Politics and culture have abounded over the last several years with issues of animal rights; what about the right to be found?
In a seemingly ever-hopeless world, how much is man’s (and woman’s) best friend worth? What would you do — how far would you go — to find your family’s furriest member?
What would you do for love?
For one Washington couple, the answer was one of limitlessness.
Here’s a story of true affection. One we could probably all use.
When the pair returned to their hotel after attending a stock car race, they found that Katie had escaped. Carole believed she may have been frightened by the thunderstorm.
A front desk clerk told the Kings she’d seen a dog run out the front door; they searched everywhere. No luck.
But this was no ordinary couple. No ordinary family: Both Carole and Verne are former law enforcement officers.
They got busy with the case, posting photos on light poles and online. They probed the nearby area, including its alfalfa fields. They hunted for tracks and dog poop.
After two weeks, the duo upped their game: They bought two cameras employed by wildlife researchers to record when animals are detected. Furthermore, they acquired traps and filled them with Katie’s favorite treat.
Carole even started biking and jogging through neighborhoods, hoping Katie would smell her sweat.
Would you do all this for love?
The couple had someone from back home ship them horse manure and hair shavings from their farm, so their lost dog might recognize the familiar scents.
They followed every lead and secured night-vision goggles to help their after-dark efforts.
After 37 days, it was time for Carole to return home to her job as a postal carrier, so she did the natural thing: she turned in her notice.
Both doggie parents were retired, but she’d taken the job for supplemental income.
Carole explained to the Times it was a simple question of priority:
“Katie was just more important to me. I just said, ‘I’ll finish this week, and that’s it.’”
So she returned to Washington, worked her last week, then jetted back to the hunt.
In turn, Verne flew home to take care of their farm and other animal friends.
On day 53, Carole pondered surrender to their new, sad, Katie-less lives, but Verne encouraged her not to throw in the towel.
The Kalispell community embraced the couple’s mission; residents assisted in the search, and someone even gave the pair a place to stay.
Verne noted their amazement:
“We can’t believe that community up there.”
On day 57 — fifty-seven — Carole was told someone had spotted a dog matching Katie’s description behind their house not far from the hotel. Upon inspection, she discovered a couple who’d seen a dog sitting beneath a tree nearby.
People called for Katie.
At some point, everyone went silent and let only Carole call her long-lost love’s name.
Katie immediately came running and jumped into her arms.
A vet provided emergency care, as the dog — who’d spent nearly two months surely despondent and stressed — was dehydrated and 15 pounds lighter.
But that didn’t matter — the family was finally together again.
And, soon, home.
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