BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Megan Johnson was excited to adopt a dog.
While bringing him home to Delano from Secondhand Hounds in Eden Prairie July 8, she stopped at CVS.
“He got out of the car,” Johnson said. “He crossed Highway 12 into the neighborhood behind Flippin Bill’s. We didn’t even get him to the house before he went missing.”
Her family immediately began searching for him.
“Not having any bond with him and trying to get him to come to us was really difficult,” Johnson said. “Myself, my parents, and brothers went out looking. We’d see him, but he wouldn’t come to us . . . We were having a heck of a time trying to get him to come to anybody.”
Johnson turned to the community, hanging up posters around town and posting on Facebook.
“The community was amazing,” Johnson said. “I had people calling me saying they saw him . . . That was reassuring to me because we knew he wasn’t hurt.”
But, they still couldn’t corral the lost dog.
Finally, someone in the Delano MN Community Posts Facebook group suggested that Johnson contact the Retrievers, and all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Minnesota families find and recover their missing dogs.
Johnson filled out the application and waited.
“A couple days later, they asked if Nash was still missing,” Johnson said.
He was still missing but, fortunately, kept returning to the same area.
Before the Retrievers were able to assist, Johnson got close to grabbing Nash herself.
“I got him to eat hot dogs out of my hand,” Johnson said. “When I tried to grab his collar, he ran away.”
That was July 16.
July 17, the Retrievers arrived and set up a trap baited with bacon, chicken, and braunschweiger.
“They used a mixture of liquid smoke and beef stock and sprayed the perimeter around this woman’s house,” Johnson said. “They made a trail from a marsh to the trap. As they left, they sprayed more so they wouldn’t be leaving their human scent behind.”
Cameras triggered by motion sensors were mounted around the trap so it did not have to be monitored in person.
“The 17th, we got the picture coming in,” Johnson said. “We were having a bad thunderstorm. Nicki from the Retrievers met us there. We got him into a crate, into the car, and got him home. It was a very happy ending after nine days.”
Johnson has spent the last month getting to know Nash, and vice versa.
Nash had previously been named Bigfoot, but he didn’t know that name very well.
“I renamed him,” Johnson said. “I just liked it. I’m a big country music fan. Nashville came up and I thought Nash could be a good name.”
When she adopted him, all she knew was that he had come from Kentucky.
“I don’t know much about his abuse or why he was taken from his original home,” Johnson said.
Nash is a terrier mix, and she considers him to be very mellow, cuddly, affectionate, goofy, and funny.
“His personality, we get more and more if it every day, the more comfortable he gets,” Johnson said.
She is very grateful for the community members who searched for him and played a hand in their reunion, and she is looking forward to paying it forward.
“Next time I hear a dog is missing, I’ll be out there looking because I know how it feels,” Johnson said. “To think of all the people out there looking for missing dogs is amazing. We live in a great community.”