Lost and Found on Facebook

by Stephen Balbach
October 4, 2016


A lost dog found my house Saturday night in the rain. He was shaking, skinny, smelly and would not come near. Any move and he would run away. Not knowing what else to do, I set down an open can of salmon. He looked at me, the salmon and back again but would not move. Finally I went away, and when I returned a few moments later he was still there but the salmon was gone.

I was on my way to meet my mother for dinner, and unable to get near the dog (I'm in a wheelchair) I decided to gamble that maybe he would follow me into the car. I opened the side door and whistled and pointed - he jumped in. Salmon power. After dinner my mother helped to get him squared away for the night. It turned out to be well behaved, intelligent, sweet natured. But he had a wound of some kind on his side and seemed in distress.

The next morning I began posting on Facebook, searching lost dog sites for "Collies" etc..

After a few hours my Inbox lighted up. A diligent dog sleuth named Rachel had remembered a post two weeks ago for a lost Sheltie.

"Do you think it could be this one?", Rachel asked.

So I called the number. Gina Preziosi confirmed the collar type and color. It's a match! The dog's name is Mugsy. Gina was so happy. Will you come and pick him up, I asked. . No, she said. I moved.. to Hawaii. Two weeks ago.

She tells the story: Gina's family moved from Silver Spring to Hawaii. Gina left Mugsy in the care of keepers who would take him to a quarantine facility. Hawaii has a 120 day animal quarantine. Unfortunately Mugsy ran away from the keepers (Shelties are fast). As they watched, he crossed a road and was struck by a pickup truck. Now injured, he ran into nearby woods. Fearing Mugsy may be laying wounded or dead in the woods, bloodhounds were hired to track him down, using an old collar for smell, but they lost the scent. Mugsy was never seen again, and the Preziosi family said they had almost given up hope for the beloved pet.

Two weeks later, Mugsy emerged near the Patuxent River onto my porch in a rainstorm.

Gina's relative who lived nearby came and took Mugsy to the vet to attend the injury and exposure. It was not serious. He will next go into 120 days quarantine, and a flight to Hawaii. A long adventure ahead. God speed dog Mugsy.

October 1&2 2016

ps. the story continued. On Monday the mailman, Jim, told me he saw Mugsy on the porch around noon Saturday. He gave him a chewy treat which he carries for dog encounters on his route. He thought I knew about the dog so didn't knock. We think the treat kept him hanging around until I found him later in the day.