, Brown Dog

Lost & Found: A Dog's Day
Outposted by William Beem
on May 7, 2009 1:51:04 PM

This morning I came home from the gym and found a stray dog wandering down the street. By the time I parked in my garage, she noticed me and decided to make a new friend. Although I've lived in my neighborhood more than a decade, I didn't recognize this dog at all. Unfortunately, she didn't have a collar or any way for me to identify her. I couldn't tell if she was from someone in my neighborhood, or perhaps one of the other nearby neighborhoods.

At this point, I had a decision to make. I could let her continue wandering around, or I could take her in and try to find her owner. If she was turned out by an uncaring owner, the latter option may have left me with a new dog in the house. I already have two dogs, and recently suffered a loss of my oldest dog a month ago.

While I had mixed feelings about the possibility of getting another dog, I'm not opposed to adopting a stray if the personalities don't clash with the current dogs. In fact, one of my dogs was a stray who just showed up at my parent's door one day and decided to live there (we never could find the owner and suspect they may have mistreated the dog).

Letting her wander around just wasn't going to cut it for me. Even though I'd never seen her before, I could envision her getting hit by a car, going hungry, or some other unpleasant fate. The first thing I did was put down a bowl of food, which she ignored. I took that as a promising sign that she wasn't long gone from her home.

She got along fine with my dogs, though my youngest one was clearly getting insecure about this interloper trying to get my attention. He's used to being the attention-hog in the house, and he really put it on during her visit here.

At lunch, I checked the neighborhood for signs or some people looking for a dog, but didn't find anything. Then I decided to call Seminole County Animal Services to see if anyone had filed a report about a missing dog. The voice menu system there seems a bit confusing. I followed the menu to file a report about a Found Dog, but all it did was play a recording and never offered a choice to leave a message about the dog. That's when dialing 0 is your friend.

I spoke to a pleasant woman who was taking down my information about the stray dog when it turned out the owner was down there to file a report about her lost dog. Perfect timing. I spoke with the owner and learned she lived just a few houses down from me. They're new to the neighborhood and her husband was working from home (so do I). She called him and we met outside to reunite them. He was really happy to see her again and relieved to get her home before the kids came back from school.

Fortunately, everything worked out for this family. The dog's name is Bella. Very sweet & playful, and she had her big day out.

If you ever happen to run into a stray dog, please consider contacting Animal Services. There may well be someone frantically trying to find their wayward pet. If you don't want to keep the dog, then Animal Services will send someone out for a pickup.

If you own a dog, please make sure they wear a collar with an identification tag. It can make for a quicker reunion between you and the one you love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Luke, a black lab

Kennebunkport woman finds dog 17 days after disappearance
By Laura Dolce
November 27, 2008 6:00 AM

KENNEBUNKPORT — This is a story of love lost and found, of a bond so powerful it defies the odds and of friendship forged out of adversity.

It begins on a sunny day in early September with the Nesbit clan gathering for a family reunion in Kennebunkport. Art and Heather Nesbit had made their way up from Pepperell, Mass., and they brought with them their black lab, Luke. At 12, Luke had just come through his second bout with cancer and was still experiencing health problems. He had cysts on each of his paws, and his arthritis was so bad it made walking difficult.

Art and Luke share a special bond, Heather says. When Luke went through his second bout with cancer, Art researched what they could do. They didn't want to make him go through chemo or radiation at his age, she says. Instead, Art found a special diet that seemed to make Luke better. But by the time the reunion came, it was clear Luke was struggling. Still, Art and Heather brought him along because, after all, it was a family reunion.

"Luke is our fourth son," Heather says simply.

That's why it didn't take long for Art to realize Luke was missing that day. With everyone calling and searching it soon became clear: Luke was gone.

Gathering as many people as they could, the Nesbits began to search. They walked through the woods, calling Luke's name. They searched until the sky was dark and the day had passed into the next, but, still, no Luke.

Over the next few days, Art took out ads in the local papers offering a reward for his missing pet. He created fliers. And still he searched. As the days passed, though, Art says he stopped looking for a live dog. Instead, he used a long stick to poke at leaves, looking for a body.

"I even dragged the pond on (daughter) Katie's property," he says.

The Nesbits began to think that Luke, old and sick and knowing the end was near, had wandered off to die. Still, even if it was just his body, Art and Heather wanted to bring Luke home.

While Heather finally returned to their home in Pepperell, Art stayed.

"He would start home, but only get as far as York," Heather says. "He just couldn't leave."

Finally, though, after days of searching, Art had to go home without Luke. There, he gathered up all of the dog's toys in the house, washed Luke's bed. And then he put them all away.


