If you have a dog, you’re probably all too aware of what an integral part of your life our four-legged friends become. They’re bonafide members of the family, and when they’re no longer around, it’s absolutely devastating. That’s why when Carole and Verne King thought they lost their 7-year-old Border collie, Katie, they went to extreme lengths to get her back.
The New York Times
It all started with a freak accident. The Kings, who were from the Spokane area of Washington, were visiting Kalispell, Montana to attend a stock-car race. They were staying at a dog-friendly hotel and decided to bring Katie along, but when they returned late at night after the race, they were horrified to discover that Katie had gone. There had been thunderstorms in the area and Katie, anxious and scared, somehow managed to unlatch the door and escape.
They looked everywhere for Katie. The kings were absolutely distraught over Katie’s disappearance. They worried that she was cold, hungry, and scared and they couldn’t bear the thought of her in distress. They scoured the neighborhood and even nearby neighborhoods as well as posting on Facebook and other sites asking for tips about Katie’s whereabouts. While they got plenty of messages with tips, none of them led to finding Katie.
Eventually, Carole quit her job to dedicate herself to the search full-time. Carole was a postal worker back in Spokane but was spending all of her time in Montana with her husband looking for Katie. Unfortunately, her job wouldn’t allow her to take extended time off, so she was forced to quit.
They went to extreme lengths. The Kings were so desperate to find Katie, they did everything they possibly could to make it happen. They purchased night vision goggles in hopes of sighting her in the dark. They bought wildlife cameras that detect any animals that pass by. They even brought manure from their Spokane farm and left shirts scented with Carole’s scent hoping it might lure Katie back.
Just when they were running out of hope, something changed. Carole was ready to go back to Spokane to take a break from the search, but her husband convinced her to stay for one more week. “I wasn’t ready to go, but I was thinking, What else can I do?” she told The New York Times. Not long after, she received a tip from someone who lived near the hotel claiming that she’d seen Katie in her backyard. By the time Carole arrived, if Katie was there, she was gone. However, they kept looking and eventually, a couple out for a walk pointed out a dog cowering under a tree.
Katie was found! Carole called Katie’s name and while the dog initially seemed wary, she eventually “Katie came running at full speed and leapt into [Carole’s] arms.” She’d lost about 15 pounds and it was clear the dog had become dehydrated while missing, but she was OK and Carole was elated. “All I could think about was, ‘I’m done. I got her,'” she recalled. “I was crying, I was holding onto her, wrapped her up in a bear hug. I couldn’t get her in the car fast enough to close her in so I wouldn’t lose her again.”
Finally, a story with a happy ending. The whole of Kalispell pitched in over the nearly two months the Kings were looking for Katie, and while this story could have ended in tragedy or maybe even never been resolved, it had a happy ending. Katie and the Kings have been reunited, and I’m sure neither could be happier.
She quit her job. He got night goggles. They searched 57 days for their dog. This was the moment they were reunited.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 22, 2019
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