By Anne Stanton
On December 19, Gary Howe was getting out of his car to visit a friend
in Cedar when his beloved beagle, Lima, slipped out the door before
Howe could snap on a leash. Howe guessed that his dog was dashing
after an animal he couldnt see or smell, but he knew she was going
too fast to chase.
Howe wasnt totally shocked. Lima (pronounced lee-ma) is the dashing
type, but she always came back after about 20 minutes. So he went
inside the house to chatI was a delinquent dad. But he worried the
whole time about his pooch.
As it turns out, Lima was long gone and her odyssey back home was
followed by hundreds of his Facebook and Twitter friends.
Howe issued his first tweet and Facebook appeal for his lost pooch at 8:58 p.m.
Lost Beagle btwn Maple City & Cedar. Lima has an over confident
homing sense so afraid shes walking to TC. Has tags if found. Going
into swampland for search.
He and his friend, Robert, strapped on their snowshoes and trekked
into the frozen Cedar swamp, calling out for the lost dog. Then they
drove around in a car, searching the sides of
None of his 600 Facebook friends had seen the beagle, but offers and
advice to get Lima back to her Central neighborhood home in Traverse
City began to pour in.
Dagmar asked if hed thought about leaving a blanket or jacket that
smells of you. He once found his dog that way in Glen Arbor.
Sally knew of a store owner in Cedar and offered to have him organize
a search party.
Nancy in Cedar gave out her Cedar phone number, while David offered
Howe a cup of coffee, a place to warm up, and an adult beverage after
his search. Kelly said shed be on the look out in nearby
Howes next post at 11:13 p.m. that night, read, Rough day for both
Beagles and humans. Update in morning. Needless to say, swamp search
was unsuccessful. Robert & I were saved by iPhone compass (handy) but
Limas on her own for the night. Thanks for the well wishes & offers.
Shes in her element & its not too cold.
On Sunday morning, offers of help flowed onto the page. Walker wrote,
Onyx and I are ready for the great beagle round up. Give a
call if you need more people out looking. Daniel and Kelly put the
word out to their Cedar family and friends. Christine wrote that shed
call on the doggy spirit guardians to make sure she is safe and warm,
fed, happy, and waiting
for you with tail wagging. She is so famous, Gary, shell be found and
returned soon. (Lima were coming.)
Lima, in fact, has her own Facebook fan page, Lincoln St. Beagles and
Co., with no less than 119 friends and many flattering pictures. Howe
happens to be a photographer and Lima is an unusually photogenic
beagle. Naturally, he made up a flyer, which he posted everywhere.
Still, by Sunday morning, there was no word. He wrote: Thanks for the
messages & offers for help. Not much for you all to do cept enjoy
your Sunday. And consider a snowshoe adventure in the county around
Cedar the swamp. Watch out for musket hunters.
Later he wrote: In case you havent seen one of the 172 images of her
on Facebook, here is the missing hound. She looks sweet, but shes
tough. Lima, Lima .
There were scores of posts. Erin said her girls were meditating over a
candle as she typed. Ill spread the word. Love to you all. Penny
wrote, Dog-gone! Dog-goneit!, and promised to look for tracks along
the Grand Traverse Bay. Andrew thanked Lima for getting him out on
snowshoes to look for her. Mary Lou asked if a psychic had been
called. And Joseph suggested that Howe lather himself up with bacon
On Sunday, Howe and his friend went tromping all around the Cedar area
trying to find Limas tracks. At 3:50 p.m., he sent a picture of the
Cedar swamp, and wrote: The heart of the cedar swamp. Lima is totally
not in here.
Andrew wrote to make sure Howe yelled to Lima that bacon was waiting.
Nicolle wrote that she took her pups up the back way through Olesons
and called for Lima all the way. No luck, sorry. Well keep willing
her home. Mary Lou asked Howe if he had called the psychic yet.
At 8:09 p.m., Howe posted some good news: 2 Lima spottings near Solon
cemetery 40 & 60 mins ago. She wouldnt come to them. There now.
Howe thought they were getting close. He and his friend followed
Limas tracks to Highway 72, six miles from where she disappeared.
At 8:47 p.m., he wrote: Bacon grease aside, solo dog tracks leading
along 651 disappear at 72. City lights look bright from there, so
think shes heading east trying to find her path along 72 at Haylift
And this at 10:26 p.m.: Trail went cold after M-72 for the great
beagle chase. .. shes drafting snowmobiles, I think. Sorry yall.
Leaving porch light on.
Pete wrote back: May the beagle force be with you both.
Paul gave him an encouraging story about his lost dog, Leica. We
found him at 7-11 looking at hot dogs.
On Monday, Pat wrote early at 6: 12 a.m. that, Im still on the prowl
and put a dish of dog food next to the bed of leaves in our lean-to
last night. She couldve made it to Gray Road by now...
Howe was awake and wrote back: Last positive tracks were right at 651
at 72. I believe she sought shelter somewhere for the night near
there, but who knows.
Nancy suggested at 7:03 a.m. to email Terri Ray at WKLT. She will
announce lost dogs on her program and sometimes interview lost dog
owners. This morning at work (Daves) going to tell the T.C. plow
drivers to be on the lookout for her, too. Fingers crossed.
Friends postings promised support, but no one had news of Lima.
Howe said he worried constantly that Lima would get hit by a car or
attacked by coyotoes, but he tried to keep his sense of humor. He
wrote at 7:59 a.m.: Declaring M-72 & Cedar Run corridor, and Division
& 8th officially reclaimed roads/streets. All traffic must proceed at
no greater than 20mph or face harsh penalty of repeated dunkings in
the Grand Traverse Bay. A Beagle is trying to get home.
Then at 8:49 a.m.: Going out to close down Grandview Parkway to give
Lima clear pathway. What reclaiming obstacle shall I use? A couple
turned over bread delivery trucks, giant snowmen or an orgy of dried
pig ears? Or, all three.
Advice was still pouring in from friends. Had Gary left his jacket
where he last saw Lima? Yup, hed tried that, but now thought Lima was
now making tracks for home.
Finally, the post everyone had been waiting for came at 9:59 a.m.
Limas back riding shotgun!!! Found on Julia Gs porch this morning
on Gallivan Rd. With no apparent injuries, but very squeaky.
Howe sent a picture of Lima who had wandered up to an older womans
door and gone to sleep. Then he sent out a video made about 20 seconds
after Lima greeted him.
Nearly 50 people wrote with notes of joy and relief. Natasha wrote:
Oh my. I cannot believe you found her. How did you know to go to the
Howe wrote the owner called the phone number on the dog tags. You
gotta love the simple solutions.
Later he said it was a bit ironic. After all the high-tech updates
from his iphone, tweets and hundreds of Facebook responses, a woman
read Limas dog tag and called him from her land line.
Howe issued Limas official statement at 11:27 a.m.
Lima will not be holding a press conference today, but has issued the
following statement: Im thankful and warmed by all the love shown by
the community during the 40 hours of separation from my people...
Gary Howe would like you to check out his new blog on livable cities
and alternative transportation. Its called mywheelsareturning.com.