Back in Kennebunkport, Deborah Rubero couldn't get Luke's story out of her mind. Back in 2006, Deborah and her husband Jay had gone through the same thing with their 14-year-old dog Dylan. On a late summer night, Dylan went out for one last time and never came back.

Devastated, the Ruberos searched, hung posters and visited every shelter they could find. One day, months later, when husband Jay had stopped in once again to search the cages at the Animal Welfare Society for Dylan, he called Deborah to come down.

There's this dog, he told her. You just have to see him.

So Deborah drove over and met Jethro, a tall Treeing Walker Coonhound with haunting eyes. Jethro had come to the AWS through its Paws Across America program. He was shy, a little bit skittish, and in need of a home. Having lost Dylan, the Ruberos had a hole in their lives that could only be filled by a dog. And so Jethro, who was in need of being saved, instead saved Deborah and Jay. He offered them comfort when, months later, a neighbor called to tell them that Dylan's body had been found.

Because of Dylan, it was perhaps natural that Deborah would take Luke's story to heart.

And so each morning she would snap on Jethro's lead and take him out for his morning walk on the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust land off Gravelly Brook Road. "Let's go find Luke," she'd tell him before letting him off leash. Unbeknownst to the Nesbits, Deborah did this every day for 16 days, a private vigil for her and Jethro. On the 17th day, though, everything changed.


Heather was home alone in Pepperell when the phone rang. Luke had been found. Within minutes, Art and Heather were headed back to Maine.

They didn't know very much about Luke's condition, only that he was alive.

"I just told the vet not to put him down," Art says. "I just wanted to see him."

Arriving at the Kennebunk Veterinary Hospital, it was clear that other than being dehydrated, Luke was in pretty good shape.

Overcome, Art got down on the floor with his dog and held him.

The vet's office put Art and Luke in a room and let them spend the day together, Heather says. While Luke lay on a blanket receiving IV fluids, Art lay right next to him, unwilling to leave him for a moment.

While at the vet's office, Art and Heather heard the tale of how Luke was found, of how Deborah and Jethro had succeeded in their mission. Seventeen days after he'd gone missing, down a steep incline and in brush by the side of the Batson River, Jethro found Luke. He'd created a little nest, Deborah says, and just poked his graying muzzle out when she came close. Stunned but thrilled, she raced home to grab a blanket, treats and Jay.

Together, they pushed and pulled Luke up the incline and watched as he walked himself to their car. It was as if Luke knew he was finally going home.


Last week, the Nesbits and the Ruberos joined together to walk in the steps Deborah and Jethro took that day when they found Luke. Luke and Jethro ran alongside, tails wagging, smiles wide.
Astonishingly, Luke is in better health now than he was before he was lost. The 14 pounds he lost helped with the arthritis in his hips, Heather says, and when he was found, the cysts had disappeared from his feet.

"This is where I found him," Deborah says to Art, pointing to an area several feet from the river's bank.

Back on top of the hill, the couples pose for photos together with their dogs. Luke sits in front of Art and Heather, gazing up with the same kind of devotion that can be seen on his master's face. Close by are Deborah, Jay and Jethro — saviors, and now friends, brought together by their love of dogs and their unwillingness to give up on bringing Luke home.

Deborah Rubero talks to Art Nesbit as Luke sits with them. Rubero found Luke after he had been missing for 17 days.

"It's unbelievable," Art says, pausing to master his emotions. "I never thought I'd see Luke alive again."


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Monday, June 15, 2009

Jake, a shepherd mix

Five-month journey for lost dog's owner
Nine trips from Atlanta to Orlando, 1,000 fliers and one sandwich board
Daphne Sashin, Sentinel Staff Writer
June 4, 2009

A man's five-month search for his lost dog connected dozens of strangers throughout southwest Orange County with one goal: to find Jake.

Tim Noonan with his dog, Jake, and the sandwich board he wore to find him.

On the last day of a December vacation to Florida, Tim Noonan, his wife and their two dogs, Jake and Lucy, stopped to see family friends at their Dr. Phillips home.

Jake, a 4-year-old shepherd mix, slipped through a crack in the backyard fence and disappeared.
The Noonans and their friends, Richard and Cele Salzenstein, scattered until midnight, whistling and calling Jake's name.

"We were all crying," Cele Salzenstein said. "I was just so afraid that Tim was going to find him dead on the road..... I just hated that this happened at our house."

Noonan, who owns a tennis school in an Atlanta suburb, made the seven-hour drive to Orlando nine times to look for Jake. He put up more than 1,000 fliers, called newspapers and TV stations to get the word out, and had a pet detective analyze maps of southwest Orlando to pinpoint the search. The first month, he paced next to highways at rush hour wearing a sandwich board with the dog's picture on it.

"Anywhere there was a lead, I showed up with the sandwich board," Noonan said. "Every time I left Orlando without him, it was so depressing."

