GOOD NEWS: Dog snatched from park reunited with owners |

GOOD NEWS: Dog snatched from park reunited with owners

Teri Vance

Just when owners Jim and Sandy Castor were starting to give up hope that they’d ever be reunited with their shih tzu Willi, who disappeared last week from Fuji Park, their phone rang Friday afternoon.

A woman had found their dog and brought him into the Nevada Appeal office, the caller said.

Jim went yelling through the house, “They found Willi. They found Willi.” Sandy jumped in the truck, not even bothering to put on shoes.

But halfway from their Jacks Valley home to the newspaper office on Mallory Way, doubt set in. Had it been a crank call? All doubts were erased when he walked into the lobby and saw the black and white pup.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he exclaimed. Hearing Jim’s voice, Willi spun around and ran, tail wagging, into his owner’s open arms.

“Where have you been?” Jim cried into Willi’s neck. “Oh, you little darling.”

Sandy wasn’t far behind, collapsing in tears on the floor, cradling the dog.

“My poor wife, I thought she was going to have a heart attack,” Jim said.

“Oh, I did have a heart attack,” she cried.

Jim takes his dogs Willi, Beau and Casey to the south Carson City park every day to run off the leash. However, on June 18, Willi disappeared, and the Castors feared he’d been nabbed.

They offered a $1,000 reward for his safe return.

On Wednesday, Kimmy Gatien drove down to Gardnerville to meet a friend at the Country Cross Church. When her friend didn’t arrive, she drove to the nearby Ironwood Park to lay down in the grass.

“I was just trying to take a nap, then this little dog came up and licked my face,” she said.

Since he had no identification tags, she didn’t know where he belonged so she bought a collar and some food. Her friend later showed her a copy of the Appeal.

From the photo, Gatien could tell the dog she’d dubbed Lucky was really Willi.

Unable to contact the owners, she brought the dog into the Nevada Appeal on Friday.

Kissing Gatien on the cheek, Jim called her “our little angel.”

“Kimmy, you made our lives whole again,” Sandy said.