Susan Gilison was in her backyard playing with her dog, Patches, when she began barking and jumping up to put her paws on the fence. Susan tried to calm Patches, but she was too excited.
Sheila, Susan’s sister, was in the front yard at the time and began looking around for the cause of Patches’ excitement. She saw what she thought was a cat curled up on the front porch, but the cat but turned out to be a tiny Chihuahua. Sheila sat down with the dog and a few moments later Susan found them there; Sheila had the Chihuahua on her lap.
The little dog didn’t have identification tags, but he did have a collar. Susan and Sheila asked around their neighborhood and no one knew anything about the lost Chihuahua. Then Susan had a bright idea; the dog needed to be checked for a microchip.
Susan made a phone call to AHNA and we informed her that we are more than happy to scan any lost pet for a microchip at no charge. Susan and Sheila brought the dog to the hospital and a quick scan showed that the lost dog did, in fact, have a microchip, and his name was Marcel. Susan was elated!
One of our staff members wrote down the microchip information and called Avid to collect Marcel’s owner information. The information was given to Susan who called Marcel’s owner.
“I spoke to a man named John Scott, who was actually Marcel’s petsitter,” explained Susan. “Marcel had been missing for over two weeks.”
“It turns out that Marcel’s owners, Rey and Michelle, were both out of the country. Rey is stationed overseas in Iraq. Michelle is a new mother and she is staying with her family in Puerto Rico until Rey’s time overseas is finished. They hired John to take care of Marcel and their other pets. They were both devastated to receive a call from John that their beloved pet was missing. As you can imagine, John was happy to hear that I found Marcel and so excited to give the good news to Rey and Michelle. ”
Susan and John began to make arrangements to meet to return Marcel to John. “That’s when we got a real surprise!” said Susan. “I didn’t recognize any of the street names or areas that John wanted to meet. That’s when we realized that John was in South Dakota and I was in North Carolina! We have no idea how Marcel managed to travel from South Dakota to North Carolina in only two weeks time. We are guessing that someone picked him up in their car and then left him in Asheville.
Susan agreed to take care of Marcel until arrangements could be made to send him back home to South Dakota. It took a few weeks, but with the help of John and other friends of Rey and Michelle, flight arrangements were made to send Marcel home.
“Everyone involved was wonderful,” said Susan. “AHNA helped by providing a carrier for Marcel and Dr. Duncan certified that Marcel could travel by airplane. The people at the airport were very kind and patient in explaining how Marcel would be safe and well cared for on the flight. I was relieved to hear that Marcel landed safely and had been picked up by John. In the weeks that I took care of him I became attached to Marcel. He’s so teeny-tiny compared to my dog, Patches, and he’s such a kisser!”
“I got a chance to talk to Rey in Iraq. He expressed his gratitude to me for taking care of Marcel when I found him. Rey has a lot to handle in Iraq – I’m glad he doesn’t have to be worried about Marcel anymore.”
Note: Recently while Rey was home on leave, he and Marcel were united. They were thrilled to see one another.