He would have gone to such lengths for any of his dogs, but Jake was special. Noonan's stepdaughter adopted Jake as a puppy from a local rescue group that had found him and his siblings being kept in a 55-gallon barrel on a farm.

Ron Betta, a fitness trainer in Windermere with two dogs of his own, was moved by the sight of Noonan on Sand Lake Road passing out fliers in early January.

"It just killed me to see him without his pet," Betta said. "I couldn't even focus at work."

Betta created a Web site about Jake and drove around Dr. Phillips for hours at a time, searching for a dog he had never met. When it rained, he thought about Jake out there alone somewhere.

In early February, Noonan received a call from Alex McCulloch in the Palm Lake subdivision, who had seen the signs around town. Jake had been eating the cat food the McCullochs left out for neighborhood strays.
"The dog, obviously being starving, didn't mind that it was cat food," McCulloch said. "As we kept putting the food out for him, he kept coming every morning, every night."

Noonan hopped in the car and drove to the McCulloch house, but after a 15-minute standoff with Jake, the frightened dog took off into the woods. The couple and Noonan staked out the yard several more nights and fashioned nets to trap Jake but never caught him.

"The people in Orlando were absolutely amazing," Noonan said. "All the people who were calling and praying, it was very uplifting...because we were trying so hard to get him back."

By May, when three weeks had passed and no one had seen Jake, Noonan began to fear he would never find the sweetest dog he ever had. But May 21, his wife received a call from the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, where a greenskeeper had been feeding Jake hot dogs and turkey. The dog was covered in fleas, dirty and had lost weight but was otherwise healthy.

Cele Salzenstein and one of her daughters raced to the golf course to pick up Jake. They handed him off to Richard Salzenstein, who met Noonan at the Georgia border. Noonan came equipped with two leashes, a harness and two collars. He wasn't going to let Jake get away again.

But Jake was ready to go home. He jumped in the car, wagging his tail. When they got home at 3 a.m., Noonan slept beside the flea-ridden dog on the screened porch. The dog nuzzled against him, as if he had never left.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bear, german shepherd

Is it just me, or does anyone else get weirded out when hearing that a police canine gets spooked and runs off? They're police, aren't they? Aren't they supposed to be brave? Aren't they supposed to be too well trained to run off? Hey what do I know? Enjoy the story.

Chicago police dog found 4 days later
Bear disappeared after spooked by thunder
By Andrew L. Wang Tribune reporter
May 18, 2009

Bear the Chicago Police Dog is reunited with his partner Rick King at Area 8 Police Headquarters in Chicago, Sunday May 17, 2009.

A thunderbolt clapped Wednesday night, and Bear the police dog, apparently spooked by the noise, took off, leaping over a fence and into the night.He wasn't seen again until Sunday morning, when a man walking to a hardware store spotted him near a cemetery on the border between Evergreen Park and Chicago.

Bear looked up and cocked his head quizzically, Howard Overton said. "I said, 'That looks like the dog on the news.' "Overton flagged down a nearby police car, and a few minutes later, the officer tracked Bear down. A scan of the microchip in his neck confirmed his identity.

By midday, the 2 ½ -year-old German shepherd was reunited with his handler, Canine Unit Officer Rick King. At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Bear, who panted happily as he soaked up the attention from reporters, appeared to have suffered few effects from his days away from home.

"He's a little shaggy and a little dirty," King said. "But otherwise, he seems fine."

King took Bear out into the backyard of his home in the 3800 block of West 109th Street about 10:30 p.m. during a break in Wednesday's thunderstorms to allow the dog to relieve himself.

Then, rolling thunder startled him, and he suddenly headed for the corner of the yard, where a neighbor's 5-foot wooden fence meets King's fence; climbed it; and disappeared.

King said he had slept about five hours since Bear vanished and had followed up calls of found dogs from as far north as Montrose Avenue.

"It's like your child. Animal lovers will know what I'm talking about," King said.King said the dog was most likely hunting small animals in the wooded areas of the Far Southwest Side."He's a little hunter," he said.

Source: Chicago Tribune,0,3190770.story?track=rss

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Che, a pug-sharpei mix

There's something in this story that I don't get. The dog was picked up by some people who did try to help him, but for some odd reason, didn't use the tags hanging from the dog's collar to see who would be looking for him. Why the heck not??? Enjoy the story.

Missing Dog Reunited With Grateful Owner
Posted: Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:48AM

Rebecca Blabolil was reunited with her missing dog, Che, on Thursday night. CBS

CHICAGO, Ill. (STNG) -- A dog named Che has been reunited with his owner, more than five days after she lost him at the Montrose dog beach.

