The Garcia family is celebrating now that their 14-year-old dog has been found safe after being missing for a week. Their family dog, a golden retriever mix named Bailey, disappeared on March 6th after digging a hole and crawling under the family’s backyard fence. The family searched their local area and put fliers up around the neighborhood. There was no sign of Bailey anywhere.
Abby Garcia, the oldest daughter in the family of six, was understandably concerned. “She has a medication she takes every day, and we were so worried.” The Garcia family rescued Bailey from the local animal shelter 13 years ago when Abby was almost 4 years old. Now at 17, she can’t imagine a life without her. “As long as I can remember, she’s always been here for me. She’s been a part of the family for so long. We all didn’t sleep while she was gone.”
Fortunately, Jake Clark, a 16-year-old high school student, found Bailey in the parking lot of the Corner Store seven days after she went missing. The dog was wearing a pink collar with a heart-shaped ID tag. Jake said, “I saw the dog while riding my bike home and thought it looked familiar. She was really sweet. I had the feeling she was lost. I checked her collar and that’s when I remembered the posters I saw around.”
Jake was able to get in touch with Abby to let her know what he’d found. The Garcias were so happy. They ran out the door to get their furry family member.
Abby excitedly rushed to meet Jake and once reunited, the ride home was filled with celebration and relief. “I couldn’t stop petting and staring at her. While she was gone, she got pretty dirty. She kept licking my hand the whole way home.” As soon as they got there, Abby made sure Bailey had enough to eat and drink before giving her a much needed bath. “She was covered in dirt. But other than that, she looked pretty good. After her bath, we went and got her some treats.”
Wanting to be safer than sorry, Abby decided to have their veterinarian check out Bailey. “Everything came back good. She lost a couple pounds and was a little dehydrated. But she’s doing great now. She’s back on her medication and it’s like she never left,” Abby said, smiling.
The Garcia family’s next move was to repair the small hole Bailey somehow squeezed through. “We went to Home Depot and got some wire, dirt and compost and we made sure that won’t happen again. She must have been trying to get to the squirrels that live in our neighbor’s tree.”
The family showed gratitude by buying Jake and his friends pizza. “We can’t thank everyone enough for looking and their support. We are so happy she’s home,” Abby said. She even found a new friend in Jake. They’ve taken Bailey to the dog park twice since her return. It was a tough week for the family. But once they found their way back to one another, that was all that mattered.
This happy story is a great reminder to always keep ID tags on your pets. Also, check with your veterinarian to see about getting them microchipped with your information in case they are picked up by local animal control. Microchipping can increase the chances of being reunited with your fuzzy friend and it’s a great, permanent solution.