By: Jen Russon
A Tamarac family, panicked when their puppy went missing, was relieved when their ginger-haired retriever ‘Loganberry’ was returned, thanks in part to efforts within the community during a frantic week-long search.
Just four-months-old, when he ran away in April, the dog had been enjoying a walk near his owner’s townhome in the Sanibel-Captiva neighborhood, when he got loose from his leash and vanished into a wooded area near a canal and the Sawgrass Expressway.
“Our dog was missing for five days. I could tell the community really cared and were trying hard to help find him,” said Lauren Gauna, adding that her ‘missing dog’ posts were shared over 1K times on Tamarac Talk.
Lauren said she offered a $1,000 reward for the safe return of the family’s only pet, also missed desperately by her six-year-old son Landon.
Given the high traffic area where he disappeared and Loganberry’s tender age, Lauren said she and her son feared the worst, describing the Sunday the dog was returned in harrowing detail.
That weekend, a woman and her boyfriend, out walking their own dog, Melo, discovered Loganberry in a wooded area of Sanibel. He was stuck with his leash wrapped around a tree.
“I raced over there, and it was him,” recalled Lauren.
She said she thinks the retractable leash used the day of Loganberry’s disappearance was to blame; that the sound of it dropping and clanking behind him as he ran, spooked him into getting wound up and trapped.
Grateful to the couple that found him, Lauren said if it hadn’t been for Melo hearing her puppy whimper, poor Loganberry might have died in the woods.
She has since ditched the retractable leash and uses a standard flat lead leash when her dog needs a walk.
“We are so thankful to Melo and his owners for finding him. Once I posted that he was found, everyone was sharing how happy they were that he was home. Loganberry is famous now,” chuckles Lauren.
She said the kindness in Tamarac that led to finding Loganberry has not only been overwhelming but remains ongoing as neighbors continue to ask about him.
“When we go for walks, people stop and ask if he’s the dog that was missing,” said Lauren, adding people still call for updates on the pup. Neighbors have stopped by bearing trays of homemade dog treats and the occasional gift card.
The Gauna family told Tamarac Talk they were eager to find a way to personally thank everyone who helped them in some way.
“We are blown away at the outpouring of support, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” she said.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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