Maggie the beagle is home again

·3 min read

Erica Skiffington says they got the call at 11:30 Sunday night, Jan. 9, exactly nine days after their four-month-old beagle was spooked by neighbourhood fireworks and slipped through the fence at their Mount Pearl home.

Maggie had been found.

“She’s really, really skinny. She seems to be fairly weak, but overall she still has her tail wagging and she’s still very forthcoming,” an elated Skiffington said in a phone interview Monday. “I think a bit of tender loving care is what she’ll need to nurse her back to health.”

A family in Cowan Heights found the dog lingering around the side of their house.

“So they brought her in and called us, and they sent us pictures. We knew it was her,” she said. “So my husband went and picked her up and brought her home, and the excitement hasn’t worn off yet.”

The couple’s three younger children were in bed at the time.

“We woke them all up because they wouldn’t want to sleep through that. They’d want to be there when she got home.”

Skiffington said they got Maggie from Beagle Paws when she was just nine weeks old. They also have another rescue beagle that is four years old.

She said they didn’t give up hope, even though there were no confirmed sightings after one shortly after she disappeared on New Year’s Eve.

“We had phone calls from people telling us … that beagles are so resilient. They are a smart dog. I had stories of people who had their beagles gone for two weeks sometimes and still returning home,” she said.

“We did have a lot of hope that she would come back, or that we would find her somewhere, and I’m just so happy that we kept going. We didn’t give up.”

But it was the help she got from the community that impressed her most.

“The whole story is surreal. We’re just so thankful. If we could get anything out there to people, it’s just that how appreciative we are of everyone who took time,” she said.

“People spent hours of their weekend to go door to door to pass out flyers and to walk the trails — and no matter what time of night. If we had a possible sighting at 11:30 at night, my husband would go there and there would be 10 other people there with him to help.”

Her friend, Chantelle Lynch, took on the role of Facebook group administrator for the “Help find Maggie” page.

They also had help from a couple of dog-rescue aficionados, Jackie Mac and Heather Gordon.

Gordon, who heads up a Facebook group called “The Snowdogs of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says she played only a small role.

“I am known on Facebook as the person to contact if your dog is missing ‘cause I’ll get the group done up as well as the posters to print,” she said in an iMessage.

“Then I usually contact Jackie to let her know the dog that’s missing and the area, and if she is not working she will get the ball rolling with trail cams.”

They will even set up and monitor live traps for the dogs.

“As I always say, It takes a village to move mountains and in this case it certainly did.”

Skiffington had a 2:30 appointment with the veterinarian Monday to make sure Maggie is no worse for wear.

Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram

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