Lost dog found in Ohio
HUNTINGTON — A small celebration in the parking lot of Walmart along U.S. 60 in Huntington didn’t have all of the fixings or festive decor as recent holiday parties, but the cheer in the air was just as apparent when Jonda Lowe brought out her dog, Patchi, for everyone to see.
It marked one of the first times Lowe, of Jacksonville, Fla., had the chance to hold her dog since Nov. 1, when he went missing while Lowe attended her father’s funeral in Huntington.
Lowe and an increasing team of volunteers followed countless leads and searched every corner of the greater Huntington area searching for Patchi, a Jack Russell terrier with a unique marking over his left eye, until Saturday, when a tip from Burlington, Ohio, finally led Lowe to her missing link.
“We just received so many tips and saw so many dogs that looked just like Patchi, but they weren’t him,” Lowe said. “Now, that I have him back, he hasn’t gotten more than two steps away from me since we found him.”
The canine pursuit began while Patchi was staying at a local boarding business while Lowe, a native of West Virginia, and her family laid her father to rest. She said he slipped out of his collar during a walk, and it was the last anyone saw of Patchi for eight weeks.
She only returned to her Florida home once during those eight weeks to retrieve another Jack Russell terrier named Joey in hopes that he would be useful in finding Patchi.
“Every time someone said they saw Patchi, we would bring Joey and have him mark everywhere he could,” she said. The team of at least two dozen volunteers received tips via phone and social media, and they followed tips to the west end of Huntington and just across local bridges into Ohio.
However, no one had received a tip out of Burlington, Ohio, until Saturday morning, when Debbie Peck said her dog, a boxer, began acting strangely and barking at something in the road.
“I went outside to see what he was getting so riled up about, and that was when I saw Patchi,” she said. “I had seen the flyer for him, but I lost it. I had to call a friend to get the number, and I went to get a piece of ham to try to coax him over.”
She said Patchi stayed near her home for a few minutes while she contacted Lowe, who made it to her home in less than 10 minutes.
Lowe and a friend found Patchi near Peck’s home.
Other than a few scratches, Patchi was given a clean bill of health during a complimentary visit with local veterinarian Dr. Laura Fulks with South Huntington Animal Clinic.
That was all of the good news a group of volunteers needed to hear from Lowe, who stopped at the Walmart on Saturday afternoon to show her gratitude for all of the help she received before she finally made the 12-hour drive back to Florida to be with the entirety of her family.
“I have seen so many faces of people, most of whom I don’t know, come out to help me find my dog, and I just wanted to thank them all,” she said. “For all of the people who looked, there were a lot of people who asked, ‘Why are you still looking?’ I didn’t really have an answer other than I just had a feeling I shouldn’t stop looking, and, today, I’m glad I didn’t.”