|The latest poster for #FindSugarNYC|
So why Freckles and Sugar? First, let me fill you in. Freckles was visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras with her owner when she got spooked and bolted from his side. He didn't leave town without her and spent ten days looking for her every day, distributing fliers and eventually hiring a lost dog expert. The search ended when someone found her strolling through the neighborhood, took her to their local groomers, and discovered that she was the dog everyone had been looking for. Freckle's owner told me, while he was on the hunt, that she didn't trust people and would never come to stranger. This worried me, because he also seemed like the type of person who wasn't necessarily cut out for asking for help from strangers. My stomach sank (cliche, yes, but true) thinking of their handicap in being reunited. But they were!
|Freckles, lost but found in New Orleans.|
Yet just a few days before Freckles was found, I learned of another dog that was missing, this one in my old neighborhood in NYC. Sugar was a playmate of a dog that I know up there, so I learned of her story pretty quickly, in spite of the distance between New Orleans and New York. And because her story is so awful, and as yet unresolved, it has also gained the kind of national attention that few lost dogs get: stories in the New York Post, rewards offered by NBA players, etc. Sugar's owner left her with a trusted dog walker and had to cut her business trip short when neighbors alerted her to the fact that the walker had had some kind breakdown, had broken into her apartment looking for the missing dog, and was subsequently hospitalized in the mental ward of Bellevue. Sugar's leash and vest were found in the dog walker's apartment, but there's been no trace of the dog. People say things like "this is every dog owner's nightmare," but the truth is, no dog owner has nightmares like this. This is completely unimaginable.
Confession: Last winter, on Christmas Eve 2013, I lost a dog. She disappeared out of my yard,
Eventually, everyone else went back to their lives. And I tried to get on with mine, but I also began to realize that if we never found her, for the rest of my life I would continue to pull my car to the side of the road at random intervals and roll down the window to shout: "Maple!"
I was so used to false leads that when the real deal came in via a text message, I didn't believe it was true. "I know where your dog is," a stranger said. We sent texts back and forth. I asked for a photo, and then, after a pause long enough to worry me that I'd scared him off, there she was: a blurry image of Maple tethered in a yard. Even then, I thought my mind could be playing tricks on me. As a test I posted the photo on my Facebook way, and within minutes I got another text, this time from the SPCA: "Is that a photo of Maple you just posted?"
|Maple and I sat in the car for a while to|
catch our breath before going inside.
I hope for the same thing to happen for Sugar and her owner. Soon.