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OMG! What a tear jerker that was, especially the video. What amazing people and such a beautiful community. I know just where that is because it's not far from where I lived in Idaho. It's a lovely area and close knit people...a farming area mostly.

It's hard to say how far I'd go to find my dog unless and until it happens. I might be pretty intense about it, especially since they are such tiny dogs. I shudder to think about it. Those loving peoples' hard work paid off. Amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

One time when I was dragging the hose through my side gate, Maurice must have scooted out when I had my back turned. These little dogs can shoot past your ankles and you don't see them. I went back into the back yard and couldn't find him...called and called. Panic! So I went back to the front...looked around, called. I thought how odd...he would have come to me...couldn't have gotten far as it was just a couple minutes at most that had passed. Thankfully, my neighborhood has very safe, low traffic roads within. The next thing I knew was my neighbor across the street had him, brought him in her house. When she saw me she came outside and asked if I was looking for a tiny black dog. lol. She knew it was Maurice. She said she saw him trotting down the road, called him and he came to her. I'm very glad my dogs love everyone because you hear of dogs running and they can't be caught because of their fear of people. So he ran right to her and she loved on him while she waited to get hold of me. I think she thought I wasn't there or something...can't remember exactly. But it sure makes you panic.
 
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I can’t read it, I’ve already read my 2 articles for the months. Maybe someone can copy it here ?

I once had a female BT who was very hyperactif and she would escape from the fenced yard any chance she got. She always had her collar on with a tag with the city’s number on it. She would go in the neighborhood, find someone outside and make friends. Then the person would call the city, but by the time they took the message and called me, a day often passed. So they would keep her for the night, feed her, let her sleep with their kids and play with their dog ! For her it was heaven.

I was never afraid, I knew I would always get her back. I had gotten her from the SPCA and she had been abandoned for this exact reason. She had been running free in neighborhoods for her entire life. Sometimes habits are hard to break. We got better at it and she rarely escaped at the end but she still did it any chance she got !
 

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On Thursday, Noelle and Francis got out of the yard though a hole in the fence I didn't know was there. Francis came back immediately. Noelle did not. I went out front and called. She didn't come back. After about five minutes of calling, I completely lost it. I got my shoes on and started walking. Half an hour later, neighbors heard me calling and said they saw a little dog in a back yard around the corner from our house. I went in the back yard, and Noelle came flying. Longest half hour ever.
 

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Unfortunately, you can't see the video. It's the mom coming home in the car with the dog in the front seat. The dad, an older gentleman comes to the opened window and what an ecstatic greeting. He's just over flowing with joy and love. It's quite moving. But here's the story.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/21/us/lost-dog-montana-kalispell-spokane.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
By Mike Baker
Published Sept. 21, 2019
Updated Sept. 22, 2019, 12:01 p.m. ET

After a late night at a stock-car race, Carole and Verne King returned to their dog-friendly hotel in Kalispell, Mont., and made a devastating discovery.

Their 7-year-old Border collie, Katie, was no longer in the room. She had apparently managed to unlatch the door, possibly spooked by a thunderstorm that had swept through the area. At the front desk, an attendant said she had seen an anxious dog bolt out the front door hours before.

The Kings were stunned. In the small city of 23,000 people that backs up to the sprawling wilderness near Glacier National Park, surrounded by forests and fields, where would they even start looking?

Over the next 57 days, the couple set out on a desperate search that included night-vision goggles, animal-tracking cameras and horse manure brought in from the family’s farm in Eastern Washington. Ms. King, a postal carrier, quit her job.

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“Every night going to bed, it was gut-wrenching,” said Mr. King. “Is she warm? Did she get to eat today? It tore us up.”

DAY 1

‘Like a Crime Scene’
After the initial discovery, the Kings spent the night frantically searching nearby neighborhoods, where alfalfa farms and homes and new shopping centers collide in northern Kalispell.

They were out until about 4 a.m., the Kings said, but saw no sign of the dog. The front-desk attendant asked them to send some photos, and together they began making and distributing fliers around the area.

Hundreds of them were posted on light poles and community mailboxes, and handed out through door-to-door canvassing and at local sports events. They posted Katie’s photo on Facebook pages and lost-pet internet networks. Strangers joined them in walking the neighborhoods in search of Katie.

As former law-enforcement officers from Los Angeles, the Kings knew to look through abandoned buildings. They examined the dirt in alfalfa fields, looking for tracks or dog droppings. They considered the possibility that Katie had been struck by a car on the highway, but without any evidence, they pressed on.

