“GRACIE IS HOME!!!!!!”
This is how Scott Wistrand’s Oct. 30 post on the Battle Ground, WA, Facebook page began.
The post, which went on to describe how, where and when the Wistrand family’s dog, Gracie had been found after missing for almost a full six days. Within the first few hours of the happy post being up on the page, it gained more than 330 “likes” and almost 100 comments.
When talking with The Reflector, Wistrand expressed his deep gratitude to the people of Battle Ground who sent his family words of encouragement, shared the photos and story of Gracie, and provided advice.
“It truly restores a person’s faith in people when they show they care so much about someone and someone’s pet they don’t even know,” he said.
Wistrand said he and his family woke up Sat., Oct. 25, and Gracie, a 9-year-old German shepherd/lab mix, was gone. The family canvassed the neighborhood, but Gracie was nowhere to be found.
A house is currently being built across the street from where the Wistrands live, and Wistrand said that he and his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, had seen some muddy paw prints in the garage of the new house that day. They looked over at the house being built and called for Gracie, but still did not find her.
“It was funny though because that day my wife had thought she heard a ‘bark’ somewhere near our house,” Wistrand said. “Then later I thought I heard a bark, but we thought we were just imagining things.”
Wistrand had posted about Gracie on his personal Facebook page right when she had gone missing, but he soon also found out about the Battle Ground, WA, page. After joining the page group, he immediately posted about her on the group’s page. People began responding to his post almost immediately.
“It was crazy,” he said. “People were sending me words of encouragement, told me they were looking for her and sharing, it was amazing how fast it grew. With all that going on, I was very hopeful.”
For days Wistrand kept looking for Gracie, posting a new picture of her on Facebook each morning, looking around the neighborhood and checking with the humane society and veterinarian offices. Unfortunately, every day turned up no signs of Gracie.
Finally, the morning of Oct. 30, Wistrand received a call from the owner of the house that is being built across the street.
“The owner said, ‘I think your dog is underneath my house, but she won’t come to me,’” Wistrand said. “I left work immediately and went over there and she came running to me right when I went under the house.”
Gracie was taken home, given a nice meal and then took a nice long nap.
Wistrand, his wife, Nancy, and their two children, Hannah, 14, and Kyle, 18, adopted Gracie from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington when she was just a puppy nine years ago. Wistrand said she is an indoor/outdoor dog, but spends much of her time outdoors, except for when there’s thunder and fireworks. He said it definitely wasn’t like her to run away from home.
“We were kind of getting more and more hopeless every day that we couldn’t find her,” Wistrand said. “My daughter was never going to give up. I certainly didn’t want to and had no intention of giving up. I lost a lot of sleep over it this week.”
Wistrand said Hannah was probably the most upset during the whole ordeal, as she was the one who always took Gracie on walks. He said Hannah loves to read and she would take Gracie on walks down the road to a place where she could sit and read while Gracie laid down next to her.
“I cannot express my gratitude enough for all of you who looked, sent us words of encouragement and provided helpful advice, what a great community,” Wistrand said.