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Pets: Three weeks, $1,000 reward, but no clues to lost terrier

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Russell and Cyndee Long of Pawleys Plantation were satisfied that their 18-year-old wire fox terrier Lindy was living out his golden years comfortably. Deaf and blind, he had his own place in the laundry room, away from the hubbub of the family’s three other dogs, Buddy, Bart and Loki.

The door from the laundry room to the garage would occasionally fail to close completely, and if the garage door was open the air would pull it open too. Lindy walked out through the garage three weeks ago Tuesday, and the Longs haven’t seen him since.

“When I saw those two doors open,” Russell said, “no Lindy. That was really devastating. They are like our kids.”

The Longs have put out 100 signs as far north as Murrells Inlet with Lindy’s picture and their offer of a $1,000 reward. Two people called to say they had seen the dog but had to admit that it wasn’t him when questioned. Lindy has an identification tattoo in his ear.

The Longs hired a professional with three tracking dogs who followed Lindy’s scent from their driveway, onto the golf course, across Highway 17 and behind Landolfi’s before halting.

“You would think he was too old to go all that way,” Cyndee said. “The trackers said they have had old dogs travel that far. I believe it’s possible, from what they told me. A lot of people say somebody must have picked him up because he just vanished.”

Russell said not knowing what happened is frustrating. “I feel lost sometimes,” he said. “It’s very difficult.”

The Longs got Lindy as an 8-week-old puppy when they lived in a suburb of Philadelphia. “We always loved these wire fox terriers,” Cyndee said. “Lindy was our fourth. He was just the cutest thing.”

Russell has a video of Lindy taken with his phone just a few days before he was lost. He knew this was likely Lindy’s last autumn. He had talked with his veterinarian about knowing when to let go of an 18-year-old dog. Enjoy every day, the vet said.

Lindy was as healthy as could be expected.

“The irony,” Russell said, “is that he wouldn’t have lived another six months, and we have to go through this. That’s what really tears us apart. Old dogs have a tendency to go find a place to lie down to die. We are kind of getting to the point of thinking that’s what happened. If I think about it much I can’t deal with it.”

The Longs have been comforted by an outpouring of sympathy from the community. Their dogs stay at Benji’s Bed and Breakfast for care.

“They are devastated,” Russell said. “They really loved Lindy. They put a poster up and got a ton of calls from people saying. ‘You’ve got to find him.’ If there’s any upside, this brought out the niceness of the dog lovers.”

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