Have you ever lost a beloved pet? If so, you understand how terrible it can feel to have a beloved furry friend go missing.
At first, you tell yourself that your pet will be home at any moment. Then as the hours lengthen into days, you begin to reach out to others, seeing if anyone has seen your animal.
After that point, well, you can begin to feel hope evaporating. I imagine that’s exactly what happened to the owners of an American foxhound named Sadie.
According to NewYorkUpstate.com, Sadie vanished from a hunting club that sat near the West Virginia border in 2014.
She remained that way for nearly three years. Then an animal control officer named Linda Hamilton who worked in Chenango, New York, started getting reports about a floppy-eared dog.
The reports began on Jan. 10, 2017, and continued for five months. It was none other than Sadie herself, and she proved remarkably difficult to catch.
That was despite the fact that observers noticed that Sadie was dragging a coyote trap. Eventually, a resident even recovered the trap — with Sadie’s foot still in it.
I suspect that most animal control officers would simply have given up when faced with recovering an evasive and injured canine. But Hamilton persevered.
She set out safe enclosure traps and plastered the town with fliers about Sadie. But nothing seemed to be working.
“She was traveling about nine miles a day,” Hamilton said. “Everybody wanted to help her, but people have a hard time understanding that a dog is in survival mode at that point.”
Finally, Nicole Asher, owner of Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery, which specializes in apprehending challenging dogs got involved, and Sadie was finally saved. She was still wearing her hunting club collar and tags.
However, the club said it no longer wanted Sadie.
“She had lost an upper canine, probably trying to get out of the [coyote] trap, and had a tear in her tongue,” Hamilton said. “She probably had a litter of puppies on the way.” Sadie also had a uterus infection that could have killed her had she not been saved when she was.
So Hamilton herself adopted the plucky dog.
The Cornell Chronicle reported that Hamilton contacted Chris Frye, assistant clinical professor of sports medicine and rehabilitation at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, about Sadie’s injured leg. Due to the nature of the dog’s injury, she still had her ankle joint intact.
Frye was able to craft a prosthetic for Sadie that would allow her to walk, run and swim. “You have to have the right family and a dog that can tolerate surgery and bandaging and cast moldings and fittings and slinging the limb if necessary,” Frye said.
“Then you warn the owner, we could do all of it, we could have a perfect fitting with great alignment over the joint, and we may have a dog that doesn’t want to use the thing.” Fortunately, Sadie absolutely loves her new leg.
Jamie Szenher, Hamilton’s partner, reported that he regularly hears a rhythmic tapping sound from Sadie as her plastic leg hits the ground while she runs. “We call her thumper,” he said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.