When their dog Barney went missing the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Discovery Bay residents Patty and Philip Labrador were heartsick.
We didn't know what to do. We were beside ourselves, said Patty. We don't have any children, so Barney is like our child.
Barney, a 10-year-old chocolate Labrador (that's right: the Labradors' Labrador), disappeared while on a duck hunting trip about 75 miles north of Sacramento. Philip and Barney had gone to the duck refuge for the day with another family (who had two Labradors), and when they came out of the retreat in the afternoon, Barney was gone.
They went in with three (dogs) and came out with only two, said Patty. My husband said the three dogs were in front of them the whole way out and the next time they looked up, Barney was gone.
After frantically searching the area and calling in the local sheriff and game warden to assist in the search, Philip reluctantly headed home when the refuge closed for the day. But the next morning, Philip and Patty got up early and spent the day searching the sanctuary, putting up signs and soliciting help where they could, but to no avail.
We were devastated; we just didn't know where he could have gone, said Patty.
As it turned out, not too far. Around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, two days after Barney had disappeared, Philip's cell phone began to ring.
I couldn't imagine who would be calling that early in the morning, said Patty. It turned out to be someone from Brentwood who had been up in the refuge and had found Barney. He left the message to tell us (Barney) was fine and that he would bring him home with him at the end of the day.
But the elated Labradors couldn't wait, so they jumped into the car and brought home a tired but happy Barney.
The guy who found him laughed at us and said he would have been happy to bring him to us, but we were just too excited.We had to get him as soon as we could, said Patty. He was in good shape; tired and dirty and hungry, but otherwise fine. We can't begin to thank the man enough.
The odds of Barney being found at all, much less by a Brentwood neighbor, were slim. It truly was a miracle. There's no other way to explain it, said Patty.
And what about the coincidence of their last name?
I know; isn't it awful? laughed Patty. It's a good thing we're dog people; especially Lab people. We're just happy and grateful beyond words to have Barney home. It was a real Thanksgiving blessing.