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Sometimes good things really do happen to those who wait.
Sally Zoller’s dog, Sierra, went missing March 26 and miraculously was found 15 days later, safe and sound.
“She was just as excited to see us as we were to see her,” Zoller of Stevens said. “You don’t usually get this kind of happy ending after 15 days.”
Sierra, who is seven, was being picked up from Animal Crackers along Route 322 in Ephrata after being groomed when she managed to slip out the door. Zoller said her son was picking up the dog because she had just gotten out of the hospital and “Sierra doesn’t always do well when a strange person picks her up.”
When Sierra ran, she was hit by someone driving a green pickup truck.
“When she was hit, she rolled,” Zoller said. “So no one could see how badly she was hurt. She just took off down past Advance Auto Parts and the truck, it never stopped.”
So, the search was on, with no luck, until the 13th day when some workers from LB Water, which is located near the Giant supermarket in Ephrata, spotted Sierra.
“The one worker even caught hold of her hip,” Zoller said, “but she flew at him because she didn’t know him and he let go, afraid she would bite him.”
Zoller said they decided to take blankets up to that area and dog food from another dog they had.
On the 14th day, the workers found an area between a pine tree and Rice Concrete that they thought Sierra was sleeping.
“The area was bedded down,” Zoller said. “Two guys also saw her again, but she ran.”
Zoller said she and her husband kept returning to the area and looking. “We walked miles and miles,” she said, “and on the 14th day my husband actually saw her.”
It was also on the 14th day they decided to set a live animal trap.
“We put a t-shirt in there that I had on and some food and water,” she said. “And at 6 a.m. on the 15th day my daughter just had a premonition to go up and check the trap, and wouldn’t you know it, there she was.”
Zoller said when she got there and looked in the trap and said the dog’s name, her tail just started “wagging like crazy.”
“And when she was let out, she was just jumping up and down,” she said. “We cried when it happened and we cried when we found her. It is just wonderful to have her back.”
Zoller said she has another dog, Speckles, who is also a party poodle, and both dogs are the best of friends.
“He was a mess while Sierra was gone,” she said. “They both sleep with me now and when they wake up, they are just all kissy, kissy. It’s so cute.”
Zoller said since Sierra has returned, she has not left her side. She has been to the vet and is doing well, considering the accident.
“She has some brush burn on her chest and she doesn’t put all her weight on her left back leg,” Zoller said. “So she has some pain medicine and an antibiotic, but she’s doing good.”
Zoller thanks everyone who helped in the search for Sierra, including Animal Crackers and the website Help Find Sophie.
Jennifer Oberholtzer of Help Find Sophie said the website was made alert of the situation via text message. She said she started messaging back and forth with an employee of Animal Crackers so she could gather more helpful information such as a contact number, sightings, a picture to post on their page and information on where the dog lived. She also offered their Help Find Sophie support by sharing the post she made up for Sierra on their page.
“There were so many members sharing this story on Facebook, ended up with 720 shares, and looking as they drove through town,” Oberholtzer said. “Word was spreading fast and someone posted on the page that even Casey Allen from WIOV was relieved when she heard the good news that she was captured. She too would be looking for her as she would be driving through Ephrata.”
“When I received word that there was a sighting and then news the next day of her capture, I shared again on HFS,” Oberholtzer said. “There were so many people that liked that post and were relieved when they heard the great news.”
And great news it was. Sierra disappeared one day before Zoller’s birthday, but she makes a wonderful belated present.
Dena Reedy is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at email@example.com or at 721-4434.