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A little dog's big adventure
A newly reunited Donna Kennedy and Chica, along with family friend Katie Garrow, 8, meet some of the many local volunteer searchers.
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She even hired a pet tracker, a woman whose golden retriever sniffed out Chica's trail--from the Cracker Barrel lot, across U.S. 1, through a wooded area behind Walmart and into the Breezewood neighborhood--but couldn't locate the dog.
'I HAVE YOUR DOG'
This past weekend, she traveled down with Katie Garrow, 8, a family friend who was on the Myrtle Beach vacation when Chica disappeared. The two hung a new round of posters.
On Sunday, they headed back to New York to pick up daughter Katy from college. Monday, the trio was driving toward Canton when Kennedy made a difficult call: She phoned Baxley Morton to ask how VDOT logs dead animals discovered on roadsides.
"I hated to even leave that message," she said. "I hadn't let my mind go there."
Five minutes later, she got a call from a Spotsylvania Animal Control officer. The woman asked her to describe her dog one more time. Blond, Kennedy said, erect ears, short hair that's darker on her back, a tiny bump near her rib cage.
"She goes, 'Donna, I have your dog,' and I started bawling," Kennedy said, "I had to pull over. My daughter's crying and Katie's crying."
'WHAT IS THAT NOISE?'
Earlier that same morning, David Connelly was installing an elevator in a hotel under construction not far from the Cracker Barrel.
"I start hearing this barking. And I'm like, 'What is that noise?'" said Connelly, who then spotted Chica in the elevator shaft about 4 feet beneath his platform. "I'm a dog lover myself so I was kind of worried--how'd you get in there?"
He hopped into the hole, which had been empty when he'd first arrived at the site, and managed to coax her over using a co-worker's lunch--of ham sandwiches.
"He was mad, but the dog had to eat," said Connelly, who lives in Richmond and works for Schindler Elevator Corp. "She tore 'em up."
He called Animal Control, and was told how long Chica had been on the lam.
"I'm glad I made someone else happy," he said. "That's not the type of dog you see wandering around so I knew someone was missing her."
A HAPPY ENDING
Donna Kennedy pulled out all the stops in an effort to find her lost Chihuahua, Chica. In addition to hanging posters and taking out ads in The Free Lance-Star classified section, she: