I saw This on The Front page of my City Newspaper today... And Just Had To Post!!!
Love brings lost dog home from Allegheny National Forest
Saturday, November 06, 2010
By Emily Gibb, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jezzy, a dog which was lost for 105 days, then was found in Allegheny National Forest and was returned to its owner, who lives in Las Vegas.
Cheryl Mann cut short a hunting trip in the Allegheny National Forest last month when it began raining, and headed for the car. Standing in front of the vehicle was an emaciated golden retriever, and the dog came right over when Mrs. Mann called.
She knelt down, petting the dog. She couldn't leave it out there, so she lifted her up and put her in the back of the car.
"We knew how it was to lose a dog, and we know how it would have been to get it back," said her husband, Neal, 68.
Mrs. Mann, 56, has lived with golden retrievers since she was 12. She and Mr. Mann, who live in North East, Erie County, currently own their sixth. One of those six disappeared, and they never learned what happened.
After leaving the forest that day -- Oct. 18 -- she stopped at two nearby farmhouses to see if they knew anyone looking for a missing dog. She checked at a small store down the road, but no one was searching for a golden retriever.
She fed the dog and called around to various shelters and the humane society to see if anyone had reported one missing, but still could not find an owner.
The next day, Mr. Mann took the dog to see the veterinarian. She weighed only 39 pounds -- much less than the usual average for a female golden retriever, which is around 60 pounds. She had two bite marks around her rib cage that were mostly healed and not infected.
"She was a bag of bones, really," said Mr. Mann.
The vet scanned the dog and found she had a microchip. It turned out the dog's name was Jezzy, she was 6 years old, and she belonged to Melissa Lopez, 22, of Las Vegas.
The vet office called Ms. Lopez, who was elated to hear the news. She had not seen her dog since July 4 when she was in the forest for the annual Rainbow Gathering -- a self-described "intentional community" created on public land celebrating nature and social harmony. She stayed a week after it was over searching for Jezzy, checking at the Warren County Humane Society, but no one had reported finding a dog. She had to return home alone.
Even though the Manns already had a golden retriever, it wasn't hard for them to open their hearts to Jezzy, too.
"She's just the friendliest, calmest, dog. It takes about a minute, and you're in love with her," Mrs. Mann said.
"Cheryl walked in the door with the dog on Tuesday morning and I saw it and I told her, 'I don't want a second dog.' But by Friday, I would have adopted it," Mr. Mann said. "We both became really attached to her."
Ms. Lopez wanted to fly the dog home, but the vet told her Jezzy was in no shape for flying.
Ms. Lopez and Mr. Mann worked out a plan. They would each drive halfway and meet in the parking lot of a rest stop in Oklahoma City. Mrs. Mann wanted to go but was taking care of her nephew, whose parents, ironically, had left for vacation in Las Vegas the day she found Jezzy.
It was a bittersweet goodbye for Mrs. Mann, who had watched Jezzy become a little healthier and a little stronger each day.
"I fell in love with her more and more every minute," she said. "I cried all night Thursday and Friday morning when they left."
Mr. Mann left the morning of Oct. 22. After 105 days of meandering in the woods, fending off predators and hunger, Jezzy was homeward bound.
Mr. Mann stopped every hour or two to walk her around and give her water and food.
"I love to drive so it was kind of an adventure for me," Mr. Mann said. "It was very rewarding and satisfying to get the dog back to her owner."
The reunion in Oklahoma was joyous and tearful.
Mr. Mann let Jezzy out of the car and she ran right into Ms. Lopez's arms.
Mrs. Mann said the reunion story had everyone in tears, including staffers from the shelters they initially contacted.
"Your heart -- it just goes out to her."
Emily Gibb: email@example.com or 412-263-1985.
First published on November 6, 2010 at 12:12 am
So Happy For you Melissa I teared up too...