Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lucy, chihuahua-poodle mix

Thumbs up: Happy ending
Saturday, November 22, 2003

Lucy comes home
Last week we gave a "thumbs down" to the dastardly folks who found the Dishon family's lost dog and then mailed the rightful owners $100 and kept the pooch.

This week we are pleased to note that even the coldest hearts can thaw. Whether it was the national headlines, the power of our biting editorial or a pang of guilt we may never know, but the finders decided not to be keepers. Lucy, the Chihuahua-poodle mix, was returned to the Dishons in Mason, just in time to help celebrate Regan Dishon's ninth birthday.

Somebody dropped Lucy off at a local vet over the weekend, saying they thought it was the dog everyone was looking for, according to, Regan's mother, Alisa Dishon.

Lucy was just a puppy when she somehow escaped through the electronic fence surrounding the Dishon yard on Sept. 10. The family posted fliers, checked the animal shelters and asked everyone in the neighborhood if they had seen Lucy. They had just about given up hope when they received an anonymous letter with the $100 last week. The finders said they were taking care of the dog, but didn't want to give her back because they had recently suffered a death in the family and could not bear another loss.

As Mrs. Dishon noted, it was impossible to put a price on the loss her children felt when Lucy didn't come home. The finders' loss was to be sympathized with, but their lack of conscience was to be pitied more. We are glad they realized their mistake and went to the trouble to correct it.

A pet can be a great comfort to a family. We suggest the finders go down to their local animal shelter. They will find plenty of other dogs in need of good homes.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nookie, Siberian Husky

No matter how many stories I read of lost dogs found, I still find it incredible that a person would just take a dog with tags, and then  give the dog to a person who sees the tags and responds by contacting the owners. On a happier note, I love the creative way that the auditor’s office employee connected the dog to its owner.

Dog gone tale has a happy ending
Service dog reunited with Hamilton owner after walking out and taking ride to Michigan
By Josh Sweigart, Staff Writer
Updated 2:00 AM Friday, May 1, 2009

Heather Komnenovich's Siberian husky "Nookie" was found in Michigan after going missing more than a week ago.

HAMILTON — Kanuck is more than a friend to Heather Komnenovich. The Siberian husky is a highly trained service dog that helps her function in society.

So when “Nookie” went missing, Komnenovich was devastated. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, either, as her mother had just died.

But when the dog turned up in Michigan, and several people stepped forward to reunite the two, Komnenovich saw a hint of a miracle.

The dog disappeared more than a week ago. She just walked out the door.

“She knows how to open doors,” Komnenovich said.

At that point, Butler County Dog Warden Julie Holmes said a Michigan man came across Nookie while fishing in Hamilton and took the dog to his brother-in-law in Temperance, Mich. That man noticed the dog was wearing a tag and called the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

Auditor’s office employee Bob Goettelman found Komnenovich through her mother’s obituary in the newspaper. He contacted a family member who told her at the funeral that her dog was found.

Holmes then drove her own car to Lima to meet the Michigan man and pick up the dog. Nookie stayed at Holmes’ house overnight.

And it was all wagging tongues and big smiles when the two were reunited Thursday, April 30, at the Animal Friends Humane Society, which gave the dog a free vet check.
Komnenovich thanks all the people who helped find Nookie, and believes her mother may have played a role as well.

“Maybe my mom just had unfinished business she needed to attend to before leaving the earth,” she said.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Bailey, light brown dog

Lost dog tale has a happy ending
Cindy Wolff, Scripps Howard News Service
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

MEMPHIS — For 20 days the light brown dog with a black nose and sweet eyes hid in the mud, weeds and under runways at Memphis International Airport, running from the deafening sounds of jet engines.

She was found on New Year’s Day by Pam Bell, a woman who scoured muddy fields two or three times a day for three weeks searching for the dog named Bailey.

The starving dog was caught in a steel cage trap baited with fried chicken.

Bailey came to Memphis on Dec. 12 on a flight from Seattle. Her owners Chris and Laura Pierce shipped the Great Dane mix to stay with Chris’s stepfather and mother Richard and Lelia Ripley. Lelia said a Northwest employee wanted to see Bailey and opened the door to her crate. The dog bolted across the runway and disappeared.

Bell heard about Bailey and decided to help in the search.

Bell woke up on New Year’s Day morning and heard a dog had been found.

There was Bailey in the cage, skinny, scared and muddy.

Bell took pictures and e-mailed them to the Pierces.

Chris said that Bailey knows how to sit and do a high-five.

Bell squatted down and asked Bailey to sit.

“Give me a high-five.”

The dog’s paw went into the air and touched Bell’s hand.

The e-mail arrived.

“That’s her. That’s her. That’s her,” Chris said. “Look how skinny she is. Oh man. That’s Bailey. No question about it. My wife is crying. We’re all crying. This is a great way to start the New Year.”

Bell will foster Bailey for a few days until Richard Ripley recovers from knee surgery that is scheduled this week.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Archie, white west highland terrier

Lost dog found 375 miles from home
Couple's West Highland terrier recovered in Visalia after disappearing March 3
By Dylan Darling
Saturday, March 15, 2008

Perhaps it was the pressures of parenthood that prompted a young pooch to skip town.

Maybe little Archie caught a whiff of something he just had to chase.

Or perhaps somebody scooped up the white 1½-year-old West Highland terrier from his Redding neighborhood and took him to the far end of the Central Valley.

Just how Archie emerged in Visalia -- 375 miles south of Redding -- late this week after running away from home on Snow Lane off Quartz Hill Road on March 3 is a mystery.

His owners, Phil and Jackie Carr, got the call Thursday from the Valley Oaks Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"It's good news, bad news -- We found your dog, but he's in Visalia,'" said Phil Carr, a planner for the city of Redding.

The couple left Friday night to go to Stockton, where they planned to stay before finishing the trip to Visalia today to claim their dog.

Last seen on the night of March 3, Archie scampered out of an unwatched, open front door.

"He'd gotten out the front door before," Jackie Carr said.

But he'd never gone far. This time was different.

His collar carried a tag with his name. The Carrs blanketed their neighborhood with fliers and checked the local pounds -- but there was no sign of him.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, he appeared collarless, scratching at the door of a woman's home in Visalia, Phil Carr said. She let him in and let him sleep in her laundry room before taking him to Valley Oaks.

What happened in between only Archie knows. "My best guess is someone stole him, took him to Visalia and he got away from him because he is an escape artist," Phil Carr said.

Workers at Valley Oaks were able to identify Archie, whose full name is Archibald McDonald, because of a microchip in his shoulder.

"It helps immensely," said Lisa Hutchenson, Valley Oaks office manager.

She said pet owners should have their animals chipped so they can be identified even if they lose their collars.

While Jackie Carr also said she thinks someone stole Archie and that he then escaped, it could have been changes to his home life that caused him to leave.

The Carrs' other dog, a 2½-year-old cockapoo named Elle, had a litter of puppies -- of which Archie is the father -- just before he disappeared.

"So he's a deadbeat dad," Phil Carr said. "His wife had eight kids and he split."

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Moses, boxer

Milford family reunited with dog taken with stolen car
By Carol Hopkins, the Oakland Press
Published: Friday, September 25, 2009

Meshawn Maddock of Milford, with her daughters Winsome, 12, left, Parker, 8, and dog Moses. Moses was in the family car when it was stolen in Waterford Township on Thursday. He was later found limping and exhausted in White Lake.

It’s too bad Moses the boxer dog can’t talk because he would have a tale to tell.

Moses is back home with the Maddock family in Milford after someone stole the family car with Moses inside.

The saga started at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Matthew Maddock, owner of A-1 Bail Bonds in Milford, stopped to buy fishing tackle at KD Outdoors on Highland Road in Waterford. In his 1999 Volvo station wagon was the family’s beloved boxer, Moses, the 4-year-old dog the Maddocks had had since he was a 6-week-old puppy in 2005.

“My wife gave him to me for our 10th wedding anniversary,” said Maddock, who has three children with wife Meshawn.

“He was the best wedding anniversary gift ever.”

The gentle dog is considered “one of the kids,” said Maddock.

“He might look scary but he’s not,” he said.

Maddock was walking back and forth to the car dealing with his purchases and he wasn’t sure he had locked it or where he had tossed his keys.

When he came out of the store 20 minutes after parking the car, the Volvo — and Moses — were gone.

