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Lincoln Daily News
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People of Lincoln united so a scared dog lost for almost two days was returned home safely

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To the editor:

On Saturday 3/25/2023, a woman and her dog had a joyous reunion after she and her daughter searched for him for almost two days. She cried tears of happiness and the dog looked like he was smiling when they were reunited. Their expressions were priceless. The happy reunion would not have been possible without a group effort from the wonderful people of Lincoln.

My name is Elizabeth. I currently life in Springfield by used to live in Lincoln and still miss it. I was going to an appointment and was two hours early. I was deciding what to with the extra time when a confused small dog wandered onto Route 66 from Stringer Rd just before noon. He walked in front of my car, so I honked to get him back out of the traffic lanes then I pulled over and called the nonemergency police number. It took a bit as my phone is 7 years old and slow. The dispatcher said animal control would call me back.

People pulled over behind me and opened their door, but the dog got scared and ran west across all lanes of route 66 and those folks drove away. I was concerned the dog would cause an accident, get run over, or attacked by another animal so I drove south to the prison turnoff, then went back north, then searched the area by the west Old Union cemetery (Hickory and Cobblestone). The dog walked out of the cemetery, and I notified dispatch of this location. Animal control called me and said his owner was searching for him will come for him, so I sat in my car 50 or more feet away just watching him.

We looked at each other a few minutes, then he started walking north again. He walked right by my car, stopped, I didnít move, and he gave me a curious look then continued walking. Someone drove by him and opened their door but he ran east across all four lanes again of 66 at Kenwood Dr. The other car not his owner so I followed him again. When traffic cleared, I turned onto 66 and saw he was almost at Stringer. Another lady, named Gwenda was on Stringer and opened her door and the dog ran and he was gone. I got closer and asked if she was his owner, but she said no - she stopped because he was almost hit by someone else and he ran off in the street up Stringer. I told her I tracked him for around half an hour, but no one arrived for him yet and asked her to call someone. She called the Humane Society and was told his name is Bear. We had already pulled off the road onto shoulder areas and from a distance watched him in a grassy area. He started walking west toward 66 again so I started calling his name and walking toward him. He walked away onto the tracks, so I ran back to my car and Gwenda.

The dog ownerís daughter named Krista arrived, yelled his name, and started running after him. I asked her if I should help chase him too. She said he just arrived in Lincoln so doesnít know the area. She ran, so I followed. He was far already (where the tracks curve). I ran across weeds and jumped a creek to get to the field on the other side of the tracks.

[to top of second column in this letter]

Two other people in the distance were running towards the dog, Krista was running after him and I was behind her when he abruptly turned and ran back Northeast through the field. I ran back to my car.

During this, Gwenda was watching Kristaís car. Krista returned and said he ran into an alley and disappeared. I drove by the little old schoolhouse and Krista arrived when I pointed him out in the distance running on the sidewalk east down 5th. I let her pass in front of me to go after him. Then I saw Tess from the humane society running down the sidewalk and I yelled to not chase because it scares him but then I didnít know who she was.

Krista turned onto a street, then another car with a man and woman (not sure who they are or when they joined to help) turned after Krista to cut off the dogís path. I pulled off onto the shoulder parking area along 5th. Kristaís mom (Bearís owner) was in the back seat of the peopleís car and when she opened the door in front of Bear, he jumped up ecstatically. Gwenda immediately took a picture of us but Tess arrived very shortly after. We should have taken another photo showing Gwenda and Tess too. It took about an hour, but Bear was safely heading home finally.


Pictured Center, Bear and his pet-parent reunited.  On the far left is Elizabeth, then the unnamed driver of the car who helped Krista's mom, Krista, and the lady who was with the unnamed driver.

Gwenda suggested it would be a good, pleasant community story for the paper. I agreed and asked Krista if itís ok with her and her mom to write it up for the paper and she agreed yesterday (Saturday) evening.

I am happy I was able to help this little dog return home safely. Per Krista, her mom had him for over 9 year since a puppy and they were never apart til he was gone. I think of how me and my elderly mom would be if our little dog got lost - we got an older nameless rescue dog 9 years ago from a shelter and she is our angel.

[written and submitted by Elizabeth (last name withheld by request)]

[Posted March 27, 2023]

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