It turned out that another family had found Che later on Friday, and returned him to Rebecca Blabolill after seeing a television news report about the missing dog.

Blabolil said the 6-month-old Sharpei-Pug never left her side, but on Friday, that all changed. She was at the Montrose dog beach on Friday that Rebecca was watching a friend throw a Frisbee to his dog. For a moment, she took her eye off Che. When she turned back, Che was gone.

Initially, she thought Che had been stolen. But it turned out that he had just wandered off, and Jim and Angie Slavik of the West Rogers Park neighborhood found him.

They were driving north on Lake Shore Drive near the Wilson Avenue exit Friday night, when they saw a dog running alongside the highway.

"We pulled over, and I stopped in the right lane, and she had lured the dog; called the dog over, and we got it in the car," Jim Slavik said.

The Slaviks took the dog to their West Rogers Park home. Jim Slavik said the dog was hungry and thirsty, but otherwise in good health.

Che did have tags with Blabolil's contact information.

"He was a very, very friendly dog," Jim Slavik said. "He warmed up to our puppy right away."

They first called 311, Slavik said, but an operator said there was little the city could do, and suggested they call Animal Care and Control. But Slavik did not want the dog impounded or euthanized.

The family was growing attached to the dog, but on Wednesday, they saw news reports showing a frantic Blabolil looking for her lost Che. So they brought the dog to Devon and Ridge avenues on Wednesday night, where he was reunited with his owner.

The Slaviks' two daughters were choked up as they parted with the dog, and said they'd miss him. Blabolil was overjoyed.

Blabolil and Che joined CBS 2's Don Schwenneker at CBS 2 Thursday morning.

"It was absolutely incredible," Blabolil said. "Last night was a perfect night. We got together again, and he's been happy, and he's been very well taken care of."

Rebecca Blabolil was reunited with her missing dog, Che, on Thursday night.
Blabolil said she received several other calls offering "prayers and thoughts and ideas," but was thrilled when she received the call from the Slaviks that they thought they had her dog.

She said she put up a $2,500 reward for Che in part because it was her first dog ever, and that she felt she had failed in her responsibility to him and "wanted to get him back."

The Slaviks collected the reward, and said they would put it toward buying another dog.

Another version of the story at:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chad, on Log Island

After Xway dash, wayward pooch reunited with Staten Island family
-- Contributed by Maura Yates, Posted eadanna
June 02, 2008 17:15PM

Chad is reunited with Margaret Sawicka and her daughters Karolina, 11, and Weronika, 2.

A Fort Wadsworth family was reunited with their wayward dog today at the Center for Animal Care and Control in Charleston, where the pooch was brought after it was caught taking a stroll on the Staten Island Expressway last week.

They arrived just in time, as the dog was scheduled to be sent to an animal rescue group in New Jersey tonight, to be adopted.

Turns out "Manilito," so named by staffers at the animal shelter, is actually named "Chad," and he is partly blind, which explains his dangerous wrong turn onto the busy highway.

The dog's tale began on Thursday when he escaped from the Sawicka family's yard. He wandered onto the nearby Fingerboard Road on-ramp and onto the busy highway, where he was spotted by Officer Paul Werner of Highway 5.

Werner chased the dog for more than a quarter of a mile before Chad grew tired and jumped into the back of Werner's car and was taken to the pound.

Meanwhile, a heartbroken Karolina Sawicka, 11, canvassed her neighborhood with flyers with Chad's picture and contact information.

A neighbor who saw a front page article and photo of Chad in the Advance on Friday realized the two were a match and called the family, who had not seen the paper, on Sunday.

Today at the CACC, Karolina, her mother Margaret, and sister, Weronika, 2, were all smiles during a reunion with the speckled-nosed Chad, whom they call "Ciapek," a Polish word that means "spots."

"Usually he's in the yard. I don't know how he got out," Mrs. Sawicka said.

Great news. Can the people in Rossville who also just found their dog now please take down the 700 flyers they have plastered all over the south shore.
Posted on 06/02/08 at 10:59PM

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mara, Beagle Mix

Wish has come true for owner of lost dog
Published Friday, April 25, 2008

PORT RICHEY — Zachary Mitrovich feels good about the world again. After the passing of his father, his mother's disabling illness, his own fight with death and the possibility that he and his mother might lose their home, the 19-year-old already was holding on to hope by a thread.

And then his best friend, a 13-year-old beagle mix named Mara, slipped through an open backyard gate on Monday.

Mitrovich, who has saved at least 20 stray animals and reunited them with their owners, refused to cry or acknowledge his heartache. Instead, he went into action — making 600 color fliers and posting them all over Port Richey, banking on karma and the good in people.

He believed. And the universe responded.

