Found: Great dog; Lost: Owner

Jim Grant / Nevada AppealMargie Quirk and Arlo.

Jim Grant / Nevada AppealMargie Quirk and Arlo.

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"Found Dog. Mound House. Large red, short hair, possibly old, male. Ears look lab, tail looks rotty. Been here on dead-end road four months. Will not come to people, very friendly with dogs. Has collar and tag. Has survived freezing temps and snow. Barks all night, sounds like a soft whoa, whoa, whoa. His ribs are showing, neighbors and I are feeding him. You can see that he's always looking for his owner."

When Mound House resident Donna Love placed her "Found" ad in the Nevada Appeal classifieds last month, she was at her wits' end.

"I'd seen this big red dog for months behind my house, and I was really worried about him," Love said Wednesday. "I also found out that other neighbors had been feeding him, that he'd been out there for about a year, and that he had made it through last winter."

During the time that the dog they affectionately called "Red" lived on his own, he had managed to befriend about 10 dogs in the neighborhood, but he would not come to people. Love said he looked to her like an Akita-chocolate lab mix.

"He was a free-range dog, but one neighbor has a barn, so she set up a warm bed and a bucket of food for him, and another neighbor de-wormed him, and we all fed him," Love said.

Love, who lives on three acres at the end of a road where people have been known to abandon dogs, said she hoped that by placing the ad, she might locate the dog's owner in case man and man's best friend had somehow become separated unintentionally.

Margie Quirk wasn't the pooch's owner, but she was moved to action by Love's ad.

"I called her immediately, and said, 'Oh my gosh, we have to catch him!'" said Quirk, who owns Lone Mountain Veterinary Clinic, "so I borrowed a live trap from Animal Control, and within four hours, we had caught him."

Love said that when she went out after dark that Saturday to check the trap, the dog was already inside.

"I was just bawling when I called Margie, and she came over with her husband right away," Love said. "For some reason, Margie was the angel in this."

Quirk took the friendly stray to her veterinary hospital and determined that he had been neutered, was wearing a rabies tag, but not from a local clinic, and appeared to be a rottweiler/Rhodesian ridgeback mix. He also was about 10 pounds underweight at 84 pounds.

He was a little skittish at first, she said, but it wasn't long before he warmed up to everyone.

"The locals were all calling him Red, but he looked more like an Arlo to me, so I named him Arlo," Quirk said.

And Quirk shared Love's hope that his owner could be found.

"He is so, so sweet, and I have this fantasy that perhaps someone lost him, and that we could reunite them," she said. "I would love to think that the dog was actually lost by someone, and not dumped. It would be great for someone to see the dog and recognize him."

Until then, he is settling in to his nicer accommodations quite well. If no one shows up to claim him, he has already found a home - one with a tall fence so he can't jump it, and a canine companion because he loves playing with other dogs.

And even though the story has a happy ending for the Arlo, his Mound House caretakers miss him already.

"We're all going through withdrawals," Love said.

To contact Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital, call 775-883-3136.


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