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“You think of it like a crime scene,” Mr. King said.

DAY 15

Traps and Scents
After a couple weeks of searching, the Kings decided to try some more extreme measures. They ordered two game cameras, the kind used by wildlife researchers, that could record video when an animal passed. They ordered animal traps, hoping that food — like the cheese sticks Katie preferred — would coax her into a cage.

Ms. King also began going jogging and biking around the neighborhoods, hoping that her sweat could signal the dog that her family was near. They left used T-shirts at strategic locations, as well as Katie’s blanket and dog bowl.

“I don’t think there’s any street we haven’t been on in that area,” Ms. King said.

The couple later brought in hair shavings and a couple of buckets of manure from their horses back home and, with approval from local farmers, spread it near traps and other possible locations.

Later, after hearing speculation that Katie might be on the move at night time, the couple acquired night-vision goggles and spent hours out in the cold, hoping to catch a glimpse of Katie traversing a field.

But they saw no activity. The camera footage showed no sign of their dog. The traps? They caught a magpie, a cat and four skunks.


ImageKatie at home in Deer Park, Wash. The King family searched 57 days for her after she ran away on a trip in Kalispell, Mont.
Katie at home in Deer Park, Wash. The King family searched 57 days for her after she ran away on a trip in Kalispell, Mont.CreditRajah Bose for The New York Times
DAY 22

Possible Sightings
Tips, however, were coming in. As people reported possible sightings, the Kings scrambled to follow up.

On one occasion, they drove 15 miles to Columbia Falls on a tip, even though it seemed far-fetched. Other times they would go to check even when the description of the dog didn’t sound quite right.

“In our heart, I would always say, ‘If I didn’t follow up, what if that was her and we didn’t do anything?” Ms. King said.

Sometimes it would turn out be a different dog. On one occasion, while they were talking to a landowner at a farm, a woman came up to them and said she had just seen their dog cross the road and run into a canola field. The Kings set off running, calling for Katie.

They didn’t find her.

DAY 37

Quitting Her Job
Ms. King was still working as a postal carrier back in the Spokane area. For a week in August, she had to return home while her husband continued the search.

She talked with her bosses about taking some time off. But that wasn’t feasible during summer months. Though the money had helped supplement their pensions, she gave her notice.

“Katie was just more important to me,” Ms. King said. “I just said, ‘I’ll finish this week, and that’s it.’”

When she returned to Kalispell, Mr. King had to return to Spokane. He left a note written for Katie.

“I am going home to care for your brothers and sister,” Mr. King said, referring to their two other dogs and a cat. “Instead of saying good bye, I would rather say, ‘See you soon.’”

DAY 53

Losing Hope
A month and a half into the search, the Kings still felt hopeful. There was no sign of Katie, but also no evidence that she was dead.

By the second week of September, though, Ms. King said she was growing demoralized. She was crying and starting to wonder if the dog would never be found.

“I wasn’t ready to go, but I was thinking, What else can I do?” Ms. King said.

Missing her house and their other animals, she was planning to return home, about 250 miles away, to spend the weekend. But her husband persuaded her to stay, suggesting one more week. Some of her new friends in Kalispell also encouraged her to persist.

One person had opened their home for the Kings to stay in the area. More than a dozen others committed hours to helping them search. Landowners had welcomed them onto their sprawling properties to look.

“We can’t believe that community up there,” Mr. King said. Ms. King added, “I got out of it sheer kindness from people — from a stranger to a stranger.”


Image
Katie, immediately after she was found. She lost 15 pounds while she was missing.
Katie, immediately after she was found. She lost 15 pounds while she was missing.CreditCarole King
DAY 57

‘I Got Her’
On the morning of Sept. 15, Ms. King got another tip, this time from someone in a subdivision near the hotel. The resident said he was looking out the window and was confident that Katie was in his backyard.

Ms. King and a friend rushed over. But by the time they got there, whatever he had seen was gone. They walked through the fields nearby, searching with binoculars.

They encountered a couple out for a walk, told them about their search, and the woman pointed to a dog under a nearby tree.

It was a Border collie. They began calling Katie’s name. The dog was cautious, wary. Others in the group went silent as Ms. King called out to the dog. Katie came running at full speed and leapt into Ms. King’s arms.

“All I could think about was, ‘I’m done. I got her,’” Ms. King said. “I was crying, I was holding onto her, wrapped her up in a bear hug. I couldn’t get her in the car fast enough to close her in so I wouldn’t lose her again.”

