Missing dog unites Bridgewater community
BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - After a rough few weeks in Bridgewater, the town has really come together and started looking out for one another.
Recently, a dog who was being fostered at the Bridgewater Retirement Community after her owner passed in December got out and led the town on a wild dog chase for over a week.
“The first time was just for a day or so,” said Jo Benjamin, who now fosters the dog. “She was found pretty quickly and returned, and then the second time she got loose she went on a one-week adventure, and that’s when I got involved.”
The search for Cora blew up on local Bridgewater community Facebook pages. It was from there and seeing all the traction the search for Cora was getting that Benjamin knew she had to get involved.
“I’d seen posts floating around on the Facebook page for local Bridgewater residents,” Benjamin said, “reporting a lost white dog and I thought, ‘If that were my dog I’d want to go find it,’ so I just decided to go out and start looking.”
Cora was never really lost, though, since she was actually seen almost every day, but her timid nature and unfamiliarity with the people approaching her caused her to run.
“We tried to spread the message not to call her or chase her,” Benjamin said. “That was going to scare her and drive her further out of the area. We really just wanted to see where she was so we could pinpoint kind of her routes through the neighborhood and where she might be staying.”
It was important that they found Cora as quickly as possible because the week she was lost had single-degree temperatures and snow and ice, making it unlivable for a dog over an extended period of time.
“Every morning when I woke up, I got a report that there had been a sighting so I thought, ‘She had made it this long, today’s the day that we’re going to find her.”
Social media was the driving force behind finding Cora, with posts about where she’s been seen, maps based on those sightings, and photos of Cora.
“Every time those got posted,” Benjamin said, “we would see shares and likes and people tagging each other in the comments and just getting the word out was honestly one of the most helpful things in trying to find her.”
It just so happened to be the Town Manager of Bridgewater who finally got a hold of Cora, but not without a fight.
“Luckily Jay Litten, who’s the town manager for Bridgewater was looking out of his back window and happened to see a little white dog walking along the edge of the river, and he went outside to try to call her, and she got scared and walked away from him but, in walking away, she walked out onto some thin ice.”
Luckily, the water was shallow enough for Litten to go in after Cora and rescue her from the frozen water.
During the search for Cora, Benjamin knew she wanted her to have a safe place to come home to once she was found.
“I put in an application to adopt her actually before we found her,” Benjamin said. “I was so confident we were on the right trail and gonna catch up to her pretty soon that I just wanted to make sure there was a name in the hat, so that when he did get found and she was officially up for adaption she knew she had a safe place to go.”
Cora is now warm and safe at her new home with Benjamin. She also wears two leashes and a tracker on her collar so if she ever goes on another adventure, Benjamin can easily track her on her phone.
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