Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cassey, border collie mix

Missing Dog Reunited with Family After Four Years
By Eliza Murphy
Sep 19, 2012

Four years ago when Brandy Metcalf, of Wake Forest, N.C., was pregnant with her third child, she and her husband Dave decided they should make some adjustments in the household to make more room for the new baby.

So they reluctantly came up with the idea to allow Brandy’s sister, Chelsee, to dogsit their beloved border collie mix, Cassey, in Charlotte, N.C. while they had a newborn crawling around the house.

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The dogsitting idea turned into a four year odyssey for Cassey and what seems like a miracle for the Metcalfs.

“We just had our third child and we live in a small three bedroom, so it was close quarters with baby stuff. We were just trying to give the newborn the attention she needs,” Metcalf told ABC News. “My sister was living alone in Charlotte and she’s not good at being alone and she’s known Cassey, so she got a roommate while we got past the newborn stage.”

Metcalf said she called her sister every couple of weeks to check in on Cassey until her sister told her to calm down and reassured her dog was doing just fine in her new, temporary home.

So Metcalf  let a few months pass without visiting the dog. It wasn’t until six months later that she drove to Charlotte to see Cassey.

“I get there and open the car door and poor Cassey didn’t coming running to the car door like she normally does,” Metcalf said.

Right away, Metcalf knew something wasn’t right. Her sister told her she had some upsetting news, but didn’t have the guts to tell her earlier.

“There was a lot going on at the house one day. Cassey is very intuitive about big noises and is very sensitive when it comes to sounds. Something startled her,” and Cassey had bolted, Metcalf said.

They searched for Cassey for several days, but weren’t having any luck.

“It being in a different city I felt like I really had no hope, no chance of being able to find her. She’s such a wonderful animal with a great personality. I knew if anyone new came in contact with her, they’d want to keep her,” said Metcalf.

As more time passed without any sign of the dog, the Metcalf family tried to move on to fill the void Cassey had left.

“If we didn’t think about it, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. So we really tried to bring in other animals to take up the love we had for her. We’ve had guinea pigs, cats and everything else. But it never seemed the right animal fit,” Metcalf said.

Even four years later, Metcalf’s children would still mention Cassey, saying they’d do anything to have the dog back.

Then on Sept. 11, the family received a phone call that someone had found Cassey.

“Of course we couldn’t believe that. We were so used to thinking that couldn’t possibly be our dog,” said Metcalf.

But as soon as the family was  in touch with Cheryl and Scott Smith, the Charlotte, N.C., couple who had taken Cassey under their wing three days earlier, they knew they had finally found their long-lost pooch.

“We gave scars and descriptions to confirm it was really her. We didn’t hesitate, we were on the road the next day,” Metcalf said.

Cassey had lost seven pounds, had no collar and was covered in fleas, Metcalf said.

Elated at the news, the Metcalfs couldn’t be more thankful to the Smith’s for taking good care of her, and being persistent enough to track down the original owners.

“Once they spent a little time with her they knew she had come from a family. You could just tell. So they started taking her to the dog parks in Charlotte, taking her to the vet,” Metcalf said.

The Smith’s refused to leave the vet until Cassey’s entire body was scanned for a microchip. They knew the friendly dog must have been chipped as a puppy, and was convinced it was on her somewhere. And they were right. The chip had migrated from the normal spot behind the neck, down under ribs.

Although the microchip’s information was 11 years outdated from when the puppy was chipped at the Wake County SPCA, the Smith’s were able to track down the correct information.

“I bent down and said ‘Cassey girl’ and she came right over to us. She knows exactly where she is now. She goes right to her same spot. I mean she has not changed any of those aspects,” Metcalf said. “This house, the tears that were falling in this house, all of us were just in disbelief. The Smith’s are such wonderful people. Something we cared about so much came back to us.”


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Monday, September 17, 2012


Dog reunites with Youngsville family after four years
Tara Lynn
September 16

Youngsville, N.C. — A Youngsville family reunited this week with the dog they thought they lost forever.

After four years, Brandy Metcalf, her husband Dave and their three children got to take Cassey, the dog they had rescued from the SPCA 11 years ago, home again.

A Youngsville family reunited this week with the dog they thought they lost forever. After four years, Brandy Metcalf, her husband Dave and their three children got to take Cassey, the dog they had rescued from the SPCA 11 years ago, home again.

"It was a beautiful experience. You're just in shock. You feel like this couldn't be the miracle that you want it to be, that it's too good to be true," Metcalf said.

The couple had just had a third child when Metcalf's sister asked if Cassey could come stay with her in Charlotte.

"At that time, when you have a newborn in the house, things were crowded," she said. "My sister lived alone in Charlotte ... she doesn't like to be by herself and they had a good relationship, so with hesitation, we let (Cassey) go."

After a couple months, the family went to visit their beloved pet. But Cassey, startled by some nearby construction noise, had run away.

"She's a very sensitive dog. Loud noises, construction, if anything like that is going on, she gets nervous," Metcalf said. "She got away from my sister."

Months passed with no sign of the dog, and the family gave up on trying to find it.

"We gave up hope a long time ago, but every day she was mentioned in our house," Metcalf said. "My daughter just said two days prior to (finding the dog) that 'I wish we had our Cassey back.'"

Then, last week, the family got a call that Cassey had been found. Without a collar or tags, the people who found Cassey relied on a microchip to track down the owners.

"They had been searching for us for a couple of days and got our information through the vet's clinic hospital," Metcalf said. "Unfortunately, the information was incorrect because it was from 11 years ago. That's why updating these chips is a must."

The people who found Cassey didn't give up. They eventually tracked down Metcalf's mother, who called to relay the news.

"My husband was telling me, 'Brandy, they found Cassey,' and I said, 'That just can't be,'" We need to leave right now to see if that's really her," she said.

They drove three hours to confirm the good news and came home with the dog they had never stopped missing.

"When we got out of the car and called her name, and she came running up to us, it let us know for sure that yes, she remembered us," Metcalf said. "She came right up and jumped in the van. She was ready to go home."

Jacob Metcalf, 8, was only 4 when Cassey went missing, but said he had no trouble recognizing the dog.

"I was amazed," he said. "She really loved me when I was a bit younger. She used to round us up in the yard."

It was an emotional reunion, and the family was immediately reminded of Cassey's "caring charisma."

"(The tears) were rolling like waterfalls," Metcalf said. "There is never such a thing as 'It's just a dog.' She, to us, is our first-born child."