The Dausman family was devastated when their 5-year-old Italian Greyhound, Duaz, went missing from their fenced yard in Collinsville, IL, on July 20, 2012. They searched the area, they called police. Then they got serious: According to Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, Alicia Dausman posted Duaz’s picture on her Facebook page, submitted weekly Craigslist ads, contacted shelters and Italian Greyhound rescue groups, and enlisted the aid of the Illinois Lost Dogs group and its Facebook site.
She got nowhere.
It hurt the family, especially Alicia’s daughter, Lilian, age 6.
“She would just cry her eyes out,” Dausman said of Lilian. “She said, ‘Mom, I want my dog.’ And I had to say, ‘Sorry, I don’t know where he’s at.’ I put his crate and toys downstairs. I couldn’t even see a picture of him, I would cry. It hurt.”
Then, out of the blue, eight months after the dog went missing, Alicia got a call from a Virginia animal shelter, 900 miles away. It had Dauz. Thanks to a HomeAgain microchip in the dog’s neck, the shelter was able to find the dog’s owner.
“I was freaking out when I got that call,” Dausman said. “I was shaking, I was so excited I had to pull over. I got (Lilian) from school and she was walking down the hallway toward me. When I told her we found Dauz, she just stopped dead in her tracks.”
“I asked (the animal shelter) is he okay, is he hurt, is he healthy?” she continued. “They said he was fine. So I know somebody must have taken care of him. But I just didn’t get how he ended up 900 miles away.”
Putting the pieces together, she suspects someone who was staying at her house at the time. She believes that the person took the dog to Virginia, and the dog was finally able to escape.
“He saw the first chance he was able to run,” she said. “He was trying to find his way home.”
Dauz is now back home. Thinner, a little ragged, but still as friendly as ever.
“He’s the same dog, but he won’t let us out of his sight,” said Alicia. “As we will not either.”