PEI

24 hours on the lam: Lost dog returned to P.E.I. couple after harrowing search

A four-pound chihuahua from P.E.I. is back at home and recovering after being lost for more than 24 hours, and travelling kilometers on her tiny legs.

'I don't know who was crying more, me or the little ones that had her in their arms'

Claude and Susan Simpson estimate they spent nearly 24 hours looking for Dallas within a 8 to 10 kilometre radius — receiving 340 calls and messages from social media. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

A four-pound chihuahua from P.E.I. is back at home and recovering after being lost for more than 24 hours, and travelling kilometers on her tiny legs.

Claude and Susan Simpson of Miscouche, P.E.I., were staying at the Hartt Island RV Resort in Fredericton on July 15, when Dallas, their 11-year-old Chihuahua, went missing around 9 p.m.

"Fireworks were going off, Susan had opened the door to take the other dog out and we think that's when she got out," Claude said. 

Dallas is safe at home in Miscouche with her sister, Choco. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

When they noticed Dallas was gone, they panicked.

'The search was on'

After Claude searched their RV and their campground lot for nearly an hour, their neighbour said he had seen the dog "running to the other end of the campground."

"I knew right then, the search was on," said Claude.

At one point, Susan Simpson said, they were roaming through a cemetery with penlights at 3 a.m. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Susan said they looked for the dog all evening with the help of the employees at the campground, who drove around in golf carts and flashlights searching the lots for their missing dog.

At one point, Susan said, they were roaming through a cemetery with penlights at 3 a.m.

Racing for Dallas

The next morning Susan took to social media to find Dallas.

"People were calling in saying she's right here at this address and we'd be there and she'd be gone," Claude said. 

In total, they estimate, they spent nearly 24 hours looking for Dallas within a 8-10 km radius and received 340 messages, texts and calls from social media. 

Around 9 p.m. the following night, almost 24 hours after the dog went missing, somebody called and said they had her.

Susan Simpson said she is grateful to the family that helped them get Dallas back. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"We quickly drove there," Susan said, to a subdivision not far away. 

"She got into a fenced in yard," Claude said, when one of the children saw her and thought she was a rabbit.

Claude said the family chased her around the back yard until she collapsed.

When Susan and Claude arrived at the family's house, the children had Dallas wrapped in their arms in a pink towel, damp from a fresh bath.

'A good ending'

"I don't know who was crying more, me or the little ones that had her in their arms — I was crying, they were crying."

After retrieving Dallas, they saw she had worn down her nails considerably and blood was seeping through the black pads on her paws.

But she recovered just fine. "It was a miracle," Claude said. 

The family is back in Miscouche now with their healthy dogs, emotional about how the community of Fredericton rallied to rescue their tiny dog.

"We call them the Fredericton angels because that's who helped us," Susan said. "If it wasn't for them we would have never got her back."

"It was a good ending to the story."

With files from Brian Higgins

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