“I was frazzled,” said Maddock, trying to remember how and what had happened.

He reported the loss of the car, his dog and his Dell laptop computer to Waterford police.

The Maddocks said they were upset, especially the children who are 9, 12 and 14.

“The kids didn’t sleep,” said Matthew.

“I only slept a little bit. The kids came into our room at night crying.”

Police released the report of the car and dog theft to area media early Friday. WXYZ-TV7 in Southfield received a call from a White Lake resident, Chris Davis, Friday morning.

Davis stated on news reports that he and his family had come home from vacation Thursday evening and saw what they thought was a deer in their driveway.

The animal turned out to be Moses. They held onto him overnight.

On Friday, they learned about the missing Milford boxer and called WXYZ-TV7.

Staff arranged a joyous, tearful reunion with the Maddocks and Moses.

During the emotional taped reunion shown on TV, the Maddock children hugged the dog and kept repeating his name.

The Davis home is about 10 miles from where Moses was taken, said Meshawn Maddock.

Meshawn said Moses had a limp, possibly from running from the stolen car.

“I think the (thief) stole the car and just dumped him out,” she said.

The Maddocks had offered a $2,500 reward for the return of Moses, but Davis wouldn’t take it, said Meshawn.

“We all are so happy,” said Meshawn.

“We think (Moses) ran all night. We’re going to feed him steak and let him sleep for 12 hours.”

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Koozie, Rhodesian Ridgeback/chow mix

Dog missing for days rescued on Lake Erie
By S Alexander Gerould
March 17, 2010

WESTFIELD When Nate Myers, his mother Dixie, and sister Amanda decided to take a walk along Lake Erie near Bourne's Beach, they had no idea it wouldn't be just a usual trek along the shore.

Nate, a fisherman, was checking on the conditions of the mouth of a creek which runs into the lake. Meanwhile, his mother and sister were busy taking photographs of the natural wonders lining the lake's shore.

But, out in the lake, something didn't seem right.

"They were taking pictures of the lake, and I happened to look out and saw a dark spot. I thought, 'What is that?'" Nate said. "I noticed it started moving. We have a pretty good camera, so we zoomed in on it and realized there was a dog out there."


Phil Frost lives near Evangola State Park and Farnham, about 30 miles away from Westfield. It was around mid-morning on Thursday, March 11, when he noticed his dog, Koozie, a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Chow mix, had gone missing. Frost filed a pet Amber alert online, plastered his friends' Facebook pages with messages asking if they had seen his dog and put about 200 fliers at area businesses around his home.

"I was searching the woods since Thursday afternoon for some time, every day getting out of the woods well after dark," Frost said. "I would get out there first thing in the morning."

Then, on Tuesday, he got a call from a friend about a dog which was stuck on the Lake Erie ice near Barcelona.

"My buddy called and said his mother saw the news and there was a dog (stuck on the ice)," Frost said. "So, I jumped on and I was watching it (the news). It was dark, but you could see the thermal image of the dog. I looked at it, and I knew right away it was her. I could tell from the silhouette, the way she moved. They said the dog had actually bit one of the rescuers and I said, 'Wow, that sounds like Koozie to me.'"

Frost then called the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, who put him in touch with the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department.

"I called them and gave them a description. They called back and said they think they found my dog and sent me a picture," Frost said. "All I could care about was please let it be her. I must have said that about a million times. All I could think about was getting her home."


At first, Nate said he and his family were unsure of what to do, as they thought the dog's owner may have walked out onto the ice or was nearby. After a while, they decided to call the Westfield Police, who put them in touch with the fire department.

Soon, a rescue effort was under way, with Westfield firefighters donning wet suits and using a ice sled, while an Erie County Sheriff's helicopter and a rescue boat from Dewittville headed to the scene.

"It took a while to finally decide what to do," said Randy Edwards, assistant Westfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief. "We got our ice team out there and our ice sled. We had guys get their wet suits on, go out and try to capture the dog to get him back in. We just tried and tried and tried for about two hours."

After attempts by the Erie County Sheriff's helicopter to get close enough to the dog to scare it towards the firefighters and others, rescuers decided to call the rescue off for the night around 10:15 p.m.

"We went home and decided to come back today," Edwards said. 'We didn't want to do that (leave Monday night), but we didn't have much choice."

Around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, the rescuers returned to the dog, and, using the helicopter, lowered an individual to the ice using a lift. They were then able to capture the animal, but not before it ran off and rescue personnel had to chase it down. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian's office to be checked out.

"He was basically okay, a couple of minor problems," Edwards said. "The dog is in good shape and the owner is happy."


To everyone involved in the rescue, it couldn't have gone any better. They were able to rescue the dog and reunite someone with his best friend.

"To me, it was very rewarding," Edwards said. "Everybody said it's only a dog, but, to me, it's part of somebody's family. I was very, very happy that today we were able to finish the job off and have a happy ending out of it."

Frost was quick to express his gratitude for the work all the rescuers had done.

"I have so much appreciation for what these guys have done," he said, "all these guys risking their lives going out there on the ice and doing what comes natural to them."

He was also clearly overjoyed at having his dog back.

"It's a huge relief," Frost said. "I've been heartbroken since Thursday. I've had her for eight years since she was a 10 month-old pup. She's my baby. There's nothing better right now in the world for me."

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tyson, small white dog

Facebook Neighbors Reunite Dog with Owner
March 5

David Slade’s fiancĂ©e Kelly was the first to find the lost little dog. Standing in the driveway on her way to shop for wedding dresses in January, Kelly was surprised when the disoriented animal cheerfully run up to her. Kelly brought the pup, which she nicknamed “Mouse”, inside from the incoming rainstorm to play with their own dogs. She left David to begin searching for the owner of the lost pet alone.

Neither Kelly nor David could have guessed that Facebook would play an integral role in the effort to reunite Mouse with his family.

The dog was wearing a collar, but no tags, leaving David unsure where to begin his search for the owner. Initially, he pursued traditional methods by calling the neighborhood vet and the Humane Society, leaving a phone number and a description of Mouse in case anyone had called to inquire. Once the storm clouds parted, he even went door-to-door in the area surrounding his home, but was frustrated when he realized that many neighbors owned similar small white dogs and all of them seemed to be accounted for.

The following day, David knew it was time to take a different approach. Fortunately, his neighborhood of Hillcrest, a small, older area within Little Rock, Ark., has an active Facebook Page with nearly 2,500 fans. David posted a photo of Mouse, along with the following short message to the Page’s Wall.

Amazingly, within only a few hours, a woman named Lin Chan commented: “That’s our TYSON! Thank you!”

Lin had been alerted to David’s post by a phone call from a friend who had seen the post. “I quickly logged onto Facebook and was relieved and in disbelief when I saw Tyson’s photo posted by David,” Chan said. “My son, who is 4, actually cried when he saw the photo because he ‘wanted Tyson home now’.”

David and Kelly quickly contacted Lin after they saw her comment, and their Mouse, who was actually Tyson, was returned to the arms of Lin and her two sons in no time. During the search, David remembered a cell phone commercial he’d seen, where a picture of a lost dog is sent around town by text message and lead to his owner.

“I remember thinking ‘if only it were that easy,’” David said. “Turns out it is.”


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snickers, maltese

Reunited at last
Posted by Ben Swan
January 19, 2010 at 12:30am

The trembling bundle of white craddled in Erin Rideout’s arms likely doesn’t know just how lucky he is — or how much joy he’s brought to his family.

To some, he might be just a dog, but to Rideout and her mother, Anne, the fact that the Maltese mix is back in their fold is a miracle. And a testament to a great animal-loving community.

“We are so thrilled,” Anne Rideout said. “We are so grateful to everyone. We had strangers calling up to say that they were walking around the neighborhood looking for him.”

Anne Rideout, left, and her daughter, Erin, are overjoyed to have Snickers back in the family fold.

Snickers, a 15-year-old lap dog with a host of health problems, including heart issues that require daily medication, disappeared from the Rideout’s Gonzales Road home on Friday during a burglary. The Rideouts feel for sure the burglars took Snickers to sell.

The intruders were in an out of the home quickly after bursting in a front panel of the front door, ripping the security alarm off the wall and grabbing what they could. Rideout’s home-security company alerted her to the break in at 12:07 p.m., and she returned to find the ransacked house within 15 minutes. The police arrived about 45 minutes later.