Early Thursday, as copies of the Times with a story about Mitrovich's plight were being delivered, he embraced Mara. A woman who lived about a mile from Mitrovich's house had seen a flier for Mara and knew it was the stray dog she had found a few days earlier and taken in. She called and asked Mitrovich detailed questions, to make sure the dog was really his.

And then she put Mara on the phone. Mitrovich spoke, and Mara wiggled, as much as a senior citizen with bad back legs can, and she barked her seal-like yelp. Mitrovich sped over there in his car and brought Mara home.

Losing Mara was the last thing Mitrovich needed. The dog comforted him after his dad died and helped him in his own fight with a virus that drained his testosterone. His mom, who suffers from lupus, is disabled and can't work. The pair are struggling to keep up the payments on their home.

So Mara's return was a joyous event. As she slept all day Thursday, exhausted from being lost, the good karma kept coming to Mitrovich. More than 200 people who read the Times story called him. They offered to give him money, which he thanked them for but refused. They wanted to help search and pray for Mara.

"It was very touching to hear that people who don't even know me or Mara could care that much," Mitrovich said.

He wants to thank all of the people who called and all of the others who were kind to him. During his search, he walked up to people on their porches and knocked on doors and flagged down postal workers. All of them listened and took the fliers.

As he talked on the phone Friday, Mara slept behind him in a chair.

"Words can't describe how I feel," Mitrovich said. "All I can say is, 'thank you.' "

Zachary Mitrovich’s beagle mix, Mara, 13, disappeared April 21. After posting about 600 fliers and a story in Thursday’s Times, Mitrovick and Mara were reunited Thursday.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lulu, a 3-legged dog

Family reunited with missing three-legged dog
Submitted by WWAY on 9 September 2008 - 6:33pm.

A Scott's Hill family that has been desperately searching for its dog for weeks was reunited with her today.

The Wirsen's said a neighbor saw a woman take Lulu from their front yard two weeks ago. The woman who took the dog called the Pender County sheriff's office after seeing the missing dog's picture.

A detective returned Lulu to her family this evening.

Lulu was not wearing a collar with identification and the woman told detectives she thought Lulu's flea collar was on too tight.

The family is just happy to have part of the family back.

Christine Wirsen, Lulu’s owner said, "It's awesome, we've been so worried about her and just every day my mind is just constantly thinking about her, my son's been asking about her and it's just been tough. We are definitely excited and happy and I think she's a little overwhelmed right now."

Since the woman who took Lulu called detectives to turn the dog in, she will not face charges.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Foster, a german short haired pointer

Authorities rescue 2 women who became lost while searching for missing dog
by Al Frank/The Star-Ledger
Thursday December 04, 2008, 6:14 PM

 Two women searching for a lost dog needed rescue themselves today after they got lost in a Parsippany marsh. Montville and State Police sent an all-terrain vehicle and four helicopters to find them and the pair - and the pooch - were eventually airlifted to safety. Though wet and cold from their 3 1/2-hour foray into Troy Meadows, 41-year-olds Susan Zymroz of Manasquan, and Deidre Keelen, of Keansburg, were otherwise unhurt by the ordeal.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-LedgerSusan Zymroz and Deidra Keelen, with rescue dog Foster, exit a NJ State Police Aviation Unit helicopter after being rescued from the swampy waters of the Troy Meadows Wildlife Preserve in Parsippany by pilot Sgt. Toby Hill, left and Trooper Daniel Vanco, right.

But eight days wandering the 1,300-acre wildlife refuge had cost Foster, a German shorthair pointer, about 15 of his 60 pounds.

Although just a stone's throw from routes 80 and 280, and toting a cell phone and GPS, the women said they got lost after walking about 1 1/2 miles into the spongy terrain and locating the dog, which had bolted from its Boonton owners the day before Thanksgiving.

Zymroz and Keelen are members of the German Shorthaired Pointers Rescue Club, which had been assisting owners Nicole and Mike Mancusi ever since Foster ran from the parking lot of the dog park on South Beverwyck Road.

"We're so excited," Nicole Mancusi said after the couple was reunited with 5-year-old Foster.

Lost dog sign posted in search of Foster

It was Keelen who found Foster about an hour into the trek. The dog was stranded on a tiny island of sand, so Keelan forded the calf-deep water and stayed with Foster until Zymroz caught up.

At that point the women realized they were lost and should stay put until help arrived. Zymroz used her cell phone to reach a Parsippany dispatcher, and relayed their location from a GPS she carries in her pocket. Montville police sent an all-terrain vehicle but it was the State Police Medevac chopper that found them. Not equipped with a hoist, however, the aviation unit deployed three additional choppers to the scene.

Trooper Daniel Vanco helped the duo and dog aboard while Sgt. Toby Hill piloted the craft.

