AR-News: (NY - US)Bond between 2 dogs brought lost lab back

Snugglezzz at Snugglezzz at
Wed Feb 18 15:00:28 EST 2004

To the dogs 
By Hallie Arnold , Freeman staff  02/17/2004 
SAUGERTIES - There are few bonds as strong as that between a dog and his owner. But for one Saugerties family, it was the bond between two dogs that brought a lost Labrador retriever mix back after more than a week away from home. 

"It was fantastic," said Barbara Weeks, whose dog, Elie, ran off on Feb. 3. "We didn't think we'd get her back."

Elie was riding in the car with Barbara's husband, Douglas Weeks, in the area of Clint Finger Road in Mount Marion when she apparently got spooked and ran off. 

"My husband opened the car door, and whether something scared her, I don't know," Barbara Weeks said. "She got out of the car and took off like a shot and she would not come back."

The family was worried because 2-year-old Elie is "afraid of everything," and shied away from people, including her owners, when they tried to catch her. 

Several residents in the area reported Elie sightings to the Weeks, even setting out dishes of food from which Elie would eat once the people were safely out of sight. Twice, Douglas Weeks, whom Elie usually shadows, caught a glimpse her in the woods in the area and called her to him, but she wouldn't come. 

After a couple of attempts at catching the shy pup, the family decided to let her best friend, a basenji-mix dog named Jake, take a crack at it. 

Jake and Elie were both adopted from the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals last fall, about two days apart, and have been best pals ever since. Jake, who is nearly eight months old, is owned by Barbara and Douglas's son, Gregg, who suggested that maybe Jake could bring Elie in where his owners had not. 

"Both of my sons kept saying take Jake up there, let him get her scent, and if he gets her scent he'll go to her," Barbara Weeks said. "That might be the only thing that will make her come out."

On Saturday, Valentine's Day, they got their chance. The owner of the property where Elie initially ran off called the family to say he'd spotted her walking along the Esopus Creek on the property. The Weeks packed up Jake and headed to the site. Once Jake got the scent, he found Elie, and brought her back to her humans. 

"My son Gregg picked her up and carried her to the car. She could barely walk," Barbara Weeks said. 

Elie is a few pounds lighter, which the Weeks said is not necessarily a bad thing because their veterinarian had recently advised the family that Elie was about 22 pounds overweight. Otherwise, she looks in great shape, far from what one might expect from a dog that had spent 10 days in the woods, through a snow and ice storm and several below-freezing nights. 

For now, Elie and her rescuer, Jake, have just one more important task ahead of them: eating all the treats their owners can give them.


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