While Anne Rideout hasn’t done a complete inventory of what was taken, she said they mostly stole what was easy to take — laptops, a camera and old cell phones. They also took Snickers’ dog carrier on a counter — along with their beloved pooch.

The Rideouts said the aging dog would not have wandered away from the home. Aside from heart problems, the dog is deaf and has cataracts.

On Saturday, the Rideouts plastered as many areas as they could with flyers offering a reward for the dog’s safe return. In addition to a newspaper article, two television news teams also reported on the missing dog.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Erin Rideout received a call from a fellow animal lover with seven small lap dogs of her own. After a few attempts at rescuing the dog from an area near Regal Cinemas on Cerrillos Road, the person said they were able to safely put the dog in a carrier they had with them.

The Rideouts quickly arrived and were reunited. Snickers suffered no ill effects from his adventure, Erin Rideout said, aside from a few thorns. He was checked out by his regular veterinarian, Joan Moreau, on Monday.

“He’s a bit anxious,” she said. “But he’s like that when he’s not at home. He seems like he’s back to himself.”

The rescuers, who didn’t want to be identified, turned down the reward offer, asking that any reward be made as a donation to help the Haitians suffering from last week’s earthquake.

Anne Rideout, who moved to Santa Fe about a year ago from Pennsylvania, said it was refreshing to find such a vibrant community of animal advocates.

“You have the burglary, and you’re so angry, but then you have people who go out of their way to help. It makes a huge difference. The support was just fabulous.”

For Erin Rideout, 25, Snickers has been a part of the family since she was a baby. She got him as a gift on Valentine’s Day when the dog was 10 weeks old. Another sibling, Elizabeth Rideout, who lives in Wyoming, worked the Internet when the dog went missing, posting information on Craig’s List and sending photos to the media.

“To see that pain in girls’ faces, it was hard,” said Anne Rideout. “But we have him back, that’s what’s important. The material things, we can replace.”


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sammie & Maddie, terriers

Widower finds family dogs after wife's fatal crash
Joshua Wolfson, Star-Tribune staff writer
Friday, June 5, 2009

Zoe, right, a golden retriever trained to search for missing pets, helped to find Sammie, left, and Maddie, center, after they disappeared following their owner's fatal car crash.

The tow truck drove off at 2 a.m., leaving him alone in the empty prairie where his wife had died hours before.

Greg Wong could hear her voice in his head. Find those dogs. Find Sammie and Maddie.

"What are they going to do?" he thought. "They are out in the wild and they are such tiny dogs."

The trooper had called him with the news three hours earlier. Susan Wong had died when her Isuzu Rodeo rolled along Wyoming Highway 487. Her sport utility vehicle rolled three times along the road, then fell into a deep ravine.

During the phone call, the trooper mentioned someone had spotted a dog running down the highway after the crash.

Greg Wong realized that at least one of the two dogs his wife had been traveling with might still be alive. Within a half hour, he had showered, brewed a pot of coffee and began the drive from his Laramie home to the crash site 40 miles south of Casper.

When he arrived, he met the tow truck operators who had just pulled his wife's Rodeo out of the ravine. After they left, he began to search.

"I guess a lot of it didn't soak in," he said. "I knew that is where my wife died, but you get to that point where you almost turn into a zombie. You are afraid to start thinking about it too much because emotionally you can't handle it. I kept focusing on 'you have to find those dogs.' In a way, I was thinking my last connection to my wife was those dogs."

He slowly drove the highway, using a portable spotlight to search the area. When that didn't work, he got out of his car, and walked through the night.

He found no sign of the animals.

Susan Wong was just a few hours from home when the crash occurred. She had been driving back from Butte, Mont. and had her terriers, Sammie and Maddie, along for the trip.

At about 7:30 p.m. on May 30, while traveling south on Highway 487, she slammed on the brakes and steered to the left, causing the rollover. Investigators still don't know why she made the sudden maneuver.

Greg Wong had spoken to his wife an hour before the crash. When she failed to arrive, the 49-year-old purchasing agent called the Wyoming Highway Patrol. After an excruciating wait, a trooper called back and told him what had happened.

"I guess words can't describe it," said Wong, who'd been married to his wife for nearly 11 years. "You are not sure what to do. The cold hard reality is there is nothing you can do."

What am I going to do now? he thought. Almost immediately he had an answer.

Susan Wong had loved animals, and always kept dogs and cats as pets. He had to find Sammie and Maddie. Now.

When he arrived at the crash site, the animals were nowhere to be found. He came across debris from the crash, but no sign of either animal. Sometime early that morning, he drove home.

Wong didn't give up. He returned to the crash site the next day, taking with him Tony Munari, a friend who served as best man at the Wongs' wedding. He also brought along the dogs' toys.

He walked up and down the highway, calling for his pets and squeaking their toys.

He believed the dogs were still alive. Their remains hadn't been found inside the Rodeo or around the crash site. Still, he couldn't find any trace of the animals.

There was plenty of reason to be worried. The area is full of coyotes and rattlesnakes and the terriers didn't have experience fending for themselves.

Wong got his first break when he stopped at a rest area four miles from the crash site and met a foreman for a highway maintenance crew.

The foreman volunteered to search the area himself. His wife also went to the site and left cheeseburgers, in case the pets needed something to eat.

Wong's next break came Monday when someone at the animal shelter in Laramie suggested he call Cold Nose Investigators, a professional dog service whose canines search for cadavers, missing people and lost pets.

By that afternoon, he had met up with the Cathy and Curt Orde, the couple behind Cold Nose Investigators. They brought with them Zoe, a golden retriever whose owner gave her up after Hurricane Katrina.

Zoe might look like a typical family pet, but she has received special training to focus on a specific scent and track it to its source.

After getting a whiff of the terriers' bed, she immediately picked up a their trail near the crash site.

Zoe and Cathy Orde led the way. It had just rained, and thick mud and the rugged terrain hindered their progress. Still, the golden retriever stayed on the scent and led the group on a two and 1/2 mile trek.

" I trust Zoe's nose," Cathy Orde said. "This is what she's been trained for. She doesn't deviate from that scent. She stays on task."

They began to come across signs of the tiny terriers. First they saw dog tracks, then dog excrement. They also saw evidence the terriers had bedded down in the grass.

The party made a large loop away from the highway, then back again. They traveled under a culvert, through a ravine and then back onto the highway.

It was starting to get dark, so they began to set up a kennel near the crash site with food, bedding and clothes with the Wongs' scents.

"We are just getting ready to finish up and all of the sudden, my little Cairn Terrier pops her head up from just around the side of a bush," Wong said.

It was Maddie.

Wong felt elated. The dog appeared to be fine, save for irritated paws. The group figured Sammie was nearby, so they started the search again.

His trail led to a dry creek bed and the party couldn't find a safe way down. They decided to call it quits for the night.

The next day, they received some good news. Two women had spotted Sammie in the area. Wong and the Ordes returned to the area and began searching again.

Zoe picked up the trail at the spot where Sammie was last seen. The scent led back to the crash site, then to a ravine and through a culvert. Suddenly, Zoe made a quick turn to the left and stuck her nose into a hole in the side of a drainage.

Sammie appeared to be inside.

"We suspected he was in there," Wong said. "But he wouldn't come out."

The group decided to set up a trap near the crash site and baited it with food and other items. Then they left for the night.

The next morning, Cathy Orde received a call from the foreman. He had found a dog in the trap.

For the fifth consecutive day, Wong left Laramie and headed north. When he reached the foreman's shop, he went inside and found his missing terrier happy and healthy.

"It was just the most amazing thing," Wong said. "Once Sammie saw me, he came running to the front of the cage and started licking my finger."

Sammie, a Yorkshire terrier, is usually reserved around strangers.

"But that day, he loved everybody," Wong said. "Everybody was his friend."

After a few days at home, Sammie was running around as if nothing had ever happened. Maddie, in contrast, seemed more reserved than she had been. Maybe she was mulling over what happened to her mother, Wong speculated.

Finding the dogs, he said, offered him some comfort as he mourned his wife. It allowed the emotions surrounding her death to soak in, rather than knock him over as if he had run into a brick wall.

"It made my wife's death a little easier to take," he said. "I didn't have to bear it all at once. I had a mission."