Katie immediately fell asleep on the front seat of the car. She was dirty, dehydrated and had lost 15 pounds. They took her to an emergency vet, who shed tears upon learning that this was Katie, the dog so much of Kalispell had worked to find.

Video
 

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That really must be a nice community. There was a long stretch in my life when I couldn’t afford to lose a job, much less pay room and board for over a month. I hope the USPS gives her her job back.

Thank God, you found Noelle! A SD is even more precious than our loving companion animals that are like family.
 

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i was beyond hysterical when I realized Noelle was gone. I said, "I need her back. My entire life will stop working if I don't get her back." And I meant it! I thought I'd secured the fence against escapes. Evidently, I was wrong. I don't own all the fences surrounding our yard and two of them are caving in. It's stressful. I don't trust the fences at all anymore. As soon as I can afford it, I'll hire a contractor to secure our yard. Until then, I've changed our potty routine. I act as if we don't have a fence at all. I don't need that kind of stress in my life.
 

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I was coming back from the grocery store on Saturday when I saw two of my neighbors Brittany’s taking an unaccompanied stroll down the road. I called her and she had the same fence quandary. How did they get out? I’m pretty sure they dug out. They’ve done it before. I am always inspecting the wooden sections of our fence. Buck would have to dig deep to get out and he would get caught before he had a tunnel. She has about six Brittany’s, so they must work in shifts. Sweet dogs but they had no interest in jumping in my car when they had free range and an open road.
 

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That story is making it all over the internet. Friends of mine without dogs have emailed it to me. Such a heartwarming story, scary and with a happy ending.

Click, OMG - when I read that my heart jumped - you need Noelle and she needs you. I'm so glad she wasn't lost for long.

Losing my dog would be my worst nightmare - I'm so tightly bonded to my dog. We don't have a fenced yard so my dog is always on a leash and she's trained not to leave the house until she has been given the release word - we practice this every single time we leave the house and when ever we enter or leave buildings.

I've mentioned this before - I have a friend who lost her dog and the dog was never found. The story was on the news so many strangers as well as everyone from my dog club went out to help find her dog. She keeps a GPS tracking collar with fresh batteries on her current Malinois. I don't think you ever get over something like this.

We did have a cat sneak out when we had contractors in the house - he was lost for 2 days. We bought a trap and kept trapping the same raccoon. We went out calling his name constantly. Turns out he was in my next door neighbors garage too scared to move. You can't help but think the worst when your pet is missing. I had nightmares for weeks thinking the worst had happened.

OTOH, I have a friend that does aussie rescue. They had a dog that was on the run for a year. There was a site on line where people would post if they had seen the dog and all kinds of strangers went out to try to capture the dog. People put food out for it etc. At the end of the year the dog was finally captured and given to my friend to take care of. Her worst nightmare - this dog got loose again while under her control (she's never had that happen before). It was quickly caught again and this stranger brought the dog back to my friend - and they have developed a relationship because of this. Aussie rescue wanted to put the dog down because of it's reputation of running away. The dog is a really nice - gets along well with other dogs, just terrible fearful of people. My friend refused. She made an agreement with this rescue - she will keep the dog but will no longer be able to work with this particular rescue again for going against their wishes. She brought the dog to the agility class that I teach. Gorgeous dog, she's filled out and her coat has grown in. The dog was great with the other dogs, but we kept people a couple of feet away from her - the dog did allow me to hold her for going through tunnel or the recall practice. The lady who found the dog - she came to watch the agility class each week. She loved seeing how well the dog was doing. It's been several months and the dog is no longer interested in running. This is one special failed rescue with a happy story.
 

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Thank you PB, this was so touching ! I’m so glad thay got Katie back.

Both Beckie and Merlin have gone out of the yard a few times. Beckie even got out of the yard at my mom’s, in winter at -35F. I was balling my eyes out. My daughter rushed outside without a coat and managed to get her back. She definitely would have died outside. It was late at night. She was young, maybe 8-9 months old.

I am almost positive both would come back if they got out. They’re not trying to escape, they’re just happy to run freely. They know the neighborhood and I believe they would find their way. They’re both mama’s dogs and they don’t even want to be outside if I’m not with them.
 

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It's funny this should come up. I have never had this problem before, but Navy got out a week ago after a user-related failure with my fence lock.

