After watching a makeover race, Carole and Verne King returned late at night to their hotel in kalispell, Montana, where dogs are allowed. They discovered something very terrible.
看完一場改裝車比賽，卡羅爾和沃恩·金(Carole and Verne King)在深夜回到他們下榻的蒙大尼州卡利斯佩爾一家允許攜狗入住的旅館。他們發現了一件非常可怕的事。
Katie, their 7-year-old border collie, was not in the room. Apparently, she managed to unlock the door, probably frightened by the thunderstorm that swept through the area. At the front desk, a clerk said she saw a dog rush nervously out the front door a few hours ago.
The Kings were stunned. Where would they find this town of 23,000 near Glacier National Park, surrounded by forests and fields?
The couple spent the next 57 days desperately searching, using night vision machines, animal tracking cameras and horse manure from their farm in eastern Washington. Carol king is a postman. She quit her job.
I go to bed every night feeling terrible, vaughn king said. "Will she be cold? Has she eaten anything today? We are in agony."
Like a crime scene
After finding the dog missing, the Kings spent a frantic night searching the surrounding area, north of kalispell, where alfalfa farms, homes and a new shopping center meet.
They were out searching until about 4 a.m. But they didn't see any sign of the dog, the Kings said. The front desk clerk asked them to send in some photos, and then they made flyers together and distributed them around the area.
Hundreds of leaflets were posted on lamppost and community mailboxes and distributed through door-to-door delivery and local sports events. They also posted pictures of Katie on their Facebook page and on the lost pet website. The stranger walked with them in that part of the country in search of Cathy.
The Kings, who were law enforcement officials in Los Angeles, knew to look at abandoned buildings. They examined soil in alfalfa fields for traces or dog droppings. They considered the possibility that Katie had been hit by a car on the highway, but without any evidence, they continued their search.
You treat this like a crime scene, Mr. King said.
Traps and smells
After weeks of searching, the Kings decided to try something more extreme. They ordered two cameras used by wildlife researchers to film the animals as they passed. They ordered animal traps in the hope that something like Katie's favorite cheese sticks would lure her into the cage.
Carole king also started jogging and biking around the neighborhood, hoping her sweat would signal to the dogs that home was nearby. They placed used t-shirts, Katie's blanket and dog bowls in carefully selected places.
I think we went through all the streets in that area, Ms. King said.
Later, the couple brought horse hair and buckets of manure from their home and, with the consent of local farmers, scattered them in traps and other possible places.
Later, they heard speculation that Katie would choose to come out at night, so they put on night-vision goggles and stayed out in the cold for a few hours, hoping to see Katie walking across the fields.
But they didn't see any activity. The camera showed no sign of their dog. Trap? They caught a magpie, a cat and four skunks.
But messages kept coming. After hearing reports of sightings, the Kings quickly followed up.
On one occasion, they drove 15 miles to Columbia falls, though it seemed a little far-fetched. Sometimes they check even if the description doesn't sound right.
In our minds, I always said, 'what if I didn't follow up, what if it was her and we didn't do anything? ' says carol king.
Sometimes it turns out to be another dog. Once, while they were talking to a landowner at the farm, a woman came up and said she had just seen their dog cross the road towards a field of rape flowers. The Kings began to run, calling Katie's name.
They couldn't find her.
Quit her job
Carol king was still working around spokane as a mail carrier. She went back for a week in August, leaving her husband to continue the search.
She offered her boss a break. But the summer months are not feasible. She handed in her resignation even though her salary covered their pension.
Katie is still more important to me, Kim said. "I just said, 'I'll finish this week, and then I'll quit. '"
When he got back to kalispell, vaughn king had to go back to spokane. She left Katie a note.
I'm going home to take care of your siblings, Mr. King said, referring to his two other dogs and a cat. "Rather than say goodbye, I'd say, 'see you soon. '"
After a month and a half of searching, the Kings still felt hopeful. There was no sign of Katie, but no evidence that she was dead.
But by the second week of September, Kim says, she was losing confidence. She began to cry and wonder if she would ever find the dog.
I wasn't ready to leave, but I was thinking, what else could I do? Carol king said.
She missed the house and the animals and planned to return to her home 250 miles away for the weekend. But her husband persuaded her to stay, suggesting another week. Some of kalispell's new friends encouraged her to hang on.
They were invited to stay at his house. A dozen others have promised to spend time helping them find them. The owners allowed them to search their vast land.
We couldn't believe the neighborhood, Ms. King said. She added, "I felt the simple goodness of people -- stranger after stranger."
I found her.
On the morning of September 15, carol king received another message, this time from a district near the hotel. The resident said he looked out the window and was sure Katie was in his backyard.
Carol king hurried over with a friend. But when they arrived, they saw nothing. They walked through the fields nearby, searching through binoculars.
They caught a couple out for a walk and told them they were looking for a dog. The woman pointed to a dog under a nearby tree.
That's a border collie. They started calling Katie's name. The dog is alert. The crowd fell silent as Katie called the dog's name. Katie ran at full speed and threw herself into carol king's arms.
It was all in my head, 'I did it. I found her, ' said carol king. "I cried, holding her and holding her close to my arms. I can't wait to put her in the car so I don't lose her again."
Katie soon fell asleep in the front seat. She's dirty, she's collapsed, she's lost 15 pounds. They took her to the emergency vet, who was moved to tears when he learned it was Katie -- the dog that so many people in kalispell had been trying to find.