Curious canine solves mystery
April 17, 2003
Tea, a curious border collie-mix with an apparent nose for rescue, helped a Carson City woman solve the mystery of her missing pooch Wednesday when the animal was found lodged underneath an historic west-side home.
“Tea is a hero,” said relieved pet owner Chris Price, who had been distraught over her AWOL Bedlington terrier, Lettice. “If it weren’t for Tea coming over, I don’t think Lettice would have barked, and we wouldn’t have known where she was.”
The trouble began for Price, who lives in a portion of the historic Ferris Mansion at Third and Division streets, on Sunday night when she put Lettice in the backyard before bedtime. The gray, curly-haired dog disappeared, and no amount of calling brought her home, she said.
For two nights, Price was beside herself with grief as she worried she’d never see her companion of eight years again.
“I wasn’t sleeping well. I was crying every night,” she recalled.
But that ended Wednesday morning when Denise LoGiurato, who works for Fountainhead Associates directly behind the Ferris Mansion, decided her dog, Tea, might be able to help in the search for Lettice.
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Lettice and Tea, who accompanies LoGiurato to the Fourth Street office every day, were old friends and often shared barks over the fence that separates the properties, she said.
“(People) thought they could hear Lettice barking, and we thought since they could hear her, she must be over there,” LoGiurato said.
“Chris just loves that dog,” said Fountainhead owner Gwen Currie. “I felt so bad for her.”
So the trio, Tea included, began to walk around the the mansion. Immediately, the black-and-white, 2-year-old pup put her nose to the foundation.
Once they’d rounded the house and ended up at the west porch, LoGiurato said, Tea began racing back and forth and whimpering. Then they heard Lettice bark.
A few boards were plucked from the porch, and a dirty Lettice leaped from her underground prison.
After a quick trip to the groomer and three shampoos, Lettice was good as new.
Price said she hasn’t yet fixed the little hole Lettice used to shimmy under the house.
As repayment for Tea’s heroism, she suggested Lettice “take Tea out for tea.”
But having endured two days in a dark hole, it’s possible Lettice could use something a little stronger.
“Better make that a margarita,” Price said.