Family's dog finally back home thanks to a well-connected Peachtree Corners community
By Judy Putnam
April 26, 2011
It all began with a frantic e-mail from Stacy and Rob Wright. Their family dog, an 18-month-old Shih Tzu named Jack, had somehow gotten out of the family's fenced in yard in a Peachtree Corners neighborhood near the Racket Club of the South. But the story would end happily with Jack's return and with the Wright family's new appreciation for their community that collectively helped them find their dog.
|Jack, an 18-month-old Shih Tzu, was lost for 11 days. With the help of a well-connected community, he was found and returned to his owners.|
Jack's journey ended 11 days later at a home in the Gran River subdivision off Bush Road. It was a long way for a little dog to travel. Rob Wright figured Jack had managed to travel some six miles navigating busy roads and avoiding the wild animals that live in the wooded areas of this community. How he escaped being hit by a car, or attacked by a wild animal, is up for speculation. All the Wright family knows is that they're happy to have their Jack back home.
"We can't figure out how he got out," said Rob Wright who searched the wooden fence in their backyard for signs of how he may have escaped. The Wright family which includes their two sons, Alex, 9, and Andrew, 6, spent the first days scouring their neighborhood and surrounding areas.
There was still no sign of Jack. Then Stacy Wright sent out another e-mail which, like her first, was picked up by neighbors Rhonda and Bob Levan, whose extensive e-mail list is far reaching in the Peachtree Corners community.
Her plea was also picked up by Peachtree Corners-Berkeley Lake Patch which posted Jack's picture and this family's call for help. The family began receiving phone calls and e-mails from neighbors reporting they'd seen Jack.
"Jack is still on the loose," wrote Stacy Wright in her next e-mail, who said they'd heard from a neighbor in the Amberfield subdivision and another from the Timbers neighborhood who had reported seeing Jack playing with two neighborhood dogs.
The little guy seemed to stay one step ahead of the Wrights and all of the Peachtree Corners community who were caught up in the saga of finding the elusive Shih Tzu.
Rob Wright would search on foot for Jack after work, walking along the highways, and even peering through the storm drains that run beneath SR 141, still there was no sign of their family pet. Just how long could a young dog that had never left the safety of his family escape the harsh realities of being out on his own. "When we didn't hear anything for six days, we just assumed the coyotes had gotten him," he said.
But then came the call from a family near Berkeley Lake saying they had found Jack. He had entered their Gran River home through their doggy door and befriended the family's two very large German Shepherds. "They found him on the second floor of their home when they came home from work," wrote Stacy Wright. "At first they thought he was a puppet."
The little Shih Tzu and one of the shepherds named Lucy quickly became friends. A special bond developed between Jack and Lucy. The Gran River family had also received the family's e-mails and called that they had found Jack. Finally, on April 16, the Wrights and Jack were back together again.
The little guy was a little banged up with scrapes and a few cuts, but he was OK, said the veterinarian who examined him.
The Wrights, who have lived in their Peachtree Corners neighborhood for the past 10 years, have learned just how valuable a close-knit community can be. "It opened my eyes big time," said Rob Wright.
This is a story with a happy ending, and a heart-warming message about a community that despite its large size is linked together by e-mails and the Internet -- and filled with good neighbors looking after one another. And it's about a determined family that never gave up searching for their dog.
"We never stopped looking," said Stacy Wright. "We always had a feeling he'd come back."