'Best Gift Ever:' Sailor's Service Dog Found Safe In Catoosa Area
CATOOSA, Oklahoma - A Navy sailor's service dog is safe. The dog ran off last week in Catoosa.
It's a rescue just in time for Christmas and just in time for deployment. The sailor said she leaves next month, and she is beyond grateful for the people in Green Country who teamed up to find her missing dog.
"I was actually not losing hope but it was to the point where I was like I don't know if he's going to ever be found," said Sailor Monica Malave.
Malave was traveling back to California from Missouri when they stopped at a QuikTrip in Catoosa for gas. Their dog, Hades, got spooked and ran toward the highway.
They searched the area and even stayed an extra day with no luck.
"I'm persistent if nothing else. And I just knew that we would, that he would eventually be found," said Sherry Thompson, who found Hades.
Thompson heard about what happened and took action.
"We have family in the military ourselves and we totally understand deployment and how hard it is on our military personnel," Thompson said.
She posted signs and spent hours over the last week looking for Hades.
"I've been going over there to Catoosa every day, almost every day, on my lunch," Thompson said.
A woman and her daughter spotted the dog Wednesday afternoon in a field about a mile from the QuikTrip. So Thompson came out and found him in the wooded area.
"He ran from me, but I just was persistent and I kept following him and kept calling for him," Thompson said.
"She sent me pictures and I could not hold it. I was crying in my office. I was like 'Oh!' I was so happy that he was found," Malave said.
Malave said not many people would dedicate so much time and energy for someone they've never met.
"I would. I would. It's the least we can do," Thompson said.
"I don't know what I would do if he was still missing when I was deployed," Malave said. "I want to give back to Catoosa."
Thompson drove more than two hours to meet up with Malave's parents. Hades will be back home in California this week.