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Mystery Dog Prompts Nationwide Search for Family
(PHOENIX) -- She arrived at the Arizona Humane Society in the early morning hours of October 9th with purple-painted toenails, a pink harness and sweater. A pampered poodle indeed - not what you'd expect kindly truckers to find wandering a desolate stretch of Interstate 40 near the Texas/New Mexico border.
The closest settlements are ghost towns. And coyotes, a bobcat or even large bird of prey surely would've gobbled her up had she been there for any length of time.
Now, the AHS has launched a dogged search for the family of this mystery mutt - a family that could be anywhere in the United States right now.
"Quite obviously, this dog is somebody's beloved pet. She is healthy, friendly and was recently groomed. She has been cared for very well for many years," said Cheryl Naumann, AHS president &CEO. "We can only imagine the anguish her family is feeling right now, wondering what happened to their darling little dog."
What happened has been a source of lively debate at the AHS since some Phoenix-bound truckers called the shelter last week and asked for help with a very precious piece of cargo they picked up at the Texas/New Mexico state line.
Was she traveling with her family, only to escape during a potty break at a rest stop? Was her family involved in an accident along the highway? Was she dog-napped and dumped in the desert? Was she on the road with RV-ers who fell ill or succumbed to a roadside bandit?
"We are exploring all of these possibilities, and then some," Naumann said.
The closest community to where she was found is San Jon, N.M., population 277. Two other nearby settlements are ghost towns.
"We have distributed pictures and information about her to the San Jon police department and posted flyers at the New Mexico Welcome Center on I-40 at the Texas border," Naumann said. "We've contacted law-enforcement agencies in the region to find out if there were any automobile accidents along that stretch of highway. And we've contacted media outlets in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas."
The AHS even did an internet search to single out retailers that carry the brand of sweater the little dog was wearing, hoping the seller kept a customer database. The sweater turned up on e-bay and at Wal-Mart.
"That sweater could've been purchased just about anywhere in the U.S., or on the internet from anywhere in the world," Naumann said.
According to a hand-written letter from the truckers, the little dog spent three days on the road with them. They discovered that she enjoys road trips, snubs dog food for the likes of chicken, cheese or hotdogs, and would signal the need for a bathroom break by sitting near the passenger-side window of their big rig.
"She loves being around people and seems to enjoy taking trips," they wrote. "She favors the left side of her jaw. It appears that she may have been injured before we found her . she is very quiet, (and) hasn't barked or whined or even growled in our company."
The AHS continues to care for the lovable little lap dog, with hopes that her family will catch a glimpse of a flyer, see a television broadcast about her unique story, or spot her picture in a newspaper somewhere in America. If she is not claimed, she will be put up for adoption. Anyone with information should call the AHS at (602) 997-7585, Ext. 2056.
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