DUXBURY − A dog that was missing for 16 days and its owner were reunited thanks to a Duxbury resident whose own missing dog was found two years ago.
Stephanie Mansfield, and Henry, her 7-year-old soft-coated wheaten terrier, were back together Monday after he had been on the run since Aug. 19.
“You don’t always get happy endings. I didn’t think we were going to,” Mansfield said. “I wasn’t going to give up, but at this point, 16 days?”
Desperate for help, Mansfield said she contacted Missing Dogs Massachusetts, which posted fliers of Henry. The fliers caught the attention of fellow Duxbury resident Kevin Bownes, WCVB reported.
Bownes said he had heard barking behind his home and decided to check out the area Sunday night.
“Luckily for Henry the dog, he kept on barking,” Bownes said. “He was in an area of tall reeds, a swampy area, and he was surrounded by a canal.”
Bownes found Henry stuck in deep mud. The dog was skinny but otherwise OK. Bownes guided Mansfield to the area Monday morning before rescuing Henry from the muck, WCVB reported.
“She was crying. I was crying. And she was so relieved,” Bownes said.
“His barking used to drive me crazy and now, if he didn’t bark, we would never have found him,” Mansfield said. “His barking did save his life.”
Most people would not tread through a forest and a bog in the middle of the night to find out what was barking, but Bownes said he had a vested interest. Two years ago, Missing Dogs Massachusetts helped Bownes find his dog, Harper.
“Knowing what we went through, I was glad to pay it forward to another family,” Bownes said.
“Kevin’s our hero,” Mansfield said. “It kind of reaffirms your faith, you know?”