Black Lab Escapes From Groomer, BTB Contributor And His Dog Finds Him

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by Jim Branson

On Monday (March 15th), David and Rene George received a harrowing call from a dog groomer near Five Corners in Burien: their beloved black lab, Charlie, had somehow escaped.

David and Rene searched and put up fliers, but they didn’t really know the best way to look for their lost dog until they contacted the Missing Pet Partnership.

My dog Kelsy and I have been volunteering for MPP for a couple of years, and we have been trained to work as a team to find missing dogs. Kelsy, a black lab who looks very much like Charlie, has learned to follow the scent trail of a dog, and my job is to read her body language and help her find the dog. Actually, my main job is to hang onto the end of the leash while Kelsy drags me along on the search.

Charlie, the missing black lab, was found by Kelsy, hiding in these bushes.

Tuesday morning at dawn, I obtained a scent article from David and started Kelsy on the trail, beginning at the groomer. Kelsy followed the scent trail from Five Corners to the library, to Firestone, down past Albertson’s, down Ambaum to 174th, and then back up First Ave to about 163rd, where she found Charlie hiding in the bushes!

I never would have seen Charlie, even if I was looking right at him. Kelsy’s nose alerted us to his hiding place in the brambles.

Charlie didn’t want to come out, even with the lure of food. I called Rene, and she took a little time off of work to come get Charlie. When Charlie heard her voice, he came right out of the bushes to her. David and Rene are very glad to have Charlie home safe, and Kelsy has her reward of finding the missing dog. Plus some treats and a belly rub.

Charlie was happily reunited with his owners thanks to Kelsy and Jim of the Missing Pet Partnership.

Charlie's owner David George, Charlie and Kelsy on the right.

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10 Responses to “Black Lab Escapes From Groomer, BTB Contributor And His Dog Finds Him”
  1. Kim says:

    Cool story! Glad that the Charlie was found. Kelsy is one smart pup!

  2. Rebecca Dare says:

    Great (and rewarding) work Jim and Kelsy!

  3. Beth says:

    I am so glad our prayers were answered for the safe return of Charlie. Bless you Jim and Kelsy, you are Angels.

  4. coverofnight says:

    What a great service Kelsy provided! Great job!

  5. Dixie says:

    Good job, Jim and Kelsey. Looks like she is keeping busy. Quite a walk around town she took you on just by following her nose!!! I kinda wondered how it all would work when you first brought cards into BVH, now I know. Were you in on the Pharoh Hound search too??? I noticed a black lab on the TV coverage as one of the searchers.

    • Jim Branson says:

      Yes, Kelsy and I searched for the Pharaoh hounds in Ethel, WA, but they were both found before Kelsy could catch up to them. Kelsy has to drag me along with her, and I slow her down.

  6. Vicki says:

    Wow thats an amazing dog! he deserves and extra treat!
    This is the second time that I know of that Pretty Paws has had a dog “escape”.

  7. MARK says:

    Thank you so much for finding my parents dog ” Charlie”. They love him as if he were there son. If not for you they might not have found him, I never knew that this service was out there till my sister told me the whole story.Its nice to know that there are still good people out there and are willing to help out a complete stranger in there time of need. Again MUCH thanks goes out to Jim and Kelsey

    • Jim Branson says:

      Kelsy and I were happy to do it. She loves to search for dogs. We are not always successful in our searches, so actually finding Charlie was a huge reward for both of us.

  8. Rene George says:

    Hello Everyone!
    I am Rene, Charlie’s “Mom”. When we were told Charlie was missing from Pretty Paws, we were devastated and heartbroken. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old, which is about 7 years now. He is getting older and has never been lost before so we knew he would be terrified, and he has no experience in a high traffic area so we were afraid he would be hit by a car. The fact that Jim and Kelsey found him (it only took them 3 hours!) is nothing short of a miracle as far as I’m conderned. Praise God!
    I think the important thing at this point is to get the information about this wonderful rescue place out to people. Their phone number is 253-529-3999, they are a non-profit organization (donations are accepted and needed to keep them going) and you can read about them on their website: They help find both dogs and cats. If your pet is lost, it’s important to contact them ASAP so the animal’s scent trail is fresh – you will need something with your pet’s scent on it, like a collar or blanket or toy or bedding. They also hand out flyers while they are looking for your pet, so giving them several flyers you have made with a good picture of your pet and your phone number on it is a great idea. Good luck to you all, and thanks for reading Charlie’s story.

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