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How Lost Dog Millie Found Her Way Home After 5 Winter Days

A few pounds lighter, Millie is doing great, according to her owner.

Luckily, a relative of Ed Lucie had taken this photo of Millie, the only photo of her, over the holidays to help with the search.
Luckily, a relative of Ed Lucie had taken this photo of Millie, the only photo of her, over the holidays to help with the search.

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.

inthegloaming January 08, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Relieved for Ed and Millie! But that's why when I take my dogs out, they ALWAYS have on body halters, because a startled dog can pull out of a collar. And they are NEVER allowed off leash except in a safely enclosed area. Too many surprise accidents happen. Please, if you love your furkids, don't walk them off leash. Even if they are usually well-behaved and have never run off before. The list of dogs still out there now, for the past few days in this weather, is heartbreaking and too long.
andrea January 08, 2014 at 08:50 PM
Now let's watch the general public tear this guy to shreds in the comments.
inthegloaming January 09, 2014 at 01:46 AM
Now let's watch the trolls overreact all out of proportion to reality, and criticize commentors for things the commentors never said, but the trolls like to pretend were said so they can trollsnark. Makes 'em feel superior. All I said, Andrea, was more stringent precautions can prevent unhappy accidents, and here's how. Also see: don't drive and drink/text/speed; cross in the middle of the street at night wearing all black; go swimming in shark-infested waters . . . list is endless. Some common sense judiciously applied can work miracles.
John C. January 09, 2014 at 07:31 AM
The only common sense thing I would say is get some kind of identification put on that dog, so someone who finds it can locate the owner.
inthegloaming January 09, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Yes to tags and chips! Basic non-negotiables. In addition to not letting dogs get off-leash/off-halter in the first place. It's not rocket science. Sometimes they're not found. Or they run into traffic in a panic and get hit by cars. I really don't get why people have ANY resistance to ANY suggestions for keeping beloved pets safer/safest.
J. G. Hayes January 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM
So glad to hear this story had a happy ending! I live near the Middlesex Fells and the local neighborhoods are full up with posters of missing dogs who bolted for one reason or another when they were off leash.
robbinsfarm January 15, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Well I am happy she was found !!

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