Imagine what went through Katheryn Strang’s mind went her lost dog never came home.
When Dutchess a fox terrier got out of the family home in Orlando, Florida, in February 2007, Strang did what any dog owner would do. She made lost dog posters and made daily visits to the animal rescue centre. She walked through the streets calling out for Dutchess.
Nothing eventuated but even after the Strang family moved to Boca Raton, Florida, but Katheryn Strang continued to pay Dutchess’ annual US$30 microchip registration fee.
“I am just that kind of person,” Strang told Pittsburgh City Paper. “I don’t give up hope.”
Last Friday (US time), a man contacted the Humane Animal Rescue centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is more than 1600kms away from Orlando. He had found a fox terrier under his garden shed in Carnegie, part of Pittsburgh’s metro area, on Tuesday 8 October, that was “hungry, shivering, and in serious need of a nail trim”. He took the dog to the centre, who discovered it was microchipped.
Torin Fisher, an admissions counsellor with Humane Animal Rescue, was told the microchip showed the lost dog belonged to Katheryn Strang from Florida. Fisher and staff assumed the dog had run away when the family moved from Pittsburgh. Then Fisher called Strang and discovered the truth.
“The whole story kind of unfolded while we were on the phone,” Fisher said. “And we were equally excited and shocked and surprised.”
Strang drove for more 17 hours to be reunited with her lost dog. Dutchess is now 14.
Humane Animal Rescue posted footage of the emotional reunion on Facebook, writing, “This is why we do what we do.”
“Dutchess. Hi, baby. I missed you,” Strang says in the video as she strokes the dog’s face. “Your face is all white.”
Strang said she could not believe that Dutchess had walked the 1600kms.