The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 13, 2012

Ojanpa: Hope abides for dog on the lam

— Joe and Barbara Hogan are maintaining a vigil of sorts, perhaps hoping against hope that their quest will be rewarded.

People who aren’t dog owners might regard this as folly, but those who have ever loved and lost a pooch can empathize with their angst.

Doris, the North Mankato retirees’ 15-pound white Bichon Frise, slipped out of her collar and fled the Hogan home April 20.

After a fruitless search, the couple placed a lost-dog classified ad in this newspaper on April 24.

That ad continues to run, day in, day out. The Hogans even ratcheted up their search awhile back by purchasing a larger display ad that ran temporarily.

Mind you, the couple harbors no illusions about this.

“We admit it’s a long shot,” said Joe Hogan, who is well aware of the likely scenarios — either Doris is living in another household under some sort of finders-keepers decree, or she fell prey to a predator.

But even though Hogan suspects the latter, it hasn’t quelled the couple’s mission. Moreover, they routinely receive reasons to keep hope alive.

Hogan said the ad offering a reward continues to generate calls each week from people who think they’ve found Doris or know of her whereabouts.

Each lead has been checked out; each has been a dead end. One time, a party called that indeed had found a collarless Bichon — albeit not Doris.

Hogan doesn’t know how long they’ll keep publicizing their search — “One of these days we’ll have to say, ‘This is it’” — and he also doesn’t know if the couple will ever get another dog.

There’s another compelling factor in their quest. Doris is a “rescue” dog, meaning she was saved from a Bemidji-area puppy mill and bears the skittish behavior of a dog that’s been abused.

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