Zymroz had also called the Mancusis from the swamp so they were watching nearby as the helicopter landed around 1:30 p.m.

"Out they came -- it was remarkable," Nicole Mancusi said. Foster will be kept by the vet overnight but other than the weight loss, appears to have no major injuries, she said. "And I'm so happy Sue and Dee were able to come out of this unscratched," Mancusi said. "It was remarkable how Sue kept the faith and was able to find him."

Keelen credited Saint Anthony of Padua, the 13th Century Franciscan whose aid the devout seek in finding lost things.

After arriving at the dog park, Keelen said she prayed: "Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony please come around. Something's been lost and has to be found."

She said the prayer again in the swamp as Zymroz called the cops. A short time later, they heard the thump of the helicopter's rotor.

Lt. Gerald Lewis, a State Police spokesman, said he could not estimate the rescue's cost. However, in 2004, the governor reimbursed State Police $1,830 per hour for non-state use of a helicopter.

"What price can you put on saving someone's life?" Lewis said.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Max, an Australian Silky Terrier

This is, fortunately, not a story you see every day. I can't tell if the dog was stolen or if he was simply scooped up by an unscrupulous person. I would have to say that I wish the family had pressed charges -- for the sake of future people that will probably lose their dogs to her because she never got in trouble for it when the chance was there for her to get into trouble.

Max factor back at last
Missing terrier reunited with family
Joseph Kaos Jr
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 07:20:00

YOUNG Naveen was devastated on March 23 when his best mate Max went missing. The usually vibrant nine-year-old lost his youthful enthusiasm ever since that moment. For days the boy wept. He also lost his appetite, much to the dismay of his parents.

But there was to be a happy ending to Naveen's sad episode, and it happened when his father returned home last week.

MISSED YOU: Naveen (left) and Ajay are happy to have Max back after two months

The moment Naveen saw that his father had his lost friend in his arms, and Max 'smelt' familiar territory, both were overcome with joy.

Seeing Max after nearly two months, the family felt it was close to a miracle. "I was so upset," said Naveen. "I thought I'd never see Max again." Max, a two-year-old Australian Silky Terrier, is cherished by the whole family, including Naveen's father and his six-year-old brother Ajay. But it was with Naveen that Max shared a bond with.

On March 30, Malay Mail ran a story about the disappearance of several pedigree dogs in Subang Jaya. Based on a few leads, it was suspected that an old lady was behind it all.

For two months, Naveen's family never gave up hope and searched for their beloved Max. They went around their neighbourhood, handing out leaflets to neighbours with descriptions of their missing pet. Eventually, their search narrowed to a house in their neighbourhood, with help of corned residents.

According to them, the old woman who lived there had two kennels in which she kept many dogs. Naveen's father then planned the rescue. Pretending to be a dog breeder, he got in touch with the woman and claimed to be interested in buying one of her dogs.

True enough, the woman revealed that she had an Australian Silky Terrier in her possession. Naveen's father went to the woman's house... and with the help of police managed to retrieve Max.

"We are so grateful that we managed to rescue Max before he was sold off," said Naveen's mother yesterday. "We are also relieved that Max is in good condition and is healthy as ever."

The family decided not to press charges against the woman as they were happy just to get Max back.

"We have Max again and that's what matters," they chorused. And Naveen is not feeling lost any more, now that the Max factor is back in his life.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sam, a shih tzu

Woman Spends $23,000 To Find Lost Dog
2 ½-Month Search Has Happy Ending
April 3, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ginny Davis went to extreme measures to find her lost dog, a $23,000 investment that she said paid off.

When Davis lost her 2-year-old shih tzu, Sam, money was no object, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.

With six furry friends, Davis considers her dogs family. When Sam wiggled out of his collar on the way to the groomer, Davis was devastated.

"He was just in panic mode at that point and so he just kept running," she said.

As quickly as Sam made his escape, Davis drew up a game plan to find him. She hired search and rescue teams from Oklahoma and Ohio to trace his scent and plastered thousands of signs all over Indianapolis and Greenwood.

With every phone call she got, Davis had a little more hope that Sam would be found safe and sound.

One day last week, Davis got a phone call she had waited months for. A postal worker saw Sam sleeping in a nearby field. When Davis called Sam's name, the dog came running to her.

"I thought, 'My God, it is him,' and I just sat down and cried," Davis said.

Philip Borst, who has a veterinary practice near Davis' home, said he was shocked when he heard that a pet owner spent $23,000 to find her dog.

"I've had stories over my 35 years of dogs that have been lost for 100 miles away and they found them ... in another city or state," Borst said. "The lengths that she went, that showed that she sure did love that little pooch."

"I'm not a wealthy person. It's just that I feel when you get an animal, you make a commitment," Davis said.

