On New Year’s Eve, Ed Lucie was walking his 2-year-old mixed breed Millie at the Arlington Reservoir when noise from a pond hockey game spooked her and she ran off to the Lexington side.
It would take five cold, winter days, which included an overnight snowstorm, for Lucie and Millie, a rescue dog, to be reunited, but not for lack of trying. Lucie would conduct an exhaustive search, but it would turn out to be a bit of luck and a quick series of events that brought Millie home.
“It was amazing,” Lucie said of her return. “After five days in the frigid cold and the snow, having gotten absolutely no response and no hope, within an hour, these events happened in this perfect sequence.”
When Millie ran off, Lucie ran too. He chased her. He called for her. He got in his car and drove around looking for her.
“I drove around the neighborhood so many times that a Lexington cop pulled me over,” Lucie, a Paul Revere Road resident, said Tuesday, Jan. 7. “I guess someone thought I was casing the place and called police.”
On New Year’s Day, Lucie continued his search: on foot, on his bicycle and in his car.
“I spent the whole day and night looking for her, and I got nothing,” said Lucie, a musician who teaches at Berklee College Music.
Over the next few days, Lucie printed out flyers and stuffed mailboxes, paid for a robocall service to notify local residents and spread the word through Granite State Dog Recovery and on Arlington Patch.
On Friday, after a snowstorm dumped nearly a foot of snow in the area, his daughter came home from Brooklyn and joined the search.
On Saturday, Lucie was beginning to lose hope.
“I must say I was really getting discouraged,” he said. “After the storm and the bitter cold we had, I was thinking she was frozen or somebody took her and was not going to return her.
“On the one hand, I’m losing hope. On the other hand, I’m praying like crazy.”
On Saturday evening, the puzzle pieces started to come together.
After an early movie in Arlington Center, Lucie went out to dinner with his daughter, and while they were eating, he received a call from a man who believed he had spotted Millie on the Minuteman bike path, near Gold’s Gym in Arlington.
Lucie and his daughter immediately left, parked at Gold’s Gym and began to walk the bike path, calling her name.
At about 10 p.m., with no luck, Lucie and his daughter were walking near Ed Burns Arena, when they bumped into a woman who suggested they call police. “They sometimes park near Gold’s Gym,” she said, “maybe they picked her up.”
Lucie called police, who gave him the number of a man who possibly had Millie.
“As I’m describing her to him, he says, ‘I got her,’” Lucie said.
The man told Lucie and his daughter that he picked up Millie on Paul Revere Road that night.
“She had found her own way home,” Lucie said.
Millie was ecstatic to see Lucie and his daughter. She lost a few pounds but had no other injuries, Lucie said.