Archive for Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Family dog found then found again on Internet

October 30, 2002

This is not your typical lost dog tale, although it does have a happy ending and not much else matters but that.

No, this dog story is steeped in the Internet, believe it or not. It starts there and ends there. But, this domino effect would have never happened if the Dunn family hadn't had their Border Collie Domino come up missing in action Oct. 18, the night before Baldwin City's famed Maple Leaf Festival where 20,000-plus people invade the usually sleepy berg.

Domino belongs to the Dunns dad Mark and sons Ian (age 9), Neil (7) and Mevin (5). They got him about six months ago when they tracked the dog they wanted down to a Clay Center adoption shelter using petfinder.org. Oh, there's that Internet beginning.

But mostly Domino is Ian's dog, according to dad, who says wherever Ian goes, so goes Domino. But that was until that fateful Friday night.

"We lost him Friday night before Maple Leaf when we just couldn't find him. We looked everywhere," said Mark Dunn. "I thought this was a lost cause with all the people coming to town."

The Dunns had plans for that Saturday, but dad told the boys he'd start a massive effort to find Domino using the old standard flyers around town and something else a Web site called domino. Okay, there's that Internet thing again.

Adding to the angle, Dunn posted on the Signal's Web site, www.baldwincity.com, the story of the missing dog and the link to his Web site in the SpeakOut section on Oct. 21. Three days and 14 posts later, Domino was found. Baldwin's Susan Jansen posted to SpeakOut asking if Dunn had checked the found ads in the Lawrence Journal-World's classified section.

Dunn quickly did, came up with the phone number and not too long after that Domino was headed back to the Dunns. Domino had been found wandering around just into Franklin County where Sixth Street (County Road 1055 or LeLoup Road) dead ends at Shawnee Road. Rick Zarley, N1 Road, had found Domino and took him home. Zarley placed the ad and was pleased that someone found it. But, he wasn't nearly as pleased as the Dunns.

"It's a heart-warming, good feeling story with the Internet angle on the side," said Dunn. "It was a neat story how it all turned out. We found him on the Internet, lost him and then found him again on the Internet.

"This could have never happened in a big city like Dallas, where I'm from," he said. "This could only happen in a small town."

Well, a small town that happens to be very active online, especially on the Signal's SpeakOut section. Dunn said he had 70 hits on his domino Web site and 85 percent of them were from SpeakOut. It also sparked a lively discussion on the site as a diversion to the ongoing community theatre controversy that has SpeakOut hoping.

"The first day the Signal generated 46 hits," said Dunn. "It was cool. I don't know anyone that posted. I know their online names, but not the people."

Of course it was Jansen's post that made the difference. But, that didn't end the discussion.

"I had no idea it would get that kind of interest," he said. "More people are more loving about dogs."

And that's certainly the case for Domino, who has been showered with affection ... and bathed.

"When we brought him home, he stunk," said Dunn. "All the boys got him into the bathtub and gave him a good bath. He's been kind of resting up since then."

Oh, and there is some bad news, too, Domino. To end those wandering ways, there's been an appointment made this week at the veterinarian.

"He's going to the vet to get fixed. This is my first dog and they say that will stop that," he said.

How will the Internet save Domino this time?

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