Sam was extremely dirty and full of ticks when he was found, but after a good grooming and examination, he's the same dog Davis loves.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chachi, a chihuahua

While it's not a part of the story how this dog was lost, I noted that the dog went missing on July 4th. I don't believe this is likely to be a coincidence. It's highly likely that it had something to do with fireworks scaring the dog. Everyone should take extra care to protect their dogs on this holiday.

Dog found 825 miles from home ‘miracle of the year’
By Rick McCrabb, Columnist
Sunday, May 10, 2009

I wish dogs could talk.

My first question to Chachi, the lost, then found dog: “How did you go from living in Florida to being found in Ohio?”

Before he could answer, I’d remind Chachi that Florida is the “Sunshine State” and the sun rarely shines in Ohio. Then I’d hand him a dog treat, pat him on the head, watch his tail wag and wait for his answer.

But Chachi can’t tell us what happened on July 4, 2008, and why he ran out of the front door of a house in Orlando, Fla.

Robert Bartman, 30, of Gainesville, Fla., owned Chachi, but while he was out of town, friends were watching the dog.

Bartman, when contacted at home on Thursday, May 7, said he has “no idea” how his dog — a present from his mother before she died — ended up in Ohio, 825 miles from home.

“When you lose a dog for that long, he’s dead or someone stole him,” Bartman said. “You figure the worst.”

Fast forward to the end of April 2009.

Patricia Ross and her boyfriend Lonnie Mason, who live on Whittier Street off Tytus Avenue in Middletown, were surprised to see an unfamiliar dog walking down their street.

“He just wandered into the garage,” Ross said. Ross picked up the chihuahua, carried him around the neighborhood, asking anyone if they had lost their dog.

No luck. Since the dog had no collar, no identification, Ross took him to All About Pet Care, 3410 Tytus Ave.

But Chachi had a microchip, which showed that his owner lived in Gainesville, Fla., said Kara Coheen, practice manager at All About Pet Care.

When Bartman was notified that Chachi — missing for nearly 10 months — was located in Middletown, there was a pause on the phone. “Middletown?” he asked.

“Middletown, Ohio,” Coheen said.

Chachi was driven to Dayton International Airport, then flown to Florida. Bartman said Chachi is back home after receiving medical treatments from the veterinarian.

“You could tell he had been on the street for a while,” said Bartman, who added that his dog required dental work.

Bartman said Chachi helped him “get through a lot of hard times” after his mother, Sandra, was killed in an auto accident five years ago.

“It means a lot to have my dog back,” he said.

He mentioned he has spent more than $700 on vet bills, then added: “He’s worth more than that. With that type of love, you can’t let them go.”

Sonia Conde, Bartman’s grandmother, said she prayed for Chachi’s return, and a few days later, the phone rang. It was All About Pet Care. “I thank God for finding him,” she said. “It’s the miracle of the year.”
Robert Bartman, 30, of Gainesville FL, recently was reunited with his dog, Chachi. The chihuahua was reported missing on July 4, 2008, in Orlando FL, and was found in Middletown OH. The dog was flown back to Florida.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Radar, an Australian Shepherd mix

Radar escaped his foster home not long after arriving, and he was on the lam for 8 weeks. For my part, I found out about him as soon as he was lost since I volunteer with local people to find lost dogs. But I was focused on something else and couldn’t jump in to join the search. I kept tabs on the blog, though, and the first seven and a half weeks were difficult. To me it looked like a lot of starting and stopping, and a generally floundering effort. Leads would come in and people would go out, fliering and setting up feeding stations. But then there would be a lull. Nothing exciting seemed to be happening. Eventually the effort seemed to be revived, and a Facebook group was formed to help. But even after that, it looked like it was fizzling again.

Then one day there was apparently some kind of mudslinging going on between two or three rescue organizations – on Craigslist of all places. One of the Radar volunteers was, I guess, entertained enough that she was reading all of the Craigslist postings in the Pets section. And she found one that read as follows:

Can I borrow a trap for a day? (Springfield) There is a mini golden retriever (may be something else) small dog in the woods behind our townhouse complex. I've been feeding him, but can't get close to him/her. My neighbor has tried too. Can I borrow a trap for a 25 pound dog size? Thanks!

Although the volunteer didn’t know it, Springfield is the next town over from Burke, where Radar had been lost nearly eight weeks earlier. Radar isn’t a mini golden retriever, but he definitely looks like one. So the volunteer contacted the Craigslist poster, and put the wheels in motion.

Volunteers were mobilized. A trap was delivered to the poster’s site, and set up as a feeding station, not rigged as a trap. A camera was delivered to the site, and set up. But the card reader was faulty, so a call for a new card reader was put out, and another volunteer had one on hand. That volunteer couldn’t deliver it, but another volunteer picked it up and delivered the card reader. It was an interesting team effort to have the trap and camera set to go by the next evening, with the idea being initially to condition Radar to go into it before then setting the trap to spring.

