Mauer, our missing yellow labrador retriever, came home tonight, not in the way we hoped. His remains were found locally by five kids who spotted what they thought was a large rock near the edge of our small town lagoon. Then one realized it was “Pinke’s dog” and they retrieved his body and pulled him to land before going to call me. They were brave to pull him out of very stinky spring lagoon water, took off his collar to bring me and then went to find a phone book to reach me on our home number. I love rural kids who still use phone books and call landlines, even in the sad life moments.
When I answered the phone on the other end a young voice said, “Hi…I don’t know how to tell you this but I think I found your dog. And it’s not good.” I could hear other kid voices in the background giving her information and details. Those kids really care and our family and many friends will forever be grateful for them.
I met the kids in town with one of their moms. They were holding what was definitely Mauer’s collar. I kept my composure and we drove to where they had him, safe and right near where we have looked and looked for him.
There was no doubt. It was Mauer.
Within minutes, a local friend that my husband called came to help me get Mauer’s body home. Both my husband and father-in-law were over an hour away at a job site. I could not have brought Mauer home by myself. It was also not a job anybody would or could do. I am thankful for a helpful friend and to be the only family member who had to see Mauer dead.
The lagoon was the last sighting of Mauer. It’s where we had his kennel filled with food, water, my clothes and my husband Nathan’s shirt in it. It was a lost dog trick we hoped early on would work and he would return there.
For the first three nights Mauer was gone Nathan searched extra for him in the middle of the night, thinking maybe Mauer would hear him better or see his pick-up lights. Every morning, noon and night we checked that kennel for at least ten days.
And for the last five weeks the clothes and kennel have sat by the lagoon with no sightings of Mauer. On our little corner of the prairie, Mauer will be buried with the clothes and a favorite red frisbee. His littermate sister, Libby, misses Mauer terribly and chasing a red frisbee isn’t nearly as fun.
To the hundreds of people who searched, shared our social media posts and information, messaged, texted, called, searched sloughs, lakes, tree lines, roadways, communities, area shelters, pounds across four states and more, I will never forget your kindness and compassion.
You rallied. You showed us what community is, online and offline. You reminded me the important role pets play in our lives. You also reassured me it is okay for me to be a crazy dog lady. Mauer was a special family pet we miss. I learned millions of you care for and miss pets and so many of you shared your stories with me. Thank you.
Here is a look back at a column I wrote about Mauer the homerun dog is missing. I wish we had found him alive in our search. Thank you is all I can say tonight to all who helped search but I plan to share more soon…and ramble less with more coherent sentences.
I can’t get any more recent pictures to upload into this blog post. But here’s a puppy picture before Mauer was our 87 lb. buddy dog. Until we see you again, Mauer, keep chasing red frisbees in heaven.