Monday, March 22, 2010

Sugar, Frenchie/basset mix

Found! Lost Brooklyn pup Sugar held for ransom, then returned to family by Good Samaritan
By Barry Paddock and Katie Nelson, Daily News Staff Writers
Tuesday, February 16th 2010, 4:50 PM

Sugar a basset hound/bulldog mix, center, sits down with Albert Belman, right, his wife Drucie, center, and sons Leo, 7, right, and Henry 10.

Sweet relief: Sugar is home!

A beloved Brooklyn mutt that had vanished into snowy Prospect Park was found Tuesday shivering and tied to a tree.

The French bulldog/basset hound mix named Sugar vanished last Wednesday. Soon after, a money-hungry man called the family demanding a ransom.

When a flustered Drucie Belman offered only $50 - a figure she just blurted out and later regretted as too low - the dognapper hung up . The tale of woe was featured by Daily News columnist Michael Daly on Sunday.

The family - including husband Albert, 42, and their sons, Henry, 10, and Leo, 7 - plastered Park Slope with posters and searched Prospect Park.

Calls came in, but many were hangups - and some were downright cruel. "Someone called up yesterday and said, 'Sugar's dead,'" Belman said.

The Belman family was so forlorn they canceled a trip to Disney World. But at 12:30 p.m. yesterday, the call they had hoped would come did: A man named Jaime was on the other line and said he saw Sugar in the park, tied to a branch. The entire family raced to the scene.

"I could see her little bat ears in the distance, and I burst into tears," the mom said. "I grabbed her up, and we all hugged her at the same time."

Sugar had a bite wound on her front paw, so they rushed the pooch to a vet. After antibiotics and painkillers, Sugar was homeward-bound.

Once inside the apartment, Sugar devoured a bowl of rice and eggs - she had lost 8 pounds during her six-day ordeal.

Leo covered Sugar in little-boy kisses.

"I love Sugar," he declared, and promised the dazed dog, "I'm only gonna move away from you if I need a snack." #ixzz0iuTKAQhE
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ginger, Dalmatian

Family Reunites With Dog Lost In 1999 Tornado
6 Years After Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak, Family Recovers Long Lost Canine
May 4, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Six years after the disastrous May 3, 1999, tornadoes that left a swath of destruction through Oklahoma City, people are still finding things they lost in the chaos -- but those stories are likely nothing compared to the story of a dog that was recently reunited with her family in Choctaw after six years.

Ginger the tornado wonder dog

During the events of six years ago, many things were lost in south Oklahoma City and surrounding suburbs -- including pets. Ginger, a Dalmatian belonging to the Collins family, was only a puppy when she was lost in the storm.

"All these years went by, and I always thought, 'Where would she be if she was still alive?'" said Ginger's mother, Amy Collins.

Collins said she happened to be looking on the Rocky Spot Rescue Web site and thought she saw her dog.

"I thought, 'There's no way this dog can be on there,'" she said.

On Easter Sunday 2005, Collins and her family went to the shelter -- and sure enough, it was their long lost dog.

"They say a dog never forgets a scent, and that's how she recognized us -- by our scent -- and she just went crazy when she saw us," she said.

Ginger not only survived the tornado. She was also hit by a car and had hip surgery. Then, Collins said, someone shot her.

"Right here, she has a bullet in her back," she said.

The dog was abandoned at least once after another family adopted her, moved away and left her tied to a tree. She was also attacked by a pit bull that left scars on her face.

"She's had some miles on those feet," Collins said.

Now, Ginger has a safe place to sleep in Collins' bed. Although she can't talk, Ginger is finally breathing a big sigh of relief.

Along with the buckshots in her back, Ginger also has an implanted microchip. If she does happen to get lost again, almost any veterinarian or shelter can scan her chip and bring her back home quickly.

The Collins family has two other dogs as well -- a Labrador Retriever and a Dachshund that took a while to warm up to Ginger. But after all Ginger had been through, a feisty miniature dog wasn't going to stop her from coming home.

Ginger's family said all the dogs now get along just fine.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Delilah, boxer

How social media helped this lost dog get home
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 0:19

*The contents of this post are 100% true (even if they bear remarkable resemblance to a recent national commercial) :)

Yes, social media is without doubt here to stay. It has become an integral part of our daily lives - it connects us.

Social Media is everywhere, yet we forget our grassroots (traditional communication).

Here is a story of how traditional communication methods worked hand in hand with new communication to help a lost dog get home.

This past Sunday, I was in my local ACME Supermarket doing my weekly shopping. I happened to come across a flyer on the way out. It read: *LOST DOG*

As I always have, I took a picture on my phone and posted it on all my social media networks. I have always done this because if my dog were to go missing - I would hope others would do the same for me.

I hoped the best for the dog and continued on my trip home.

As I was putting away the groceries, I get a call from a nearby friend screaming and yelling...

After I was able to calm them down, they explained that they were on Facebook and saw the picture I posted...they found the dog in the picture!!

They assured me that this was the dog and that I had to come right away to see for myself. I rushed over, and to my surprise - there was Delilah!!!!!!

This 8 year old Boxer was completely covered in dirt, ticks and was soaking wet from the rain.

My friend took her in and got her all cleaned up. Delilah enjoyed a nice meal and was having fun playing with the other pups in the house.

Immediately, we called the number on the flyer and asked the owner to come right away and see if this was in fact their dog.

Sure enough, Delilah was found. She is now resting at home safe and sound.

Social media is powerful, but never forget the basics :)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Charlie, black lab

Black Lab Escapes From Groomer, BTB Contributor And His Dog Finds Him
by Jim Branson (posted By Scott Schaefer)
March 16, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

On Monday (March 15th), David and Rene George received a harrowing call from a dog groomer near Five Corners in Burien: their beloved black lab, Charlie, had somehow escaped.

David and Rene searched and put up fliers, but they didn’t really know the best way to look for their lost dog until they contacted the Missing Pet Partnership.

David George, Charlie, and Kelsy

My dog Kelsy and I have been volunteering for MPP for a couple of years, and we have been trained to work as a team to find missing dogs. Kelsy, a black lab who looks very much like Charlie, has learned to follow the scent trail of a dog, and my job is to read her body language and help her find the dog. Actually, my main job is to hang onto the end of the leash while Kelsy drags me along on the search.

Tuesday morning at dawn, I obtained a scent article from David and started Kelsy on the trail, beginning at the groomer. Kelsy followed the scent trail from Five Corners to the library, to Firestone, down past Albertson’s, down Ambaum to 174th, and then back up First Ave to about 163rd, where she found Charlie hiding in the bushes!

I never would have seen Charlie, even if I was looking right at him. Kelsy’s nose alerted us to his hiding place in the brambles.

Charlie, the missing black lab, was found by Kelsy, hiding in these bushes.

Charlie didn’t want to come out, even with the lure of food. I called Rene, and she took a little time off of work to come get Charlie. When Charlie heard her voice, he came right out of the bushes to her. David and Rene are very glad to have Charlie home safe, and Kelsy has her reward of finding the missing dog. Plus some treats and a belly rub.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sarge, shepherd mix

Lost pet story has dog-gone happy ending for Macon family
Posted on Tue, Feb. 23, 2010

When Brian and Bethany Nalley’s family pet disappeared, it wasn’t their handmade signs that led to a reunion with the 5-year-old German shepherd-mix named Sarge.

The key to unlocking this missing-dog mystery was in the efforts of an off-duty Bibb County investigator who happened to check his Facebook account over the weekend.

Bethany Nalley is reunited Monday with her dog Sarge at the Macon Animal Control Shelter.

When animal control officers picked up the 90-pound Sarge on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard last Tuesday not long after he went missing, the one tag on his collar was so badly worn that it was unreadable by the naked eye.

Jim Johnson, director of Macon’s Animal Control Shelter, placed on the Facebook page of center mascot AC Pup a reminder about making sure pets have readable tags.

Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Mark Schultz, one of AC’s nearly 2,400 friends on the popular social networking Web site, read about the worn tag and volunteered to take it to the county crime lab, where he works as an investigator. Through a process called acid etching, investigators often can read filed-off serial numbers on guns, and Schultz thought the process could work on the dog tag, too.

“Acid etching helps us brings the numbers out,” Schultz said. “I was able to bring the numbers out enough where we were able to track the owners down. ... We do it on firearms all the time, and we do it on cars all the time.”

