Poodle reunited with owner after six-week adventure

Mona had slipped her collar while walking at the Sideling Hill rest stop off I-68

July 26, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Mike Miller of Waurika, Okla., talks with friends back home about his 4-year-old standard poodle's adventure for the past six weeks. Mona was lost during transport six weeks ago around the Sideling Hill area.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

The journey of Mona the poodle began six weeks ago when her owners entrusted an animal transportation company to ship her from Oklahoma to a new home in Pennsylvania.

It ended Tuesday when she was found near Hancock.

"It's amazing she lived this long," said Mike Miller, who raised the 4-year-old dog with his wife, Jean, at their ranch in Waurika, Okla. "She's never been outside on her own before. She's pretty pampered."

Miller said he shipped Mona in June from his home in Oklahoma to live with his mother in Pennsylvania. But when Mona was being walked at the Sideling Hill rest stop off Interstate 68, she slipped her collar and fled.

He said he drove 1,500 miles and spent nine days in the western part of Washington County searching for her, passing out about 200 fliers and going door to door looking for clues. But when that didn't work, he returned home.

Things looked bleak until last weekend, when Miller said he received a call that Mona had been spotted west of Hancock near the intersection of Exline and Woodmont roads.

Miller said he jumped back in his truck Sunday and started the 24-hour trip to find his dog. He arrived in Maryland on Monday and borrowed a trap from the Washington County Humane Society. He said he found a shed near the spot where Mona was last seen and patiently waited for her to reappear.

The trap was sprung early Tuesday, but it turned out to be a cat, Miller said. He freed the cat and reset the trap. Several hours later, at about 4:30 a.m., he heard the trap spring again.

This time, it was Mona.

Miller said he drove Mona to the Humane Society of Washington County on Maugansville Road and gave her a flea bath. Other than finding engorged ticks on her skin and burrs in her coat, Mona appeared to be in pretty good shape.

He said people who lived in the area where she was found told him that they saw Mona feeding on the body of a dead deer. Other residents said they put food out for the dog, but they weren't able to catch her.

Having put so much time into looking for his pet, Miller said he gave his mother another dog.

He and Mona left Tuesday to return to Oklahoma, where Miller said he plans to take her to a veterinarian to be checked for ailments.

"She's not going anywhere," he said. "I'm going to take her home."

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