The Heart of a Community: The Story of a Missing Dog Reilly

| June 12, 2017

lost-dogIt was an emotional reunion after days of concern and uncertainty.

Happy tears and joyous smiles illuminated the faces of a family as their new-found hero handed over the families lost dog, Reilly.

On Monday evening, the Morrows (Mike, Shannon, and twins Blakely and Grady) walked into their home to an unexpected welcome and silence. Their 14-year-old Maltipoo, Reilly, was not there barking or wagging his tail, which led to an immediate panic. Mike and Shannon searched the house, the yard and drove Route 322 searching for their best-friend with no avail.

“The next day, Shannon and I, posted on Facebook about our lost dog. The post had over 400 shares, the outpour of support was amazing,” said Mike Morrow.

One of those amazing Facebook friends, Carol Books, decided to go beyond sharing the post and on Wednesday afternoon made her way to the bike trail to begin her search for the family pet. At the same time, dog owner Mike Morrow was running on the bike trail calling and looking for Reilly, as he had been for the last two days.
“Wednesday like the two days before, I ran the bike trail calling and looking for Reilly, but something special happened that day. While coming around the bend, I thought I heard someone calling for Reilly; there were two women walking the bike trail calling for him and asking people if they had seen him,” Mike Morrow explained. “I stopped and told them who I was, and I realized I knew one of them, it was a friend’s mother that I hadn’t seen in at least ten years. During that quick chat, I was fighting back the tears. As I was running back, I ran into the ladies again, and I just couldn’t hold back the tears. Our community was showing so much support and Carol, an acquaintance, went out of her way to do such an amazing thing for our family.”

Mike went home after his emotional encounter and decided to show his appreciation to Carol Books and her walking partner, Pam Frantz Barnes, via Facebook. As he was typing his emotional post of endearment and compassion, his phone rang, and it was Carol on the other end.

“She had found Reilly. I couldn’t believe it!” Mike said. “I quickly made my way to the bike trail where I met Reilly and Carol. As both of us were crying, she told me how she and her friend were leaving the bike trail, and she mentioned how they should look behind them in case the dog happened to be following. Well as they turned around, they saw something white run across the bike trail. A bicyclist came by and confirmed it was a white dog, and Carol ran down the trail to catch Reilly.”

A Miraculous Story of Fate – A New-Found Family Hero

“When I first saw the Facebook post, that my daughter-in-law posted, I shared it right away. When reading the post, it brought tears to my eyes,” Carol Books, of Seneca, said. “I love dogs, I have 3 and our oldest (12 years old) is named Riley. I thought there were going to be so many people looking; it might scare him off. So I prayed, and the following day, I read the post again, and I knew Reilly just had to be found for his family.”
During their faithful search on the bike trail, Carol and Pam had a strong feeling of hope that the dog would be brought to them.

“There was a man on the bike trail that was real interested in helping. He had asked the dog’s name and said that the name would be easy to remember because his daughter’s name is Riley,” Carol said. “I think it was fate. What are the odds of me having a dog with the same name, running into Mike (dog owner) on the bike trail and the fact the guy on the trail had a daughter with the same name. We were meant to find Reilly on the bike trail. If the dog would have been 2 feet further away, we would have never seen him when we turned around. Everything happened for a reason that day.”


The Morrow’s could not be more appreciative of the support and help they received during their time of need. A community came together to help, to find and to bring a family back together with their beloved dog and family member, Reilly.

“Wednesday is a prime example of why I love our little community. We want to thank Carol and Pam. They are both such wonderful people for what they did,” Mike said. “I have no clue why they did what they did, but I am forever grateful for your actions.”

The events that transpired on June 7 will forever be remembered by the Morrow Family and Carol Books as a miracle. The strength and willingness of the community perfectly portrays the definition of kindness and compassion.

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