Once Schultz was able to make out the seven-digit rabies vaccination number from the tag under his microscope, animal control workers were able to get in touch with Sarge’s owners.

The Nalleys had posted signs in their neighborhood near Northside Drive — almost three miles from the spot where county workers found Sarge.

Bethany Nalley said she and her husband have a fenced yard and have no idea how Sarge got out.

Normally, Sarge wears two tags on his collar, but the one with all his identifying information — including the family’s name, address and phone number — somehow got lost between the time Sarge got loose and when he was picked up.

Monday afternoon, about a week after Sarge’s disappearance, the Nalleys finally reunited with their beloved canine.

Bethany Nalley said the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Anna, had been asking about Sarge. When animal control reached Bethany initially, she was expecting to hear the worst.

“I was really nervous,” she said. “They asked me to describe him, and I thought it was because he was dead.”

But she was relieved to hear the dog at the pound was alive and that she needed to identify him in person. Nalley said the walk to the back of the pound also made her nervous, because she was worried she would find, after all, that it was the wrong dog.

The Nalleys, however, immediately spotted Sarge in a small, fenced-in yard at the shelter, and their anxiety quickly turned into happiness.

“I was excited,” she said, embracing Sarge. “He’s our dog. I was worried that it might not be him. ... I don’t know whether to be mad (at Sarge) or to give him a big steak.”

Brian Nalley said he had called animal control Thursday, but none of the dogs there at the time matched Sarge’s description.

Johnson said while the Nalleys’ story may have had a happy ending, he underscores the need for pet owners to have ID tags for their animals.

Schultz said dog tags made through the stamped method work best, because they are inexpensive and last much longer than printed tags.

Johnson said it’s rare to have a dog tag so worn that it can’t be read. Most dogs that arrive at the shelter either have identifiable tags that allow workers to get in touch with a pet’s family or are strays who don’t have any tags or collars at all.

“We try to get every pet back with their family that we can,” he said. “This makes us all very happy.”

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Princess, poodle

Woman reunited with dog missing since 2005
By Kelly Puente, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/12/2009 03:43:18 PM PST

Raquel Rodriguez receives a kiss from her poodle, Princess, the day after they were reunited following a nearly 5-year separation. Princess rejoins the family who now have another dog, 4-month old "Oreo."

LONG BEACH - When Raquel Rodriguez's puppy went missing in early 2005, the family checked nearby animal shelters and posted signs but eventually gave up hope.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez got a shocking call from a local animal shelter.

"They said, 'We found your dog,' and I was like, 'What dog?"' the 37-year-old mother of two recalled. "They told me it was a white poodle and I started shaking all over. That dog had been missing for four years."

Princess, a white toy poodle mix, was rescued by animal control officers this week after she was found wandering a busy intersection near Florence Avenue in Downey. The frightened poodle had no tags, but otherwise looked healthy and cared for.

An officer from Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, or SEAACA, scanned the dog using a hand-held device and found a microchip containing Raquel Rodriguez's name, phone number and Long Beach address.

"That's the miracle of a microchip," said Capt. Aaron Reyes, a spokesman for SEAACA. "It can be scanned and it will last the life of the dog."

When Rodriguez got over her shock, she immediately jumped in her car and headed down to the animal shelter. But scouring the cages filled with dogs, she soon realized that she was still picturing an 8-month-old puppy.

"I didn't know what to expect. I thought she would be much smaller. But when I saw her, I recognized her face," she said.

Princess, Rodriguez said, apparently recognized her too as the poodle jumped, licked her face and ran around in circles.

Giving up the dog was out of the question.

"I couldn't leave her after all this time," she said.

Rodriguez said her mother, who harbored guilt all these years after being the one who originally lost the dog, was also adamant that she keep her. The mother had been walking Princess without a leash in the city of Bell when the puppy ran ahead and was snatched by someone in a car.

How Princess made it from Bell to the city of Downey and where she's been for the past four years remain a mystery.

Reyes said SEAACA has seen similar cases - including a dog that had been missing for two years and was found in Texas - but none have been gone as long as Princess.

"This one passes the test of time," he said.

Reyes speculates that, since Princess was well cared for, someone likely adopted her thinking she was a stray and didn't bother to have her checked for a microchip.

Rodriguez, who originally adopted Princess as a tiny stray puppy, has now rescued the poodle twice.

Standing in front of her mother-in-law's Long Beach home on Wednesday, Rodriguez said the pooch seems happy to be back and rarely leaves her side. She said Princess is well-trained, sweet and looks like she might have had a litter of pups at one time.

"I feel bad because maybe there's another family out there who think they are missing a dog," Rodriguez said. "But I'm glad to have her back. She was a good dog then, and she's a good dog now."

Captain Reyes urged finders of lost pooches to have them checked for microchips at a nearby animal shelter. SEAACA, which serves the area cities of Bellflower, Downey, Lakewood, Norwalk, Paramount and Santa Fe Springs can also send officers to location.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Iggy, chocolate labrador retriever

Iggy the lost dog found five years on – 130 miles away
Stuart Pike
March 15, 2010

A girl has been reunited with her pet dog almost five years after it vanished.

Brierley Howard, 12, was overjoyed when she was told that Iggy the labrador had turned up 130 miles away. Iggy was an 18-month-old puppy when he disappeared in August 2005.

Iggy and Brierly then and now

Brierley and her brother Jasper, now 14, were devastated. Their mum and dad Karen and Eric believed he had been stolen.

But the family, from Balladen, in Rawtenstall, are celebrating after Iggy was spotted wandering the streets in Leicester and taken to a vet.

The vet discovered Iggy was fitted with a microchip and he has now been reunited with Brierley and her family.

Karen, 44, said: “We had given up all hope.

“It is just so great to have him back – although I would never have recognised him. He has put on quite a bit of weight.”

“Amazingly though he is just the same and still plays like he is a puppy.

“Fortunately for us, the woman took him to a vet, they scanned him and got in touch with the microchip people. They said the only thing we have got on this scan is this dog was stolen five years ago.

“When I rang the lady she said ‘What did you say his name was?’ I told her and she repeated it and then said ‘Oh goodness, his ears pricked up’. He remembered his name.” After returning home, Iggy found that he had a new doggie playmate, Odie.

However, his old lead had been kept.

Karen, a photographer, said the story is proof microchipping can make all the difference, no matter how long it takes.

She said: “We felt we couldn’t not go back for him.

“So we drove down to Leicester that night. We just told the kids we had got some exciting news and they were thrilled.

“There hasn’t been a week gone by when I didn’t worry or wonder where he was. He’s just adorable, but massively overweight. He’s obviously been cared for but not had much exercise. The dog warden in Leicester said the theft of dogs is quite a big thing.

“Dogs are stolen and it’s normal for them to be driven a distance so there’s no chance of them being found.”


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Caera, beagle mix

Sunday, March 14, 2010
The Finding of Caera

Since last Tuesday evening, we had been tirelessly looking for our lost little girl. Because of the wonderful assistance of Robin Siegel and various friends at Lucky Dog, information about Caera's disappearance was spread to probably thousands of people very quickly. I would like to thank especially Amit, Lynn, and Abbey - strangers who took time out of their schedules to help us for no other reasons than a dog was missing and needed to be found. I am sure that there were many others who put in such work to whom Nichole and I are forever grateful. I thought I would share with everyone the full story of Caera's disappearance, the search efforts, and her eventual recovery.

On Tuesday afternoon, Nichole received a phone call from our dog walker that Caera had jumped out of the car and she couldn't find her. We would later find out that our dog walker was not sure where Caera jumped out of the car (she remembered seeing Caera in the car at the park where she takes the dogs for a walk, but didn't specifically notice her missing until after driving three of her dogs to their drop off homes.) This meant that Caera could have escaped either near Cabin John Park, NW Washington, DC, Kensington/Bethesda, MD, or Bethesda, MD near Montgomery Mall. I should note that Nichole and I live in Silver Spring, MD.

Anyway, after checking these locations, we ended up near Cabin John Park around dusk. Nichole headed into the woods armed only with the small light on her key chain while I drove around the neighborhood looking for places Caera might be. A found a bunch of Montgomery County police officers sitting near the park in their cars, so I asked if they had seen our dog. A very nice police officer informed me that there was a recent reporting of a dog wandering the intersection of Tuckerman and Westlake, which is on the far side of Cabin John Park. The police officer also informed me that they were there "looking for someone" as well. I quickly recovered my wife from the woods, not knowing who this "someone" was, and we headed to Tuckerman and Westlake.