Imagine the excitement of the volunteers when the woman in Springfield sent around photos taken from the camera by the very next morning! This dog was definitely Radar! She sent more pictures that afternoon and the next morning. The plan to have a couple of volunteers meet at her house at 6pm was finalized.

The volunteers arrived right at 6pm, and were out of there by 6:15 with the trap set. Just before 8pm, a neighbor spotted Radar in the trap, and it was all over. The volunteers were notified, and several of them went out to spring him, and get him to his temporary foster home.

From the discovery of the Craigslist posting to the snapping of the trap, the Radar recovery was textbook. It was great to be a part of it.

See Radar's blog at:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kyuubi, a brindle-colored dog

Ouch, the way this dog was "lost" is horrifying! In the end, once again, a microchip saved the day. Enjoy the story.
Man reunited with dog dumped by W.Va. interstate
April 04, 2009 @ 01:30 PM
MALINDA REINKE, The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — The big brindle dog with the yellow eyes hesitated only for a moment as a familiar voice called his name. “Kyuubi! Come here, Kyuubi!” Then he started running.

Isaac Rodriguez, 23, grinned, early Tuesday evening, as the pet he thought he would never see again raced into his arms in the backyard of the Creekside Kennels, in Fairmont.

Rodriguez and a couple of childhood friends had driven nonstop from California to West Virginia so that Rodriguez could be reunited with the lost 2-year-old Labrador-pit bull mix pup he hadn’t seen since mid-January.

“He looks good,” said Rodriguez, smiling and rubbing his dog’s back just the way he always liked it. “He looks huger!”

The reunion, organized by Pet Helpers Inc., a pet rescue group based in Fairmont, was witnessed by about a dozen volunteers and well-wishers.

According to Rodriguez, Kyuubi (pronounced QB) who Rodriguez had adopted at about 3 months old from a shelter in Los Angeles had been living with him and his girlfriend in Bellview in Marion County.

“In December of last year, she said she needed a break,” Rodriguez said. “So I moved back to California and I told her I’d have Kyuubi shipped out to me. She said she would take care of him for me.”

But a few weeks later, Rodriguez said, the woman texted his cell phone to tell him she was going to abandon the dog along Interstate 79.

What exactly became of Kyuubi for the next month and a half is unclear.

But on the morning of March 9, Bea Dotson, 25, spotted a big, skinny, brindle-colored dog in the front yard of her Pruntytown home. When he didn’t wander away, she went out to investigate.

“He was a little shy,” Dotson said. “I called him, I said, ’Hey, buddy, come here,’ and he actually came up to me. He had these very light brown and yellow eyes. He was really scared and very dirty, but really friendly. I think I fed him almost 10 cups of food, he was so hungry.”

But the thing that most disturbed her, Dotson said, was the dog’s paws. “He was limping. And he had sores on every (pad) of his feet.”

Dotson called Joe Gribbon, owner of Creekside Kennels, who advised her to call Pet Helpers. Terry Buretz, a board member and volunteer for the rescue group, ran a notice about a lost dog for five days on Web sites Fido-finder and Pet911 and Marion County Humane Society’s E-Lert. No one called.

And when they brought the dog to the vet for treatment, they got a surprise — a scanner revealed a microchip. One of the names on the chip was Isaac Rodriguez. It was a defunct phone number, and it took some investigating, but Buretz found another phone number and left a message.
Her phone rang two minutes later.

“Are you missing a dog?” she asked the caller. “I am,” Rodriguez said.

At the kennel in Fairmont, with Kyuubi in his arms, Rodriguez said that, in January, he had called the local humane society and police departments to help find his dog, but no one could help him. He thought Kyuubi was gone from his life.

“This is awesome,” he said, thanking Dotson and Pet Helpers for all they’ve done.

Kyuubi, named after a character in the Japanese anime TV series “Naruto,” seemed content to romp around his master, and everyone around them smiled.

“I’m happy for him, of course,” Dotson had said before the reunion. “But Kyuubi was with us for three weeks and we were getting close to him.”

After the excitement died down, she and Rodriguez stood together with Kyuubi.

“You should have brought them flowers,” Dotson said of Buretz and the others from the rescue group.

“I know, I’m sorry,” the young man said. “But I have hugs.”

“Kyuubi says, ’Where have you been?’ Don’t lose him again.”

“Oh, I won’t,” he answered.

The Pet Helpers volunteers were just happy to witness one of their rescued pets go home.

“When you see those eyes on that dog,” Buretz said, “you wonder how anyone could have ever put him out.”


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