Missing Middlebury dog is found!
MIDDLEBURY — Willie has been found and is home safe!
Debby Anderson of East Middlebury notified friends and the community at large late Saturday morning that that Willie, the golden retriever that she and husband Doug Anderson love so well, was found.
All week many people had been looking around Middlebury for Willie, a skittish dog who went missing Monday afternoon. Doug Anderson, executive director of Town Hall Theater, was walking the dog at around 1:45 p.m. that day when a vehicle struck and slightly injured him in a Court Square crosswalk. Anderson sustained only bruises, but Willie darted away from the accident scene. He was last seen on Water Street, heading toward Middlebury Union High School.
The Andersons put out an all points bulletin to friends, colleagues and people they saw on the street to keep an eye out for the light-haired golden. MUHS officials made an announcement asking students to keep eyes out for the pooch. The Independent put a story in the Thursday newspaper and online.
All week, reports came in of the dog being seen at various spots around town. The Andersons offered a $1,000 reward for the return of their dog, and a generous benefactor offered to double that.
Debby posted a message on Friday evening, after a day of snowing, that Willie was spotted near Town Hall Theater at around 6:40 p.m., but the people who saw him called out his name and scared him off; he was seen running south again toward the high school with leash trailing him.
Then around 9 p.m. Friday night Debby wrote that a local woman’s daughter had seen Willie near Water Street but as she tried to coax him toward her, another car pulled up and the people in it tried to catch the dog and chased him in the direction of THT before Willie disappeared near the railroad tracks.
Assuming that Willie was freaking out because of that attention, Debby posted later that they were setting a Have-a-heart trap with warm blankets and food. A camera was to be set up to view remotely to see if the dog went into the trap. She asked that people stop searching so that no one would scare Willie away.
Then around 11 a.m. Saturday morning a clearly thrilled Debby Anderson posted a report that Willie was back with his family:
“WILLIE IS HOME – FOUND AT 18 SOUTH STREET THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!” she wrote.
Many people shared in her joy posting congratulations and expressions of relief on her Facebook page.
“Our family is so happy for you all!!! That is the best Christmas gift ever!!!! ? ?” Janice Rushton wrote, for instance.
Debby Anderson posted a photo of Willie on Saturday with this message:
“Willie is under my desk as I write – he has a few scrapes on his leg but is happy!”
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