Will Lawson said farewell to his five-year-old cherished chocolate lab named Maddie a few Saturdays ago as he had done many times before during his military career. He was headed out of the country for just a few days and promised her he would be back in no time flat.
Mr. Will adopted Maddie as a tiny puppy while he was in Texas in 2012. Her father was a yellow lab and her mother was a gorgeous chocolate lab. When Mr. Will laid eyes on Maddie it was all over. He knew she was the baby for him and she’s been with him ever since.
She was staying with his fiancee, Sarah Burcham, and her children. When he left Maddie that fateful Saturday morning there was no reason to believe she would be anything other than perfectly fine while he was gone. But that’s not quite how it turned out.
If you’re one of the almost12,000 people who follow me on Facebook you’ll remember that Saturday night when my Facebook page blew up. There was the terrifying real time account of a chocolate lab running loose in the middle of congested traffic on busy Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins.
It all started with a plea from Miss Paula Raffield. She was in the vicinity of Cracker Barrel and Home Depot and unfortunately saw the lab hit by a car that couldn’t stop in time. She tried to help the dog but she couldn’t get to her so she begged for anyone to help her on my Facebook page.
About that time I saw a post from Miss Sarah. She had discovered Maddie missing from her fenced backyard and was out searching for her. Fearing it was the same dog Miss Paula witnessed being hit, I connected the two ladies so they could communicate.
There was no doubt in Miss Sarah’s mind the dog Miss Paula saw was Maddie. She raced over to the area and along with her dad and her children and everyone searched for the possibly injured Maddie. But she was nowhere to be found.
The next morning Miss Sarah had to tell Mr. Will who just landed from a 17-hour flight that his treasured dog was missing. But where could she be? Then, as the community looked for Maddie, the reports of sightings and even a deceased lab on the side of the road began to flood in.
As hours turned into days, Maddie’s family followed up on each report. None of them turned out to be Maddie.
It had been almost a week with no evidence of Maddie. The family was heartbroken.
It was the following Friday, a full six days since Maddie was hit by the car when Miss Karen Mosley noticed a pitiful chocolate lab in the road in front of Miller Elementary School. She stopped her car and called for the dog but the dog wouldn’t come to her.
Miss Karen then sat down on the grass to try to coax the dog over to her. Finally, Maddie got close enough to Miss Karen that she could grab her collar. Miss Karen led the tired, depleted dog safely to her car. Luckily, the collar had an ID and Miss Karen called the number. That’s when Miss Karen learned the dog she found was Maddie.
The reunion with Maddie and her family was incredibly joyful. Mr. Will and Miss Sarah were thrilled to have her back and to see she was in satisfactory condition even after being hit by a car and having to fend for herself for six days.
Thank goodness for Good Samaritans helping animals in need. Thank goodness for parents putting proper identification on their pet. And thank goodness for a family who never stopped searching for their loved one.
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