After it becoming too dark to wander the woods, we returned home, planning on hiking every inch of the park the next day. After scouring the park, Nichole bashed her knee on a rock while trying to cross a small stream. We continued our campaign of putting up fliers in locations near Potomac, MD and talking to anyone walking around about our dog.

Friday, we put up more fliers and then spent a good portion of the day planning the massive search that would take place with the help of volunteers on Saturday morning. Friday night, we received another call from the Potomac Woods Neighborhood. This time, the callers had said that the dog was definitely not a white beagle, but a dark beagle mix. We immediately headed to the area and started searching, despite the dark and the pouring rain. After a few hours and realizing that it was too dark and rainy to find Caera, we returned home and prepared for the search the next day.

I received a phone call from a couple of guys in Silver Spring who said they had my dog. The call was, to say the least, odd and the guys almost seemed like they were hiding something. Several things went through my mind about what was going on. Maybe Caera was found, but was dead. Maybe these guys actually had Caera and our nightmare was over. Or, maybe these guys were planning on mugging us for the reward we had advertised on our fliers.

Naturally a skeptic, I focused on the last possibility and planned to be mugged in Silver Spring while trying to get my dog back. My father was helping out that day and we decided that the two of us would go in to meet these guys and confirm that we were getting Caera -- Nichole would stay in the car and call 911 after a certain amount of time if we didn't return.

As we were driving into the neighborhood, we passed a nice man who didn't speak much English, but who needed a jump start for his car. I told him we would be back, which I totally forgot to do after the events that next transpired. If you are that man and have somehow learned to read a lot more English and ended up on this website, I am really sorry. Lo siento, mi amigo.

Anyway, back to the possible mugging. Our fears were not helped when I called the guy's cell phone back to let him know we were in the neighborhood. He had his phone set up to play a song instead of ring. The song was "Shoot 'em up." I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry in fear.

Anyway, we tried to ask the guys to bring our dog outside so we could be sure there wasn't a guy waiting to club us on the head with a mallet (who would even use a mallet -- this is how crazy I had become). The stay-outside plan had failed, our dog rescuer / assailant convinced us that it was necessary to go into his apartment (the place I now assumed I would be beaten bloody).

We knock on the apartment door, and instead of a blunt object hitting me in the head, my beautiful puppy jumps and knocks me to my knees so she could lick my face. I have never been so relieved before. 70% because my Caera was back and 30% because I no longer had to fear the beating. This was not a scam, it was a total fluke.

Apparently, while this guy was walking his own dog, Caera popped out of the woods and started playing with his dog. He grabbed her and called the number on her collar. He didn't even know that there was a reward, which we of course gave him anyway. To Caera's rescuer, sorry I thought you were planning on mugging me, but may I recommend a new song for your cell phone ring? Perhaps "Why can't we be friends?"

We of course will never know what happened since she escaped on Tuesday, but the important thing is that she is home and safe. I've said it many times, but I have to say again I have been so amazingly impressed with the help and support of so many random people in this ordeal. Strangers offered their time and energy to search for a lost dog for no other reason than they wanted to help. We are immensely grateful to each and every one of you. Caera has not been awake for more than 10 minutes since she's been home, but were she awake and capable of speech or understanding of what everyone did on her behalf, she would also be immensely grateful.

Thanks to everyone. May you never go through this type of experience, but if you ever do, Nichole, Caera, and I will be there at the drop of a hat to help you out.

More Info:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rocky, GSD

Stolen dog reunited with ower after trek
Jan 22, 2010

CARRARA, Italy, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A stolen German shepherd made it most of the way home to northern Italy before a veterinarian recognized a tattoo identifying his original owner.

Rocky, who was battered, thin and dirty after a two-month trek of almost 400 miles from Salerno near Naples to Pisa, got to travel the last few miles to Tuscany in comfort, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Ibrahim Fwal, who adopted Rocky from the pound in Carrara five years ago, came to fetch him and drove him home on his motor scooter.

Fwal said Rocky disappeared three years ago during a family vacation in southern Italy, while Fwal and his children were swimming. Rocky was later either abandoned by his dognappers or escaped from them and was then taken in by a family in Salerno. But his new owners said Rocky persistently tried to escape, succeeding in November.

They heard nothing more for two months when they got a call from a man who found Rocky in Pisa, traveling north along the coast on blistered paws. That man took him to a vet to get his wounds treated, leading to the reunion with Fwal.

Dog and master had a joyful and emotional reunion with Rocky nearly knocking Mr Fwal down.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Codi, spaniel-poodle mix

Finding Codi: Family reunited after 11-day Ridge search for missing dog
By Allison Espiritu, Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter
Feb 19 2010

Codi, a 16-month-old Cocker spaniel-poodle mix, was reunited this past Monday with his Seattle owners after wandering alone on Snoqualmie Ridge for nearly two weeks. The dog was found trapped in a Ridge construction site.

Lost on Snoqualmie Ridge, a spaniel-poodle mix dog named Codi searched for a friendly face for for 11 days and 10 nights before being reunited with his owners.

Owners Ken and Veronica Williams of Seattle dropped off the 16-month-old "cockapoo" at the Ridge home of Ken's sister Laureen Williams on Friday, Feb. 5. Codi's owners were headed to Florida to attend a birthday celebration, and didn't have a worry in the world that their dog would go missing.

But when Ken called his sister during a layover in Dallas that afternoon, his brother-in-law, Hector, told him that Codi had bolted and was missing.

Hopping on the next flight to Seattle, Ken made it back by midnight and began an 11-day search for the dog. Ken believes the dog was searching for him at the same time.

"When he left, he didn't leave for spite, " Ken said. "He left because he was looking for me."

Bicycling around the neighborhood, Ken spotted Codi several times on the Ridge. However, Codi always ran away from Ken, making him realize how elusive and scared the dog was.

"I figured I could get him, but he just wouldn't come," Ken said.

Hanging flyers and talking to residents, Ken was surprised at the number of calls he received from Ridge residents who had seen the traveling cockapoo and tipped him off to where Codi was last seen.

"People were so good. That's what really amazed me about the community up there," Ken said. "What they have is something they don't want to lose."

Ridge neighbor Cindy Deibler assisted Ken throughout the nearly two-week search.

"Cindy was there from day one," Veronica Williams said. "She never gave up hope and afforded both Ken and I with much-needed encouragement."
Finding Codi

Last Monday, Ken and Veronica were heading back to Seattle — Ken hadn't been home since the Ridge search began — when they decided to go back one more time and wait until 4 p.m. that afternoon. If Codi wasn't found, they would let him go.

"We got out there around noon, and said if we came home with him, that day we'd believe in miracles," Ken said.

After buying some teriyaki and camping out where Cody was last seen, the Williams got the call they had been waiting on for days. Codi was found trapped in a construction site in a Ridge resident's backyard, adjacent to a golf course where Codi had been seen various times.

"They had a sunken backyard with a concrete fence that was too high to jump over," Veronica said. "They sweetly called Codi's name. After he came they took him inside and called us."

Ken assumes Codi was familiar with the hammer and saw sounds of construction, since he had traveled with their family as they built a home in Eastern Washington.

"That's the only thing he really knew in that area," Ken said. "He couldn't find his way back because it wasn't his home."

Overjoyed, Ken and Veronica reconnected with their dog, now five pounds lighter.

Upset that he had put Codi in a situation that he was not capable of handling, Ken said this has been a learning experience. He now realizes Codi is a dog with serious stamina.

"He's still a little shocked within himself, because he's still in that fleeing, survival mode," Ken said. "It will take a little while to get him back to normal, but all in all, he's healthy and still wants to play."

Until you nearly lose a pet, "you don't realize how much you love your dog," Ken added. "This dog is a prince of a dog. It shows by his survival. He's a special dog, and has got the strong blood to survive. We got lucky with this one."

Ken is thankful to the Ridge community.

"I didn't know there was that much goodness in that percentage in such a small area," he said.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Charlie, golden retriever

Missing dog reunited with owners
By Guy Clifton
February 19, 2010

Bob Buss and his wife, Bourne, are glad their golden retriever, Charlie, is home after being lost for weeks.

