Gracie, a little mix-breed dog living in Westbrook with her paw-rents, went missing back in October when she was spooked by a stranger who was trying to pet her.
By, 10 Jan 2020
"She only socializes with a few people, so when the lady went to get her, she ran into the woods," her owner, John Merrifield, told WGME. "That was the last we saw of her."
They thought she was lost for good
John Merrifield and his family searched and searched for little Gracie, but in vain. After three weeks of endless searching, they finally gave up. Though it was tough for them to do, there was no sign of their beloved dog, and they knew it was time to face the facts.
An unexpected call
It was on Christmas Eve, just a few weeks after the Merrifields had stopped searching, that they received an incredible phone call. An extended member of the family had spotted a dog that looked just like Gracie near their house, only a mile away from the Merrifields' home.
The frantic family knew they had no time to lose and immediately contacted the Maine Lost Dog Recovery group. Volunteer Patti Joyce was dispatched, and explained:
“When a dog is lost, they’re usually kind of disoriented, and they get really scared, and they don't necessarily even come to their owners.”
But Joyce was more than well-prepared, bringing a trap (and enticing bait), to the area where Gracie had last been seen.
It took a hot dog to catch a lost dog in Westbrook! Find out more about this story tonight at 5. pic.twitter.com/CCAwrNPOeF— Taylor Cairns (@TaylorWGME) December 26, 2019
Christmas miracles sometimes come in the form of sausages
Gracie was fearful of the first few traps that were set for her, but she was eventually caught with the help of a yummy-smelling sausage!
On October 17th, a family’s dog ran off into the woods in Westbrook. After two months went by, they knew it would take a miracle to get her back. Yesterday, Christmas Day, that miracle happened, and we have the story tonight! @WGME @FOX23Maine pic.twitter.com/t4VkDK6JQ3— Mike Hartford (@MikeHartford4) December 26, 2019
Though she was a little skinny and a little cold, Gracie was overall in good health, and her family were over-joyed when they realised their pain was over!
The Merrifields were away on holiday when the dog was caught, so she stayed with close friends of the family until they returned, and they could be joyfully reunited.
This should be a reminder that there’s always hope, and more importantly – to always look out for lost dogs! As Patti Joyce so rightly points out:
"People don't realize you are now at the mercy of sightings, so you are totally relying on other people seeing your dog."
We are so glad Gracie is back home safe and sound, and hope she won't go wandering off again!
This derpy and sweet girl is named Gracie, and her owners watched her run away into the woods after being spooked in October. A local rescue group was able to locate her on Christmas Eve, and by Christmas Day, she was safely caught! pic.twitter.com/En1332ktlU— Taylor Cairns (@TaylorWGME) December 26, 2019