I'm here to tell you that miracles do happen and prayers are answered.
About this time Thursday night, I was walking the streets around my Eastlake home, calling out for Tracy, the 7-year-old female boxer/bulldog/terrier mix who had wandered away from our home thanks to my inexcusable absent-mindedness. She was nowhere to be found in bone-chilling chilling cold. My mind raced and my heart sank as I finally gave up the search in the wee hours.
Move forward 24 hours, and Tracy is on the couch in the TV room, curled up into my wife as is her custom.
Stripped to the essentials, Tracy was returned to her loving humans at 2 p.m. Friday by Tim Frimel, a Willowick resident who had collaborated with his friend, Mark Gehrisch, to rescue Tracy. Mark found her wandering on Roberts Road, about 1/4 mile from our home, just before 7 p.m. Thursday. He called her over and got her into the car. I wasn't there, but knowing Tracy and how much she loves people and going places in vehicles, I'm guessing it was a snap.
Mark couldn't keep Tracy overnight, so he called Tim and asked him to take care of Tracy until morning. Tim did that and quickly learned what Marcia and I have known for years, that Tracy is gentle, affectionate and a lot of fun.
By noon Friday, Tim had done a web search for "Lost dog, Eastlake, Ohio'' and quickly come upon the Petfinder.com "Lost Dog'' ad for Tracy that I'd submitted at about 3 a.m. Friday. The confirminng e-mail from Petfinder warned that the ad might not be posted for 24 to 48 hours, but the turnaround was much quicker than that.
Tim read the written part of the ad, got the phone numbers and called our house. I was on the line with Lake Humane Society, supplying information for another "Lost dog'' report when a telephone number I didn't recognize flashed on call waiting. I switched over to the new call, said "Hello'' and heard these words: "I'm Tim, I live in Willowick and I have your dog.''
I must start this mass "thank you'' with words of high praise for Mark and Tim. They are dog owners and great guys. From where my wife and I sit, they are heroes.
During the hours Tracy was missing, so many people went out of their way to take information, write up reports, make suggestions and offer encouragement. They worked at Eastlake City Hall, Eastlake Police Dept., Eastlake Service Dept. the Lake County Dog Warden's office, a half-dozen or so police departments, Eastlake-area businesses and at The News-Herald, where the kindnesses included the printing of fliers and a "Lost Dog'' profile of Tracy received, edited and placed on our website's "Pets Unleashed'' blog on night deadline.
Thanks to my brothers Don and Dan and niece Abby for the Friday morning search and flier-posting.
Thanks to all of you who called on the phone or sent sympathetic e-mails after hearing about Tracy's disappearance or reading about it in the "Pets Unleashed'' piece or the subsequent Facebook and Twitter posts.
Many of you said would pray for Tracy's safe return.
Your prayers were heard and answered.
-- David S. Glasier