Reno's Bob and Bourne Buss were 3,000 miles away from home in late December when they received a phone call telling them their beloved golden retriever Charlie had run away.

The Busses had left 5-year-old Charlie with friends in northwest Reno and traveled to Maryland to visit their kids and grandkids for the Christmas holiday. Gentle, but shy, Charlie had bolted out the door of the friends' house and despite their extensive searching, could not be found. It was Dec. 22.

When the Busses returned from their trip a few days later, Charlie was still missing. They joined the search effort, which included plastering the northwest Reno neighborhoods with posters and using social media sites such as Facebook, Craig's List and Petfinder to get the word out for people to be on the lookout for Charlie.

Worry; a search

His owners were understandably worried. Not only was Charlie naturally shy, but also had never been far from the family home in southwest Reno.

To make matters worse, Reno was gripped by frigid temperatures with snow still on the ground from large winter storms earlier in the month. They also knew all too well the stories about pets in the Truckee Meadows ending up as food for coyotes.

"He was raised a house dog," Bob Buss said. "He would only go outside to pick up the paper for us or to be in our yard. I was terrified when he ran away that he would either freeze to death because it was the middle of winter or be hit by a car because he didn't know what a car was."

So they searched. And they worried. And the days turned into weeks.

"When you don't know what's happened to a dog, it's heartbreaking," Bourne Buss said. "Every time the snow came or it went below freezing, I just would lie awake at night and wonder if he was OK."

What kept the Busses going were the posters and network of social media. Charlie was spotted in the vicinity of Mountain View Cemetery. Some people were able to get within a few yards of him before he would bolt away.

"He's a very fast runner, and he kept eluding everybody," Bourne Buss said. "One of the firemen chased him up the hill one day, but he found a hole in the fence and was gone.

"It was an odyssey. Every time we began to lose heart, somebody would call and say, 'We've seen him.' The sightings kind of kept us going."

After several weeks, it became apparent Charlie was spending much of his time in the vicinity of Mountain View Cemetery. The Busses began to leave food and some of Bob's old clothing in front of the cemetery office to try to lure Charlie in. With help from Animal Control, they set up a humane trap and put the food and clothes inside on Jan. 29.

For five days, no luck. Then on Feb. 3, Bourne Buss received a call at home. Charlie had come to the office and was laying down beside the trap.

Bourne immediately called Bob, who drove to the cemetery, where Charlie greeted him with a wag of the tail.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Max, Jack Russell Terrier

Max the runaway dog reunited with owner after surviving bitter winter
By Bob Shaw,
Updated: 03/06/2010 10:38:05 AM CST

"He's my baby. Since the first time I brought him home and he puked all over me," said Kristin Glanz, 21, March 5, 2010, as she reunites with her dog, Max, a Jack Russell Terrier, who had been lost since July 2009. Her mom, Julie, is in background. (Max puked all over her when she bought him because his stomach was upset from a hilly car drive from a farm in Hastings.) Max — a Jack Russell terrier from Woodbury — is one tough puppy.

The dog ran away in July, and somehow survived a bitter winter — until he was joyfully reunited with his owner Wednesday.

"I am so happy," gushed 21-year-old Kristin Glanz, as she took the dog to a veterinarian for a checkup Friday.

Max seems to be OK, except for a case of Lyme disease. For a confirmed house-dog who hated being outdoors, his survival is almost miraculous.

"When I finally picked him up, I just started bawling," Glanz said. "We sat for half an hour in the car, just hugging and kissing."

The saga of the Dog Who Wouldn't Die began with a family vacation. In late July, Kristin's family left Woodbury for northern Minnesota. They dropped Max off at a friend's house in River Falls, Wis., where Glanz attends college.

As soon as Glanz left, Max wriggled through the railings on a deck and disappeared. For the next month, Glanz and her friends posted notices and patrolled the neighborhood.

"We kept getting calls — here he is! Here he is!" said Glanz's mother, Julie.

"We searched for him all day and night," Kristin said. The panicked responses involved at least one 4 a.m. drive to River Falls. They tried setting a live trap.

"But he was too smart," Glanz said.

She came heartbreakingly close to saving him one night in October. After dashing to River Falls, she saw Max sitting on a street corner. She called to him, but the dog was too frightened. Glanz couldn't get near him.

"I remember I was sick that night, and my voice might have sounded hoarse to him," she said.

As the weeks dragged on, the calls started to feel like Elvis sightings. Kristin started thinking the unthinkable — that Max might be dead.

"She wanted closure, if nothing else," Julie Glanz said.

But the calls kept coming. In December, a woman called — but there was no telling if the dog in her yard was Max.

In January, another woman called, saying she'd been feeding a little dog in her yard. She even set out a kennel with blankets for him. Glanz responded — and failed again.

Then, on Wednesday, someone called to tell her about a notice on a River Falls food-store bulletin board. "It said, 'I am feeding this dog, but I can't catch him,' " Glanz said.

She drove to the address, about a mile from where Max had initially disappeared. She spotted her dog, watching her warily from the side of a house, then saw him run away.

Max circled back 15 minutes later and stopped and stared at her, keeping his distance.

He ran off again. Glanz got into her car, slowly went down the street — and watched in horror as Max was nearly hit by a passing car.

"I got out, yelling. He was freaked out," Glanz said. The dog was walking in circles, confused. Finally, he approached her, slinking — the dog-posture of surrender.

"He was whimpering. He knew who I was," Glanz said. "He smelled horrible. He reeked."

She took the stinky dog for an overnight visit to the At Home Animal Clinic in Stillwater.

There, veterinarians speculated how a pampered house-dog like Max could have rediscovered his inner wolf, like Buck in "The Call of the Wild."

Dr. Christina Shivers said even a short-haired dog like Max grows a warm undercoat of fur in the winter. Max might have found burrows to hide in during the 20-below nights.

He could have found mice, rabbits and squirrels to eat. But the dog stayed in one area for eight months, she said — a hint that he might have found a steady supply of food from neighborhood dog lovers.

The biggest surprise, said Shivers, was that Max was not killed by a car.

Shivers wasn't worried about rabies, because it is mainly transmitted by foxes — which a dog like Max would avoid. Max had no intestinal parasites.

He did, however, have Lyme disease. He will get treatments — along with an entirely new level of pampering and love.

"This has been," Julie Glanz said, "quite the adventure."


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pepper, golden retriever

St. Pete Travel Agent Reroutes Atlanta Dog
By Keith Morelli, The Tampa Tribune
September 30, 2008

Simon Carter, 15, and Pepper pose at their home in Atlanta on Saturday. Pepper was found in St. Petersburg and reunited with his family.

Pepper the golden retriever went missing just before Christmas from his Atlanta home and showed up last week in front of a travel agency in St. Petersburg.

That's more than nine months on the lam.

A microchip in his neck led to a reunion Friday with his owner, who had Pepper for more than five years and had accepted that he was gone. Elizabeth Carter got another golden retriever from an Atlanta rescue group to ease the loss.

Pepper's journey started in December, when Carter and her family went to Mexico and left Pepper with a dog sitter. The retriever ran away when someone set off firecrackers and startled him.

Jay Getman, who works at 66th Street Travel, spotted Pepper a week ago outside the business, looking pathetic in a thunderstorm.

"He was just soaking wet, filthy, dirty, flea infested," Getman said Monday.

Getman had gotten a golden retriever from a rescue organization a few weeks ago, and his heart went out to the drenched pooch.

Armed with treats, Getman coaxed Pepper into the office. He called animal services, but it would have taken an hour or more for an officer to get there, so Getman took Pepper home.

"I brought the dog home and spent hours and hours getting it cleaned up," Getman said. "It had definitely been neglected.

"He hadn't eaten." Getman said. "He gained 3 pounds in the four days I had him."

Getman hesitated to call animal services because he didn't want the dog to be reunited with owners he thought might be neglectful.

He roamed neighborhoods looking for posters of missing dogs. Then he took the dog to a nearby veterinarian who scanned the canine for a microchip.

On Thursday, part of Pepper's story emerged. He had owners in Atlanta, and the chip revealed names and contact information.

On Thursday night, Getman, who was becoming attached to the dog, called Atlanta.

Liz Carter answered.

"I asked, 'Do you have a dog named Pepper,'" and she said she did, but that she lost him in December.

