ROTHBURY, Mich. — It was a big miracle for a small town in West Michigan.
If you visit Rothbury in Oceana County, you’ll see hundreds of flyers for a small white dog who went missing. After nearly two weeks of waiting, the woman behind them all finally has good news to share.
Patricia Day, a Rothbury woman, said she’ll remember Tuesday, May 9 forever.
“It was an average day, a normal day," she explained.
She dropped her dog, Chase, and his brother, Tank, off at the groomer. But just a half hour later, Day got a frantic call.
Staff at the groomers said the dogs got out.
Day sped over to the shop, but by then, Chase had bolted.
She says she couldn’t put into words how she felt.
Dogs get lost every day. But for Day, Chase is special.
“Chase is my support dog," she said. “He's been with me through an awful lot.”
That includes her mother-in-law’s death, her son getting cancer and now, her battle with multiple sclerosis.
“That's very difficult of a diagnosis, and he has been there for me," she said. "He hasn't left my side."
She was out all day, everyday searching for her best friend.
“From like six o'clock in the morning until 9 to 10 o'clock at night, just looking watching, seeing if I could see anything in the bushes,” she said.
Day put flyers all over town and set up traps to try to capture him. She laid out dirty laundry and blankets in the yard, trying to lure him home with scent.
“I was beside myself. I mean, just sitting in people's driveways bawling," she said.
Finally, on day 11 without Chase, she got a phone call. On the other line was Whitney and Melvin Zacharias, a couple who lives down the road.
They just got back from their sixth anniversary dinner when they spotted something running around their backyard.
“I seen a flash across the deck and I thought maybe it was the coon or something," said Melvin.
He grabbed Chase just as he hopped over a short fence in their yard.
“Right place, right time," said Whitney.
Besides one tick and a few scrapes, Chase was completely unharmed after over a week roaming Rothbury. The Zachariases slowly brought him inside and gave him a flea and tick bath.
"Got him cleaned up for when he saw Mom and Dad," Whitney said.
She then posted Chase's photo to Facebook, and people immediately recognized him. She says it's simply the Rothbury way.
“Small town community, getting everybody's family members back," she said.
It was just after midnight when Day got the call.
“I said, 'Oh, my God. I'm on my way,'” she said.
She couldn’t wait one second longer without her Chase.
“I left in my pajamas,' she said.
It seems Chase couldn’t either.
“It was like, whining, jumping, crying," explained Day.
She thanked Chase’s rescuers profusely, calling them "miracle workers." After 11 days, she finally got to take her pup home.
Needless to say, neither one of them slept well.
“He was so excited, he got the hiccups," she laughed. "I couldn't go to sleep because I just wanted to make sure what I was feeling and that he was real — this wasn't just a dream," Day said.
“Most tears of joy and I've seen in a long minute," said Melvin.
It was a happy ending for all, to see a woman reunited with the dog she’ll chase to the ends of the earth.
"He is my best friend. He is my everything," she smiled.
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