Saturday, January 5, 2019

Community at its best and a Happy Paco Reunion

For most of us New Year's Eve 2018 was a special night of celebration to usher in the New Year.  For a local friend who had out of town company this evening was not. Paco, a Shepard Mix dog was visiting with his master for a New Years Eve event when something triggered him to run out the door.  The dog who lived on Nantucket was not used to the roads and smells of the Metro-west suburb of Needham where he was visiting.  It was soon reported that he may be lost.

An evening of searching did not bring success and the owner immediately contacted the local authorities and began an intense search.  Posters were plastered all over Needham and surrounding towns.  Animal shelters and local authorities were contacted.  Social media sights including the Needham facebook group and Next Door were notified.   The news went viral amongst residents of Needham, Dover, Sherborn and Medfield and other surrounding areas.  All were aware and keeping an eye open for a sighting of Paco.  Paco is a larger dog of about 70 pounds and over the course of the next several days sightings were reported on the Needham/Dover border and then progressing to the Dover/Medfield side of town.   Numerous people reported possible sightings in the woods at night and backyards in the daytime.  

The owner said that Paco would be scared and may run further if he heard his name.  Tips were shared on how best to approach him if sighted and it was recommended to immediately call the owner.  He was driving around non-stop on adrenoline only since last Monday night.  (During the course of the search I did my own research on what to do if a dog is missing.  The first thing to do is put up posters and notify all local authorities.  I concurred that the owner was following the appropriate protocols and found a great article on search advice dependent on the type and size of the dog.)

Neighbors and friends constantly posted updates across all social media sights and this was very helpful in the search.  Given we live in and near wooded areas there are several wild animals around and rustling could ofter be heard by other predators.  Fortunately Paco is a large enough dog to challenge them, we all hoped.   As I read a recent article about it now being coyote mating season I was very nervous, personally.  

After 5 very long days Paco was found alive and well today in Medfield.  A few family members drove to Medfield to hang posters around a neighborhood and when they returned to their truck Paco was sitting next to it and looked at them as if to say "what took so long.".   All were soaking wet from the rain but more so from tears of happiness.  Owner and Paco were reunited and I am sure now they will have a very happy 2019.  

I learned a lot about the importance of our community this week.  It was amazing to see all the love and support that came out in search of Paco.   As I watch the news each day and see all the divisiveness in the media it has been such a welcome experience to see how great people can be and how we can all come together for the things that really are important.  To me a dog is man's best friend and they bring us such comfort.  The love of our local community has been very inspiring.

Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham.  She is huge dog lover and enjoys writing and sharing inspirational stories particularly involving the local community where she lives.  

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