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A dog-gone miracle

A dog-gone miracle

By Judy Reed

Mike and Kathy Hart, of Pennsylvania, found their long lost dog in Cedar Springs.

Mike and Kathy Hart, of Pennsylvania, found their long lost dog in Cedar Springs.

The old saying goes that a dog is man’s best friend. And sometimes, the favor is returned. Such was the case of Louie (aka Newman), a Gordon Setter taken in as a stray by the Kent County Humane Society.

According to Kim Schreuder, of Bellowood Animal Rescue, here in Cedar Springs, the Humane Society called and asked her to take Newman, an older Gordon Setter, who they thought might do better at Bellowood. Schreuder was glad to oblige. “He must have been poorly taken care of, or on the lamb for quite sometime before being caught,” she wrote on Newman’s description at Petfinder. “He is thin, and his haircoat is dull, but his eyes and personality are BRIGHT as can be!”

Then, two weeks ago, Schreuder got a call from a couple in Pennsylvania saying they thought Newman might be their dog, Louie. “After several phone conversations, referencing vet records, and picture exchanges, the commonalities were too much to ignore,” said Schreuder.

The couple, Mike and Kathy Hart, of Erie, Pennsylvania, said that their dog, Louie, disappeared two years ago in July 2007, right before their son left for Marine boot camp. “We never replaced him because I guess we always had a feeling we would get him back,” explained Kathy. “We looked for him for months by driving around, posting newspaper ads, etc., but had no success.”

Until they saw the dog on Petfinder that looked just like him.

Schreuder said that the vet records showed their dog had a broken leg when he was younger, and Newman indicated creptis in the left rear leg; their dog was not neutered or chipped, and neither was Newman. “Dr. Swift of the KCHS viewed their vet records and stated they were consistent with her findings, and tons of other factors, so they decided to make the trip from Pennsylvania to Michigan to see if in fact, this was their dog, Louie.”

Schreuder said that as soon as the Harts walked in the door, Newman did something unusual. “He laid right down as if exhausted. He laid right there and soaked in the loving. I have never seen him act that way before!” she remarked. She said they examined him for a long time—looked in his face, said his name—but still were not sure. So Schreuder asked if they still had the same vehicle. They did, and when they brought him outside, he jumped right in. Then, when they brought him back inside, Mike said, “Wanna go get the birdies?”

“He came unglued!” remarked Schreuder. “He cocked his head and headed toward the love birds I have in my house,” she said with a laugh. She noted that after they left, he paced and whined. “I calmed him down and told him they would be back,” she said.

The Harts now have him home in Erie, Pennsylvania. “It was such a relief to see him,” said Kathy. “He has gotten older, has a little different coat than we remembered, but his eyes said it all! Since we have him home now, we are more convinced every day that it truly is him, he acts exactly the same.”

Kathy said it is awesome having him home, and it now feels like he never left. “He seems extremely happy and was not strange coming into the house even for a second. He ran from room to room, like he knew he was home! We owe a lot to Bellowood, who worked with us for over a week trying to determine if this was truly our dog and we appreciate everything they did for us,” she said.

Schreuder said they really don’t know how Louie got this far away from home. “They lost him around I-80, so he was probably picked up by someone and driven here,” she said.

This is Bellowood’s 17th year as an animal rescue, and they have been in Cedar Springs since 2007.

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One Response to “A dog-gone miracle”

  1. Kimberly says:

    THANK YOU JUDY, for doing such a GREAT job reporting this story. It was an OVERWHELMING experience to be part of, thank you for seeing the miracle of it.
    Thanks again….maybe it will generate some much needed support of the rest of the dogs here, that are less fortunate, and without homes/families for the Holidays.
    Kim

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