Missing for 5 months, Alexandria, Minn., dog Remi reunited with owner in Twin Cities metroOver five months, the dog traveled 150 miles and survived wintry Minnesota weather. Covered with wounds and starved enough to lose one-quarter of his body weight, he is believed to have escaped from dog-nappers. And like a celluloid hero, he came through it all with his tail wagging.
By: Bob Shaw, St. Paul Pioneer Press / MCT
Someone should make a movie about Remi, the toughest dog in America.
Over five months, the dog traveled 150 miles and survived wintry Minnesota weather. Covered with wounds and starved enough to lose one-quarter of his body weight, he is believed to have escaped from dog-nappers.
And like a celluloid hero, he came through it all with his tail wagging.
Remi, a German shorthair pointer, was reunited with his owner Saturday at the Animal Humane Society facility in Woodbury, Minn., on the east side of the Twin Cities metro.
"I couldn't believe it," said Kali Barrett, who lives in Alexandria, Minn.
She said she raised Remi on her farm. "He is my baby," Barrett said. "I sleep with him. He rides with me in the pickup, not in the bed of the pickup."
One day in August, she said, she was mowing her lawn when Remi started chasing something and ran off. A few days later, she found his dog tags at the end of her driveway, where she believes someone tossed them as a taunt.
She suspects a neighbor snatched the dog for pheasant hunting.
Weeks turned into months, and her hopes dimmed. She grew tired of all the false alarms, when well-meaning neighbors would call after spotting other dogs.
"I thought he was dead, hit by a car. Or someone had him who liked him," Barrett said.
Remi was recovered, thanks to the persistence of Brittany Foley.
Foley, who works at the Humane Society facility in Woodbury, noticed the dog after he was picked up in Oakdale, Minn., about two weeks ago.
The dog was horribly thin and had wounds on his legs, face and hips.
But he was friendly. "He wanted someone to be with him," Foley said. "We knew someone had loved him at some point."
The dog needed injections of water for four days. He had lost 14 pounds and could only eat about a quarter cup of food at a time.
Foley said she felt an instant connection. "He looked at you like he was trying to tell you something," she said.
The Humane Society kept the dog beyond the five-day legal minimum for strays, and Foley spent hours searching websites for information.
She finally found a missing-dog listing on Craigslist -- but surely, she thought, this dog couldn't be the one. The Craigslist dog was lost in Alexandria in August and didn't look much like the scrawny, banged-up dog in her kennel.
Then she checked the markings on his sides. They matched the description. Then she checked the legs. Another match.
"It kept matching up and matching up," Foley said.
The wounds on Remi were not consistent with a dog that had lived outdoors for five months but the pressure wounds of a dog kept in a small box for weeks or more. "They were deep, round sores," Foley said.
This is consistent, she said, with the idea that the dog was dog-napped. "Hunters use boxes for transport, in the back of their pickups," Foley said.
Remi seems to be recovering from his nightmarish experience.
"When I got him home, he sniffed his La-Z-boy," Barrett said. "Then he just crawled in and slept."
Distributed by MCT Information Services