Heartland Dog Rescued from Colorado Wilderness

Heartland Dog Rescued from Colorado Wilderness
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Imagine losing your dog during vacation and having to leave not knowing what happened to your pet.  That's exactly what happened to a Cape Girardeau couple, but through the help of strangers 'Pumpkin' made it home.
"I couldn't hold her she was wiggling so much," said Pumpkin's owner Michelle Eakin. "It was so nice of those people to bring her here."
Michelle and her husband were camping in Colorado when Pumpkin went missing.
"She was out there for three nights," said Michelle. "I don't know how she survived."
At almost 13 years old, Pumpkin has health problems.  It seemed there would be no way she could survive outside with the predators lurking in the Colorado wilderness.  The couple extended their stay to search for the dog and contacted park rangers for help.  Finally, they had to leave Colorado without Pumpkin.
"Leaving without knowing what happened to her was so hard," said Michelle.
Pumpkin is small, but spunky.  She's a little dog that must have a guardian angel.  Someone found Pumpkin out there in the woods near Lake Avery.  She was dirty and covered in maggots, but alive.  Whoever saved Pumpkin took her to an animal shelter in Meeker, Colorado. 
There a woman named Kathy Neilsen fostered Pumpkin for over a month.  She posted flyers and tried to find the little yorkie a home.      
By chance, a park employee spotted the flyer.  That put the wheels in motion to bring Pumpkin home. 
"She called my husband and he was on the golf course," explained Michelle. "She didn't pronounce our last name right and he thought it was a sales call so he hung up.  She called back and he listened when she said she thought they'd found our dog," Michelle said.      
To add to the journey, a couple attending a sheep herding trial in Meeker brought Pumpkin as far as Kansas City to return her to the couple.  Michelle says her journey is nothing short of a miracle.  In early October, Pumpkin will turn 13.  Michelle plans to have a special birthday celebration.
Next year, Michelle, her husband Jim, and Pumpkin plan to return to Colorado to meet the people who saved her.