"'I have your dog,'" Getman told her. "She was blown away. She couldn't believe it."

Friday morning, she hopped into her car and headed to St. Petersburg, Getman said. By early Friday night, Pepper and Carter were reunited.

Although he became attached to the dog, and vice versa, Getman said he was happy he had found the owner.

The tale of how Pepper got from Atlanta to St. Petersburg remains a mystery.

Getman surmises someone found the dog in Atlanta and drove it to Florida.

"Its nails were really long," he said. "It's not like it ran down here."


Another version of the same story:

Lost Atlanta dog is found in St. Petersburg 10 months later
Published Sunday, October 5, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG — A golden retriever lost in Atlanta last year recently was found in St. Petersburg.

The 7-year-old dog, named Pepper, disappeared two days before Christmas, while his owners were on vacation in Mexico.

In late September, a filthy and flea-infested Pepper wandered into a St. Petersburg travel agency, where he ran into dog-lover Jay Getman.

Getman, 46, took Pepper home and fed and bathed him. He took the dog to a veterinarian, who was able to scan the dog's microchip and get the contact information for Pepper's family, Stephen and Liz Carter of Atlanta.

Liz Carter, who drove to Florida to pick Pepper up, said she isn't sure how the dog traveled more than 400 miles to St. Petersburg.

The family doesn't have friends or relatives in the area, Carter said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mrs. Carter told the newspaper that Pepper got a clean bill of health at a check-up at the vet's office last week. He steals shoes and leaves them in the same places he did before he disappeared.

"It's uncanny how he's gotten back into normal life," she said. "He never missed a beat."

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Louie, Yorkie

Boynton Beach Madame Reunited With Stolen Yorkie
Louie Returned After 4-Runner Stolen From West Palm Beach Gas Station
November 7, 2008

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A Boynton Beach madame is reunited with Louie the carjacked Yorkie after a $5,000 reward prompted his return.

Jennifer Aguilar lost her puppy Tuesday night after someone stole her rented 2008 Toyota 4-Runner from a Shell gas station on Okeechobee Boulevard near Interstate 95. The theft was caught on surveillance video.

"I left him in the car for probably five seconds," Aguilar told WPBF News 25's Terri Parker. "I was careless. I blame myself. I should have never left."

Aguilar purchased a quarter-page advertisement in The Palm Beach Post offering $5,000 in exchange for the puppy's safe return.

While Aguilar mourned, another woman said she got a call from a friend asking if she wanted to buy a Yorkie and convinced the man to give her the dog.

"I had seen the ad in the paper just this morning, so I was like, 'Hmmm, this kind of looks like the dog in the paper," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

The woman then met with Aguilar and brought Louie back.

"Me going through a divorce right now, me having to pay all my bills by myself, that $5,000 really would mean the world to me right now," the woman said.

But even though Aguilar withdrew the money from the bank and gave it to the woman, she may not be able to keep it.

Bank tellers called police after the exchange, and because the woman knew the man from whom she got Louie, she is now being questioned about the theft.

Aguilar said the woman confessed to her that her ex-husband and his friend talked her into bringing the dog back for the reward. Regardless, Aguilar said she's happy to have Louie home.

"I can't wait to just go home and, you know, cuddle with him and take him to the beach and, actually, go shopping with him," Aguilar said.

Aguilar was convicted last year of operating a Boynton Beach brothel disguised as a spa and had to spend months under house arrest.

"I was very depressed and lonely and he's helped me out a lot," Aguilar said. "We became attached to each other. We go everywhere together."

For now, Louie is back to being dressed in $100 Italian outfits and sipping his favorite mango smoothies.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gigi, sheltie

Gigi's Story
Washington DC
March 2010

Gigi, a beautiful Shetland sheepdog who had been a wandering stray in the middle of Virginia when rescue by Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue, had been in her new home only three days when she got out of the gated kitchen while Nancy went to collect the mail. Nancy and Jim immediately launched a huge campaign to find and recover Gigi, and gained a large number of supporters and volunteers over the next several weeks while she was missing.

Sightings being called in showed that she was spending time some blocks away from home, in the area behind the Sweden ambassadorial residence. So Nancy called there to see if they could gain access to their grounds. The Swedish Embassy provided the personal cell number of the ambassador’s wife, Eva Hafstrom, who went on to play a critically important role over the next week while Gigi spent time behind her home.

One of Gigi's sighters is friends with the owner of the home that backs to the rear of the Swedish embassy grounds, a doctor named Lee Monsein. As it turned out, Lee is passionate about dogs – certainly about his own boxer, Rave – and he’s also a hi-tech enthusiast. He agreed to train his “Ravecam” on the humane trap that was now set up on the back of the Swedish embassy property, for the time being, rather than use it to keep an eye on Rave when he wasn’t home.

Over the next several days, Eva at one end of the property and Lee at the other were able to establish Gigi's schedule. So in a real sense, Gigi was no longer "lost". Nancy and Jim knew just where she was. Eva and her own dog Nalle would see Gigi nearer the residence in the morning hours from 5am to 7:30 AM, and Lee reliably saw her from around 10PM to 3AM. Eva also would see Gigi in the evenings, and Jim also saw her in the mornings.

The humane trap borrowed from Sam Connolly of Pure Gold Pet Trackers was catching a fat orange tabby and a fat raccoon, and the mangy fox who lives on the grounds was following Gigi around, as reported by both Lee at one end of the parcel of land, and Eva at the other.

Lee came up with the idea to use his dog run, which had a gate that opened onto the residence grounds, as an enclosure trap. Unlike a small trap, the roofless run might well prove less scary to little Gigi. On his own initiative and with his own money, Lee purchased a motion detector and aimed it at the gate, which was left partially open. 100 lb rope was tied to two points on the gate which was physically close to a window in Lee’s home. Lee then ran the lines through the window from which he had removed the screen, and he closed the window. When the motion sensor detected movement, it rang an alarm in the house, so Lee could come and pull the gate shut.

The bait used included fried chicken, raw ground beef, and a t-shirt donated by Gigi's foster mom, Nancy Tisdale, with her scent on it. At 1 AM the next morning, the alarm rang. Lee observed Gigi enter the run. He then pulled the rope to close the gate. But the food hadn't placed the food far enough from the gate, and Gigi turned quickly and slipped out.

The team worried that she would remember, and possibly avoid the run at all costs. Over the next 48 hours, she did approach both trap and run numerous times, but never entered either one. She was clearly hungry. At 3:30 AM on Friday, as Gigi was approaching the trap, it blew over, despite being chained to a tree. This was observed by Lee, who was by now getting very little sleep.

That day, Gigi's foster mom Nancy remembered how much Gigi loved playing with a kickball, and suggested that the one that Jim had brought home the very evening Gigi escaped be taken to the area around the humane trap. Jim was dubious, but he dropped off the kickball when he took the fresh chicken to the trap on Friday.

Later that day, Lee observed Gigi playing by herself with the kickball – as if she were in a soccer match of one. She would push it forward with her head or bat it with her paws, chasing after it. So at the suggestion of Sam the pet tracker, Lee placed the kickball along with the food in his dog run, with the motion sensor detector aimed at the gate, and the ropes running through the windows. The detector sounded an alarm in Lee's house if anything approached. So Since he had placed a second motion detector aimed at the humane trap, and since Gigi was very active, approaching both the trap and dog run numerous times, Lee got little sleep as the alarm in his house repeatedly woke him up.

Finally, at 3:30 AM, Gigi, entered the dog run - with the kickball in it. Lee slammed the door shut at which time Gigi went ballistic. She started to leap the height of the six-foot fence. Lee was afraid she might bounce over the fence and once again take flight. Quickly entering the run and picking Gigi up, Lee took Gigi into his downstairs den and called Nancy and Jim at 3:47 AM. Ten minutes later, they walked into the basement room where Gigi, cool as a cucumber, was being petted by Lee.

None of the foods that the many Gigi fans suggested (KFC, Popeye's, lamb tripe, roast beef) did the trick. It was a rubber ball and the promise of play!

What makes this so extraordinary is that Jim works for the national profit which advocates for the importance of play in children's lives -- KaBOOM! In fact, it was a KaBOOM! kickball that lured her in. We know that play makes children healthier, physically and emotionally. And in Gigi's case, play literally helped to save her life.

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