The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 10, 2013

Spike the wanderer returns home

Tori Lovre of Sioux Falls, S.D., waited nervously in the lobby at the Fairfield Inn in Danville. Looking out the front door, she saw a car with Ohio plates pull into the parking lot.

“I stopped … I couldn’t feel anything for a second,” she recalled. “Then I ran outside.”

She couldn’t wait to be reunited with her lost pal — Spike, a 3-year-old border collie/Lab mix.

“He ran up to me — he knew me,” she said, fighting back tears. “He’s so sweet.”

If only Spike could talk, he might enlighten everyone about how he left South Dakota last November and ended up in West Virginia. And then Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois.

The country-crossing canine is safely back in South Dakota with his family.

The complicated saga began in November when Lovre, 20, placed the dog temporarily with a friend who’s a truck driver. The friend, who lives in Kentucky, was supposed to take care of the dog while Lovre’s mother, Juanita Hagen, recovered from surgeries and the family tried to get back on solid ground financially.

Lovre had no idea that anything was wrong until she got a voice message from the Greenbrier Humane Society in Lewisburg, W.Va., on Jan. 26. The message said an animal control officer had picked up the dog and it would be placed for adoption.

The humane society had traced Lovre through the dog’s microchip. Spike wasn’t wearing a collar.

Frantic, Lovre contacted the humane society through its Facebook page, and said she couldn’t afford to make the 40-hour drive, but she wanted her dog back.

“He’s my little baby,” she said.

That prompted a series of messages on Facebook, as the shelter tried to find transportation for Spike from West Virginia to South Dakota.

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