It’s one of our worst vacation fears: our pet getting lost while in a strange place. For John and Nancy Robertson of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this fear became reality.
In March, the Robertsons and their Cavalier King Charles spaniel / border collie mix, Teddy, were on vacation, having driven their RV to Navarre, Florida.
One night, “We were going out to dinner … with friends, so we hired a pet sitter,” Nancy told the Navarre Press. “Skye Martinez was our sitter. We got a call from Skye that Teddy had slipped away and was running down East Bay Boulevard.”
The couple spent the rest of their vacation desperately searching for Teddy.
The sitter company hired several people to help look for Teddy, and many volunteers took to the streets after reading about Teddy’s escape on social media. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, Teddy couldn’t be found and the Robertsons reluctantly returned home.
“When we got home, everything changed without him,” Nancy said. “John and I don’t have children together, so Teddy was like our child.”
For the next 4 months, the Robertsons dealt with a roller coaster of emotions as they were continually alerted to possible Teddy sightings. And for 4 months, none of the sightings panned out.
Team Teddy to the Rescue
But a group of people in Florida refused to give up hope. Martinez, along with searchers Kaitlyn Williams and Saundra Ingram, kept the search alive and became known as “Team Teddy.” Eventually, their efforts paid off.
The second week in July, Williams got a call from a woman who had been involved in the original search. Rebecca Walkup has a game camera in her backyard and when she saw photos of a dog who looked almost identical to Teddy, she reached out. The Robertsons saw the photos and confirmed it: Teddy was alive.
Nancy Robertson flew down to Florida and worked on a capture strategy with Team Teddy. But although she waited up until 4 a.m., Teddy did not make an appearance. However, the dog did make an appearance in nearby Jonathan Harris’s yard.
When Harris looked out the window that morning, he saw a dog collapse in his yard. He knew this had to be “the famous Teddy” and immediately got ahold of Team Teddy — who rushed Teddy to a veterinarian and contacted Nancy.
“We Hope This Story Will Inspire Many”
At the vet’s office, Teddy was diagnosed with dehydration and tick paralysis and was extremely underweight. Although weak, when he saw Nancy he immediately tried to crawl to her.
John drove down and reunited with the pair a couple days later. The Robertsons created a Facebook page called Teddy’s Adventures to tell their pet’s story.
“We hope this story will inspire many and help other families whose pets have been lost to never give up hope. We also want to use this page to raise awareness for people that are on vacation with their pets, what to do and what not to do. We realize now that you never know how your pet may react in a sitter’s home, and suggest always having them leashed or crated at all times while you’re away,” advises a post on the page.
What a great reunion story — never give up hope! Many congratulations to the Robertsons on their reunion with Teddy, and a special shoutout to Team Teddy and all the volunteers who never gave up. They truly made the difference.