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Newly healed from mange, the pup bolted and got lost. Family searched until Seely found them again.
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Imagine it: After months of searching, you’ve just adopted the dog of your dreams. You take him out for a lovely walk in the park, and as you’re strolling along, marveling at this beautiful dog by your side, the unthinkable happens. Something scares your new dog, and he jerks the leash from your hand. Terrified, he runs off, disappearing into a wooded area with his leash trailing behind him. In an instant, your new dog is gone.
That dog was Seely. No stranger to the streets, Seely was originally found as a stray and brought to the Montgomery Humane Society in Montgomery, Alabama. The small puppy looked awful. He was hairless, with scabby, infected skin caused by a severe case of demodetic mange. He was so sick the staff at the shelter wasn’t even sure if the little guy would survive.
Seely did survive, thanks to some special attention from a devoted shelter employee, Melissa Pollock, who went above and beyond to care for the puppy. It took eight months, but soon Seely was healed and all grown up into a handsome fellow. All he needed was a home.
“We were halfway through filling out papers to bring home an 8-week-old puppy,” said Hannah Foether. “My husband and I kept getting distracted by Seeley, who was in the lobby behind us. He was being super cute and playing with his toys. I told him that I would like a dog like that one day, and he said, ‘Why wait?’” They decided to forgo adopting the younger puppy and instead took home Seely.
The Foethers immediately knew they had made the right decision by adopting the older pup. “Seeley became attached to me really quick after he got over his initial scared phase,” Hannah said. “He loves to cuddle, follow me around, and just be where I am. He is super goofy.”
Seely was with Hannah’s husband John the night he ran away. The family’s newfound joy was soon threatened with the fear that their new dog might be gone forever. John called Hannah at work to let her know that Seely had run away and was somewhere deep in the woods. They searched for hours that first night, but couldn’t find their new dog. They went home and cried.
“He was scared by something, and to this day we are not completely sure of what that was,” Hannah said. “It was extremely upsetting to both of us. I was surprised by how much this dog had grabbed my heart in just the two weeks that we had had him. It was awful imagining him curled up in the woods shaking from fear.”
The next day, Hannah reached out to the shelter and also made a post on the Lost Pets in Montgomery County Alabama Facebook page asking for help.
“The response that we got was instantaneous and overwhelming,” she said. “The Humane Society shelter contacted me within minutes and sent out a team to look for Seeley. I also had so many people from the community who commented and told me that they were looking for him.”
Six long days after he went missing, Seely was spotted by a volunteer searcher. Hannah and other family members went to the spot where he was last seen and searched for him for two hours. It was ultimately Hannah’s sister-in-law’s dog Piper who lured Seely out into the open. Miraculously, the dog was in pretty good physical shape considering he was alone in the woods for almost a week. Other than losing some weight, a few cuts and scrapes, and a bruised back leg, Seely was OK.
“Once Seeley came out of the woods, I almost can’t even describe how relieved and happy I was,” Hannah said. “I was shaking. He immediately ran up to me and laid over in my lap wanting to be held and loved. It was amazing. The fact that he was mostly fine was completely a God thing. It was a very emotional journey.”
Now that Seely is home safe, he is enjoying life with the Foethers. Hannah said that Seely’s favorite things include bones, his stuffed dolphin and lobster, all of his friends at the park, cuddling, being under a blanket to sleep, car rides with the windows down, and playing with her husband.
Seely even has a new sister, Effie, who was also adopted from the Montgomery Humane Society.
“They absolutely love each other,” Hannah said. “Seeley loves having a friend to play with. He must be sitting in my lap if Effie is, which ends up being a pretty funny picture.”
Top photo: Seely courtesy of Diana Bunch/Pet Pawtography.
Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.
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