Many pet owners look at their pets as true members of the family that they don’t want to live without. Carole King of Deer Park, WA, felt the same about her border collie, Katie. So when Katie went missing during a couple’s getaway, Carole couldn’t bear to leave without her. Searching for close to two months, the woman quit her job to find her precious dog and even recruited social media users to help with the search. Would Carole’s love and dedication pay off?
A Devastating Discovery
Carole and her husband Verne had traveled to Kalispell, Montana, for a four-day getaway in July and they took Katie along for the trip. On the first night of their trip, the couple went out to dinner and left the seven-year-old dog behind in their hotel room. When they got back, Katie was gone. “It was devastating. I got sick to my stomach,” she shared with the Daily Inter Lake. She and her husband searched the room for any signs of Katie before going to the front desk to see if Katie had been found in another part of the building. “I said to the clerk, ‘Please tell me you have my dog.’ The clerk says, ‘No, she left about 4, 4 1/2 hours ago,’” she said. It was suspected that Katie heard thunder from a storm that night, causing her to panic and open the hotel room door to get out. Reaching the automatic doors of the hotel, Katie had run out when they opened. Carole and Verne did a sweep of the hotel grounds, calling out for the dog throughout the night but couldn’t find her.
Search And Rescue
The Kings were determined to find Katie. They canceled their return trip home, staying in Kalispel to do an extensive search for the collie. The hotel clerk shared a post in a local Facebook Group for missing pets and helped Carole make flyers to post around town. However, it was to no avail. The couple eventually went back to their home in Washington where Carole went back to her job as a mail carrier for a little while. However, after the postal service denied her request to take more time off to search for Katie, she quit. “Katie was just more important to me,” she told the New York Times. “I just said, ‘I’ll finish this week, and that’s it.’” She went back to Kalispell with Verne, passing out flyers throughout the community, staying out late to call for Katie, and sharing the dog’s picture on social media channels and Facebook groups. The Kings even went as far as to buy motion-triggered cameras and animal cage traps that were baited with Katie’s favorite food. They bought night vision goggles to help with their search in case Katie was moving around at night. However, Katie was nowhere to be found.
An End To The Search
Even though it was discouraging, “I never gave up. I never lost hope,” Carole said. People in the Kalispell community began to help with the physical search and even dropped off food for the Kings. That very same community helped to get Katie back where she belonged. Nearly two months after Katie went missing, Carole received a call from a man in a nearby neighborhood who claimed that a dog matching Katie’s description was in his yard. Carole and her friend Jan Leland rushed to the scene, but, by the time they arrived, the dog was gone. The two began walking around the neighborhood, determined to spot the dog. A couple in the neighborhood had seen a black dog heading north. As they turned to walk away, the woman of the duo noticed a dark mass in some nearby trees. “She says, ‘Is that your dog?’” Carole said. “And I turn and it’s Katie.” The group calmed their excitement and Carole called out to the dog. Katie ran over and the two were finally back together again! “I just bear-hugged her. I wasn’t going to let her go,” Carole admitted. “Tears were flying, we were screaming, everybody is high-fiving, hugging each other. People are stopping in their vehicles, getting out and hugging us. I think the whole neighborhood knew that we found her.” Carole immediately took Katie a local vet to evaluate her and discovered that the poor dog had lost 12 pounds, was severely dehydrated and in starvation mode. Katie was prescribed some fluids and a special diet of two tablespoons of food every two hours to help retrain her stomach. Though Katie has a long road ahead, she’s expected to make a full recovery. And it’s thanks to her human mom who never gave up on finding her along with a loving community who wanted to see them reunited.
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