Dog comes home

Calamity Jane, a 3-year-old sheltie owned by Joy Christy of Elysian, had been on the run for three months before being caught Friday.

Calamity Jane, as she’s known, is home now, in a warm, safe place, eagerly consuming as much dog food, scrambled eggs and sausages as she can take, presumably happy her three-month ordeal on the run is over.

“She was always a cuddly dog,” owner Joy Christy said. “But now, when you cuddle her or rub her side, she moans and groans almost like she’s talking to you, like she’s so happy it’s over.”

Calamity Jane is just one of three shelties Christy owned. And in a case of the worst doggone luck, all three escaped from different dog sitters within about a week of each other. Two remain at large, but Christy is happy to have reunited with at least one of them. And she’s not abandoning hope of finding the other two.

It was about three months ago when the dog first escaped. Like the famous pioneer from whence came her name, she lived off the land.

Calamity Jane roamed the neighborhoods of the Minnesota State University campus area, and there had been many sightings of her.

Christy put ads in Home Magazine and on KTOE radio.

“I’ve driven hundreds of miles, at least two to three hours every night for the first month and a half,” Christy said.

She even offered cash rewards.

Katherine Nelson of the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society said that every day, it seemed, people were calling police or the shelter to report sightings of a sheltie.

“Four weeks ago we got involved when somebody called us saying they saw a dog running around,” Nelson said. “It must have been finals week at MSU. That little dog was weaving in an out of all the cars. Oh my God, I thought she was going to get hit ... And it wasn’t just us, there were people stopping left and right trying to save her.”

But, like many times before, Calamity Jane was too smart and too quick to be caught.

For much of her time on the run, Calamity Jane lived under the porch of a house just off Monks Avenue, but she never stood still long enough for anyone to corral her.

Staff at the Green Mill Restaurant, after one of them saw Christy’s lost pet plea on the bulletin board at Mankato’s Pet Expo, called repeatedly to report sightings of her.

Finally, Noel Frederickson and his daughter Jill got involved. Noel had heard talk on a police scanner about a dog sighting on Friday. After talking to Christy, he and his daughter followed Calamity Jane.

The dog went out Monks, past the place she usually stays, past Highway 90, out to a rural farm site with several out buildings, one of which Calamity Jane tucked herself underneath and wouldn’t come out.

Don Nelson — Katherine Nelson’s husband and Humane Society handyman — brought a roll of chain-link fence and a live trap to the farm site. He set it up in such a way that Calamity Jane would most likely walk in. A little Alpo in the live trap — which is part of Jane’s regular diet — was the secret weapon.

Jane came out a few hours later, and the ordeal was over. She was reunited immediately with Christy.

“I thought because she hadn’t been seen for a while ... I thought she was gone,” Christy said. “I can’t tell you how many people have called and given me updates.”

And calls kept coming from people wanting to know the outcome, she said. “There’s a lot of really good people in Mankato.”

Christy made a donation to the shelter. Calamity Jane has lost about 10 pounds, but Christy said she’s well on her way to recovery. The other morning she had a nice helping of her usual Iams dog food with a little scrambled eggs and sausage.

She remains hopeful the other two will be spotted. And BENCHS says it has received a few calls about stray shelties.

Anyone with information about the remaining shelties is asked to call Christy at (507) 385-8651, or BENCHS at 625-6373.

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