I’m a sucker for a happy ending, especially when it comes to a lost dog finding its way back home.
So, when I saw that Chloe – the 11-year-old Bassett Hound/Beagle mix loved by the Randolph family – had been found, I called my friends and asked if I could help spread the good word.
Misty is a teacher and coach at Jefferson High School. I put her name in the newspaper at least 100 times back when she played golf, volleyball, basketball and softball at Jefferson from 2000-2004. She’s married to Steven, also a teacher and coach at Jefferson, and they have a couple of the cutest kids on the planet – 5-year-old Charlotte Elizabeth (Charlie Beth) and 2-year-old Jordan.
They have another kiddo on the way, which is ironic, because when they found out Misty was pregnant with Charlie Beth five-years ago, Chloe decided to leave.
“This is the second time she’s run away,” Misty said. “The first time was when we found out about Charlie Beth. This time was right after we found out I’m pregnant again. It’s almost like Chloe is saying ‘Hey. Don’t forget about me.’ ”
Chloe is family. Misty got her 11 years ago when someone was giving away puppies on the side of the road in Dallas. When she disappeared the first time five years ago, it was just Misty and Steven left to worry about her.
This time around, they had to deal with a heartbroken Charlie Beth.
“They like to cuddle,” Misty said of the bond between Charlie Beth and Chloe. “Jordan isn’t really old enough to realize Chloe was actually gone. We live on 15 acres between our families, and when we’re not home, Chloe might go to my mom’s or to someone else’s house. But this time it was different, and Charlie was heartbroken.”
Chloe disappeared during a storm back on April 11 while the family was at a softball game. For a few days, there was concern, but that turned to despair when 17 days had come and gone.
Then, Misty got the message she had been hoping for.
“A lady out looking for another missing puppy happened to see Chloe, and it sparked her memory. She contacted the person in town who lists lost dogs on Facebook, and that lady said she knew who Chloe belonged to. She took a picture and sent me a Facebook message. It was a little blurry, but I knew it was Chloe.”
So Chloe, who lost some weight and needed some attention on an injured paw, is back where she belongs.
“I had honestly just accepted the worst and figured I would see buzzards one day and know it was her,” Misty said in a Facebook post.
Evidently, Chloe had been living at an old abandoned church about 10 miles from the Randolph’s house.
I’ve often joked there is no greater love on earth than the love of a dog. My wife, of course, disagreed, so I offered to conduct an experiment where I locked her and our dogs – Sarge and Bentley – outside for an hour to see who was happier to see me when I let them back inside.
Rachel wasn’t amused, but did see the point I was trying to make.
I’ve also had discussions with people who aren’t “dog people” and believe dogs have no soul and won’t go to heaven. They’ll also tell you dogs don’t have feelings.
I say they are wrong, and the next time I’m confronted by a non-dog person, I plan to tell them about Chloe.
You know, the Bassett Hound/Beagle mix that got jealous – twice – when it looked like a kid was coming along to steal some of the attention she’s used to getting.
The dog who accepted one of those kids, and cuddles with her every night.
The dog who, like most people with any common sense, got scared during a storm and went seeking shelter.
At a church.