July 10, 2019Hoosier hospitality was on display at its finest in the Leavenworth area recently, and Mollie, a 1-1/2-year old dog, and her family from Louisiana couldn't be more appreciative.
For eight days, Mollie, a chihuahua-miniature pincher mix, was lost. Fortunately, due to the diligence of several locals, she was reunited with her family on Saturday.
Mollie was on the loose for eight days before being found. Photo Submitted
Mollie's Southern Indiana adventure began on June 22 when Rachel Oullette and her sons, Jack, 14, and Gabe, 10, along with Mollie and the family's other dog, Oskar, on their way to New England, stopped around 5 p.m. at the Pilot at the intersection of Interstate 64 and S.R. 66 for gas.
Jack and Gabe walked Mollie and Oskar and then looped the dogs' leashes around receptacles in order to could get the dogs some water. However, before she knew what was going on, Rachel heard someone shout, "Your dogs are gone." Looking up, she saw Oskar by the gas pumps. Mollie, however, was a different story.
Likely initially spooked from the air brakes of a nearby semi, Mollie, still frightened, was making a beeline toward the Dollar General store to the south. Rachel, after securing Oskar, ran to the store.
"In the blink of an eye, she was gone," Rachel said. "I didn't know she could even run that fast."
With no luck of finding Mollie at the Dollar General store, Rachel and her sons began canvassing the area.
DeeDee Corn and her husband, Turner, who live on the street behind the store, talked to Jack and Gabe and quickly went to work doing what they could to help find Mollie. Turner posted the information on his Facebook page, asking others in the area to be on the lookout for Mollie, and immediately saw his post shared 75 times.
"The concern for this dog was outstanding," DeeDee said.
Rachel and her sons delayed getting back on the road as they spent the rest of Saturday looking for Mollie, who was a rescue dog they adopted last September.
"We just searched that area all night," she said.
Having no luck, the family, albeit with a heavy heart, headed out the next day. Rachel, however, exchanged contact information with DeeDee and Turner in case Mollie was found.
For days, people in the area, including the Corns' neighbors, Jamie and Leslie Kendrick, diligently looked for Mollie. People, including a semi driver, reported seeing Mollie, who it appears stayed within a mile radius, but nobody had any luck grabbing her.
"She's scared," DeeDee said. "She's only 12 pounds."
Fortunately, Mollie stayed out of the way of traffic, which, because of the interstate exchange and truck stop and other businesses, can be extremely heavy at times, as well as hidden from potential predators, including coyotes.
To everyone's happiness, Mollie's time on the lam came to an end on Sunday, June 30, when the Corns and Kendricks saw her and gave chase. Cornering Mollie at the Marathon gas station across from the Dollar General store, Jamie Kendrick grabbed her. Still scared, Mollie clenched her teeth on him several times, but, determined to get her to safety, Jamie refused to let got.
"He got bit on the hand 13 times and once in the foot," DeeDee said.
Once they got Mollie back to the Corns' house, where she was put in one of their dogs' kennels, Turner called the Oullettes. Rachel said when she saw Turner's name appear on the caller ID, she figured it was good news.
"I answered it, and he said, 'We have got your dog,' and I screamed and the kids screamed," she said.
Rachel added she was relieved that Mollie, when caught, no longer had her leash on, because she had been fearful that Mollie had gotten it tangled in brush and was trapped.
DeeDee said Mollie was scared the first night, although she was comforted by the kennel being filled with some items Rachel and her sons left behind, as well as some pieces of the family's clothing that a woman from the rescue agency where the Oullettes adopted Mollie, who had come up during the week to help look for Mollie, had brought.
With Rachel and her sons in New England for a couple of weeks, her husband, Christopher, came up from Louisiana on Saturday to get Mollie.
"The town was wonderful. They were amazing," Rachel said.
DeeDee said countless people helped in the search.
"You had many, many, many people come look for this dog," she said.
The Oullettes thanked the Corns and Kendricks, giving each couple a card and tokens of appreciation.
"It really restores your faith in humanity," Rachel said.