In early December, a shelter worker brought in a small shih tzu that had come to her neighbor's house near Montauk. The dog's hair was so matted and tangled that she spent two days at a veternary clinic getting clipped and shaved. Her eyes were crusted. Despite it all, her nature was sweet and loving. We called her Star.
After she had been there a few days, one of our St. Louis volunteers came down to pick up a cat that had serious health problems and decided to take Star back with her to see if she could get the eyes cleared up.
On the night of December 19, we received a call from some people who lived about 50 miles this side of Kansas City. They had spotted Star on the website and thought she just might be their dog that had been missing (they assumed stolen), for a couple of months. I tried not to get their hopes up, telling them with such a distance it seemed unlikely. Nevertheless, they seemed to have a strong instinct (or at least hope) that this little girl was theirs. They said they had noticed the eyes on the pictures on the website looked "different" as hers had.
I had them call the woman in St. Louis who had her in foster care. When she called Star by the name "Bobbie Sue," there was instant reaction. After comparing notes, the couple elected to drive the four and half hours to St. Louis to see the dog at PetSmart. I wasn't there, but I hear there wasn't a dry eye in the store. Bobbie Sue had truly been found, no doubt about it!
This is truly a Christmas miracle, that a dog weighing no more than ten pounds found herself 200 miles from home ... and yet did go home. We'll never know how she got "lost." The most likely scenario is that she was stolen, then was either abandoned by someone or got away from them looking for her home. However, we'll never know for sure.
There are many lessons here:
1. Microchip your pets.
2. Do not leave them outside unattended, especially tiny and/or purebred animals.
3. Never give up looking for your missing pets.
4. Many animal care facilities would have euthanized Star/Bobbie Sue after five days because she was in bad condition. Maybe that's too quick in most cases.
5. Miracles can happen.