MICHIGAN, USA — Milo is an almost 2-year-old English Springer Spaniel. He likes hunting, scrapping and cuddling — all skills he would need to know to survive his previous West Michigan Adventure.
For his family, though, it was no adventure.
Milo's owners, Allyssa Hagenah and Nate Oswald, didn't know the second week of January would be the last week they saw their dog for over a month.
“On January 8, my husband took Milo out to some state lands, north of 46, to do some rabbit hunting. And we had been training Milo,” said Hagenah. “He found a bunny, and the bunny took off and then so did Milo.”
Oswald then came home to get the family, so they could go back out as a search party.
After a couple of hours and tears the family went home. And Hagenah went online.
“We made the Facebook posts and stuff and started sharing as much as we could. Within the first day or two I think it had almost 1000 shares, like on the Montcalm County Facebook pet site and everything, so the next couple of days we just spent knocking on people's doors and asking them, you know...'Hey, have you seen this dog? Here's our number, here's our information, please reach out if you hear anything,'" said Hagenah.
“We had somebody give us a large live trap so that way we could try to live trap him, we brought his blanket and food. And then every time somebody would see him we would move the live track closer to where he was. That went on for about two weeks.”
After two weeks and the biggest snow storm this year, the sightings stopped. And the family's worries got worse.
Their last dog passed previously, a dog that they had for ten years. That already gave them second thoughts about bringing Milo home last year. But after meeting him they knew they had no choice; they were already in love with the one-year-old English springer spaniel.
“I got a call from Lindsay with Lost Paws LLC. She said that Milo had been picked up by the county animal control in sand Lake, which is, I think it's anywhere from like 14 to 17 miles from where we had lost him,” said Hagenah.
Milo was found at the bottom of a ten foot drop into an abandoned silo. The officers said that they actually believe it was a great place for Milo to land because it kept him dry, even though it also kept him hungry.
The Animal Control Officers said they could tell he had been in there for a few days because the snow was not disrupted from the last snowstorm.
“I mean looking down the hole I knew he was definitely underweight. We were just more surprised that there was no physical damage because that was not a very small fall,” Barker said.
They used a 20-foot-rope to form a lasso and quickly pull Milo out of the silo before the dog could fully realize what they were doing.
“He was still so sweet, like when he was in the hole he was real nervous, you know, and we had to be careful because you know it's traumatizing obviously, but by the time we got in here he was loving on us. He was just so grateful and nice to have humans," Barker said.
Once he was safe, the officers knew it was time to find his home.
“So we actually called Lindsay from Lost Paws just because she kind of keeps an eye on the dogs and everything and she's from that area and she right away recognized the description of Milo. She contacted the owners, and by the time we got back to our office, they were there within an hour," Devowe said.
The first thing the family also noticed was Milo's weight loss.
“We got him fixed back in September and he was weighing almost 60 pounds, he's like right at that mark. And yesterday they said he was at 33 pounds,” said Hagenah.
When they got home they gave him a well needed bath. Hagenah told us the family kept laughing because the dog kept moaning, like 'Ooh this feels great.'
“The biggest thing that I have learned from this as well is that the community around pets is so strong. We had hundreds of shares and people reaching out and if there was any type of black or white dog people were sending me pictures. I mean, even if you see a poster and you're like me, (thinking) sharing it won't help, it really does make a difference,” said Hagenah.
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