Neighbors find Mitchell boy’s missing dog, HopperHopper went missing Dec. 23. During the past two weeks, Patrick was inconsolable, said the boy's dad. Patrick wrote a message on his chalkboard to Santa that he didn’t want any toys for Christmas, he just wanted Santa to help him find his dog.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Jerry Carey, 106 N. Harmon Dr., Mitchell, said neighbors found and returned son Patrick’s missing white Labrador retriever on Thursday evening.
Hopper went missing Dec. 23. During the past two weeks, Patrick was inconsolable, Jerry said. He and his dog had been featured in numerous missing dog ads over the holidays, but nothing turned up.
The ad read: “(Patrick) wrote a message on his chalkboard to Santa that he didn’t want any toys for Christmas, he just wanted Santa to help him find his dog.”
Santa came through. It just took some time.
“To tell the truth, I’d given up and started looking for another dog,” Jerry Carey said Friday, “and then on Thursday, Hopper showed up.”
As it turned out, Hopper was only about a half-block away — in an outbuilding of an unoccupied home on Lake Mitchell.
How the dog got into the shed is unknown, but she couldn’t get out on her own. Jerry figures she nosed her way into the shed and the door closed behind.
Neighbors Patty Mueller and her grandson, Alex, found the dog Thursday evening while they were out for a walk. They heard barks coming from the shed and investigated.
They excitedly waved down the Careys, who were driving by. “They said, ‘We found Hopper,’ ” recalled Jerry, “and then all of a sudden, out popped Hopper.” Hugs and a few good meals made everything OK.
Patrick said he always believed his prized pet would be found.
The dog is none the worse for wear following her twoweek fast.
Hopper was a chubby 66 pounds when she went into the shed and about 15 pounds lighter when she emerged. Jerry figures the extra weight probably saved her life. Hopper and Patrick grew up together and have been inseparable, he said. They regularly sleep together.
“Our family’s a happy unit once again,” Carey said. “It’s a nice love story.”