LOST DOG SURVIVES MONTHS IN THE WILD
August 28, 2001 11:00 pm
Mary Sanders and Travis Gilvin are glad Noni is home. ().
Mary Sanders and Travis Gilvin are glad Noni is home. ().

Noni, a Brookings dog that has been missing in the wild for two months, has been found safe and unhurt.

The dog, who was found Saturday, had been missing since June 25, when she ran away from the site where her owner was in an accident on Highway 101 near Lone Ranch Beach.

The dogs owner, Brookings resident Mary Pat Sanders, said if it hadnt been for the diligent efforts of her boyfriend, Travis Gilvin, she probably wouldnt have seen the dog again.

Gilvin had made a trap out of wood and wire to catch Noni. Sanders mother, Mary Ellen Sanders, had suggested using a trap to catch the elusive dog.

Many people had reported seeing the 3-year-old dog in the Lone Ranch and Rainbow Rock areas.

Sanders said her mother and Gilvin followed up on every lead, but they never saw Noni.

But at least I knew she was seen, and was alive, Mary Pat said.

The dog had never been farther than her own back yard, and was probably afraid of people approaching her, and of the traffic on Hwy. 101, said Mary Pat.

I dont know how she survived, but she did, she said. Shes the smartest dog Ive ever met.

Gilvin said, That dog went through the 4th of July fireworks, all the thunder and lightening and the fire up on Lone Ranch.

Sanders, who is wearing a head brace because of injuries sustained in the car accident, found a ride every evening and looked for her dog in the Lone Ranch area.

Sanders said there was just something in her that couldnt give up hope of finding Noni.

Gilvin said he set the trap about 100 feet up the road from the accident site.

We put some of Marys clothes in there, Nonis rug and some ribs from Fat Boys Restaurant, he said.

Several days later there was an opossum in the cage, so they knew it worked, he said.

Six days later Gilvin went to check the trap about 7:30 a.m. He did this every morning on his way to his job at Carpenter Auto Center. He found a very thin but joyful Noni trapped in the cage. She recognized Gilvin right away, Sanders said.

She started barking excitedly in his car when he said, Do you want to go home?

Sanders said when she heard her boyfriend honking his horn outside her home, she knew it had to mean something.

When she went outside and saw her dog, she said, I couldnt believe it. It was a miracle.

They promptly took the dog to her vet, who was incredulous the dog had survived for two months.

Noni had lost 16 of her 47 pounds (she was fat to begin with, said Sanders), but was in remarkably good shape. She was able to go home that day.

Returning home, Noni was well enough to do her tricks and happily play with her toys, Sanders said.

But the dog was traumatized; Noni wouldnt leave her masters side all day and slept a lot, she said.

We caught her just in time, I felt, said Gilvin.

He was referring to the fact that the little dog had lost a third of her body weight.

My boyfriend is so amazing hes my hero, Sanders said. Its the best thing thats ever happened to me.