We were home, the dog door to the backyard was open so he could pee as needed. I had just sat down on my couch with my husband when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number and almost didn't answer thinking it might be work-related (I try to protect my time off). I answered it despite my better judgment. The person on the other end said they had found a dog and was it mine?- I thought I was being scammed! I said "Nope, my dog's right here" and turned to where Navy was sitting. Of course the stinker wasn't there. I had a crazy moment of panic racing through the house yelling his name while holding the phone. I finally pulled myself together and went out the front door-- and there was my neighbor holding my dog and trying to talk sense to the crazy woman on the phone (me!)

Navy's total time of freedom: approximately 3 minutes. Years off my life: 10.
 

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Once, while camping, my parents took Gracie over to some rocks for sunbathing. I was making my way over there a little more slowly when, through the trees, I saw Gracie go sprinting past, down the beach, looking for me! She was blinded by the terror of trying to find me. I'd never seen anything like it.

I shouted her name MULTIPLE TIMES before her head finally snapped around and she seemed to come to her senses. My heart races at the memory, because I can understand how even the best-behaved, most loyal dog can go missing. They go into a different state.

If I'd not walked by at that moment, she would have reached the edge of a dense forest and who knows what would have happened after that.

She'd never done anything like that before and never did anything like that again.
 

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This is a hard story to read. Losing an animal is anyway, especially a lost/missing animal, is so hard. I have always told people that not knowing what happened to your animal is worse than knowing.

I myself have never stopped looking for my first pet, a tabby cat named Sage. She was my first pet-love and the one that showed me how to love animals no matter what. Sage was a rescue, and due to her unknown past, would not want to be touched or picked up, yet would only sleep under my legs under my blankets in bed. She was very peculiar, but I loved that about her most. Massive green eyes and a gorgeous coat. She was an outside/inside cat and would disappear for a few days and come back for a few days. This was normal for her because she was a big hunter and traveler. We live on a mountain so this is very normal for the cats in our neighborhood to travel around. Her "sister" Kitty (calico) who we adopted around the same time would go with her on these adventures and they would come back!

One day, she walked down the driveway and never came back. This was almost 3 years ago, but I never stop looking for her. Every time I am on a website for lost/found animals I look for her, I look in the cats for adoption section in PetSmart, I look in the woods everyday on my walks with Norman. I posted on any website I could find for lost pets in my area.
I have even had dreams about her coming home to me and I wake up with tears. Unfortunately she was not micro-chipped and I regret this.
I still keep hope that shes alive and just living in a secret cat kingdom lol!!

Now when Norman gets out of my sight (even with his invisible fence collar on) I always have a small heart drop and immediately search and call for him, knowing the pain of losing an animal makes it worse. Norman never leaves my side ever, so when he does (and its not chasing a cat or squirrel) I worry and think of the worst. My biggest fear is someone taking Norman away from me. I couldn't imagine someone taking my Norman from me... He is so pure and innocent. I would break down doors looking for him!!

Sage on the other hand would NEVER let a stranger near her so I know she was not taken LOL! She was mean to everyone but her family.

For anyone who has a missing pet, no matter what kind, I am so sorry! Not knowing what happened, is truly heartbreaking. Your imagination can sometimes get the best of you in those situations. But never stop looking!! I have heard amazing stories of animals being found years after they are lost!! You never know!!
 

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We have an email list called "Nextdoor" that goes out to everybody in our neighborhood. People post garage sales and looking for a babysitter or recommendations for a plumber or whatever on it. One morning last summer I had gotten up and let Zephyr out into the fenced back yard and went back inside to start up the computer and look at emails etc. Twenty minutes or so later there was a posting from Nextdoor about a lost dog with a tiny little thumbnail photo. I looked at it and thought it looked kind of like Zephyr. I opened the post with a bigger pic and "OMG THAT IS ZEPHYR!!!" But but but---he's right there! I just let him out in my yard!

I got up and looked out my window and saw that the gate was open. Somebody had opened my gate in the night and I didn't notice when I let Zephyr out. He was not wearing a collar. Went back and looked at the posting again, and the people who had posted could not catch him. They had called animal control who had already come and picked him up. I called the police station and they contacted the officer who had picked him up and transferred my call to him. He was still at the vet center with Zephyr where they take lost dogs to see if they have a microchip and said I could come there to pick him up. Drove right over and the officer gave me a warning instead of a ticket ($265 for being out and not having a collar on). I think because I had called them before they had even tried to contact me.

Went home and wrote a sincere thank you to the person who had tried to catch him and when they could not got hold of Animal Control to get him off of the street before he got hurt or killed, and then posted so I would know where he was and didn't have to drive around aimlessly looking for him.

But OMG that jolt of panic when I first saw his picture and realized he was out on his own. And now I check the gate before letting him outside.
 
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