Dakota... Roaming lab...4 weeks and many miles...

Dakota was missing for 4 weeks... no leads or sightings

Found after 4 weeks roaming...
Could the shy Labrador Retriever have 
traveled over a hundred miles?

   Dakota went missing on 10/13.

We were having an end of summer party with friends and Dakota was having a great time playing fetch with everyone. Around 8:30 pm somebody in town set off fireworks. Normally Dakota would have just run for the kitchen door but for some reason he took off into the woods. We all got flashlights and went in after him. Calling his name, which I now know isn't the right thing to do.

On that Thursday my sister sent me an email about Bring Andy Home so I went to the facebook page and posted a comment. Then I saw Private Investigator Karin TarQwyn on the page and I contacted the K9PI. Cindy called me and took all of Dakota's info. Within minutes, Karin called and and did an aerial and mapping of places where he might travel. She designed the lost signs for me.

The next day we put up the signs all over the area and also put up fliers in gas stations, c-stores, etc. We got lots of calls in the beginning but by the time we got to where the sighting was there was no sign of him. We called all the shelters within a two hundred mile radius as well as the sheriff's departments to make them aware of Dakota. We spent hours walking corn fields, woods, and slews and driving around. We even had some friends that organized a posse and went out for 3 hours going through the woods on horseback. We called the shelters and sheriff's departments every week to see if anyone had called or brought a yellow lab in. Every time the answer was the same - No sorry we don't have him. Can't tell you how many tears were shed after those calls as well as at night and in the office where Dakota was a constant companion.

Then miracles of all miracles on 11/8 we received a call around 4:00 pm from a couple who said they had him! He had wandered on to their farm and they got his tag information and called the vet clinic and got our phone number. Our boy had traveled quite a distance from home given the sightings we had about a big yellow lab with an orange shock collar and red collar on. Dakota on the night he was recovered.We figure in the 4 weeks that he was gone he traveled well over 100 miles. Dakota was so happy to see us last night. He's home, a lot thinner but he's home and happy with a tremendous appetite!

Cindy, (our search coordinator) kept telling me to never give up and she was right. We're going to take Dakota to the vet this afternoon to make sure everything is okay with him after his ordeal. Then the only thing left to do, besides loving him, is to try and remember where we put up those signs and fliers and take them down.

Deb P. in Darwin, MN


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