Sometimes all it takes is time and a little bit of luck, and fortunately for Hollyn Smith of Homer, both were on her side this past week, as she has been reunited with her lost dog Sketcher.
"I got him back," said a jovial Smith on Thursday, in regard to her 12-year-old blue heeler that ran away on Sunday after if had been frightened at the Kasilof River mouth by people shooting off fireworks.
"A gal that lives on North Cohoe found him under her porch this morning, and when she went to work someone told her about one of the posters," Smith said.
The women drove up to the Kasilof Post office, where Smith had hung a "lost dog" poster. She believed the dog she had under her deck matched the dog in the picture, so she called Smith's friend, Nicole, who lives locally.
"Nicole went to her house and lured my dog out from under her porch with multiple pieces of beef jerky. Meanwhile, another friend of mine, L.B., had driven up to take a look for me," Smith said.
Since Smith's two friends knew the dog, but didn't actually own it, they wanted to be sure they had the right blue heeler before they claimed it.
"I was on the phone with both of them and they were describing him. 'He's got black ears? White on his forehead?' It sounded like they were pretty sure it was him," she said.
Just getting off work from the Salty Dog on the Homer Spit, Smith raced up the Sterling Highway and met L.B. in Anchor Point.
"Sure enough it was Sketcher," Smith said.
She called to thank the woman, who ended up being Marie "Meezie" Hermansen -- a veterinarian at Soldotna Animal Hospital -- who had found her dog, and learned she had cared for it while it lived under her home.
"The dog found me I guess, but since I'm a veterinarian, I guess he picked the right house," Hermansen said.
Smith said Harmansen took care of Sketcher like he was her own.
"When I called to thank her, she told me she'd given him food and water. He'd mostly been interested in the food. My friends had also both brought luring treats they were carrying with them in case they found him. So, consequently, Sketcher was not hungry when we arrived home," she said.
Rather than wanting to eat, Sketcher seemed worn out from his several days on the lam.
"He was very tired and got lots of love from myself and my daughters. When I hugged him he seemed tense, but soon relaxed and fell right asleep. He's tired from his three-day adventure and seems quite happy to be home," Smith said.
Hermansen said she did not want the reward that was offered, and instead suggested Smith put the reward money toward getting the dog a microchip or some other form of permanent identification.
"At the very least, Sketcher will soon have a new collar with an ID on it," Smith said.
Smith said she also wanted to thank all the people who called with sightings of Sketcher before he was found. It gave her the hope she needed to believe she would get him back.
"If it weren't for people seeing and paying attention to the posters, I may not have gotten him back so quickly. Thank you for your time," she said.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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