After 18 Days, Duluth Family Reunites With Missing Dog
Community Effort to Get Missing Pup Home Safe and Sound
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Without a doubt, Sammy is the fluffiest member of the Kallberg family.
Each and every day he’s showered with love and affection.
But while the Kallbergs were on vacation three weeks ago, and Sammy stayed back in the kennel, they got the news no family wants to hear.
“The fence that he jumped was a six foot fence,” said Darin Kallberg.
Each day there were multiple St. Bernard sightings throughout Duluth.
“But the sightings were going so far out of the area that I was kind of getting worried that somebody was seeing another dog sometimes,” Darin explained.
By the time the Kallbergs would arrive on site, Sammy was nowhere to be seen.
“He was probably super tired because he’s been running on his own for a long time now,” explained Kelly Higbee, an animal control officer in Duluth. “And I’m guessing that he was getting maybe into garbage, or some help getting fed along the way.”
But 18 days later…
“In the morning, about eight o’clock, Sharon looked out the window and said, ‘There’s an animal out there,’” described Duluth resident David Craig.
Sammy made a new home on a patch of Craig’s lawn, 10 miles from where he escaped.
“Looked pretty comfortable to tell you the truth, I thought, ‘Oh, he thinks he owns this place I guess,’” Craig laughed.
Craig turned to the pros.
“In the meantime I kept watching it to make sure it didn’t run away, if it was going to go away I wanted to follow it,” he explained.
Animal control officer Kelly Higbee arrived shortly after.
“He immediately lifted his head up, he probably smelled me, and then he quickly ran into the wooded area,” Higbee said.
After a quick call to the Kallberg’s, they followed Sammy to the creek where he hid in the brush.
“So when we saw him, we were supposed to get down so he wouldn’t realize it’s us,” Daylen Kallberg explained.
“I got up to him real slow and at first I think he was a little hesitant about what was going on,” Darin described.
But as soon as Sammy realized who it was…
“He just took off after me and he basically tackled me and he was pretty happy I think,” laughed Darin.
“It was just amazing to see him jumping up and down,” Daylen said.
“Homecoming is almost like when the dogs sees the servicemen come home, you know, it’s one of those,” Craig smiled.
Because it’s hard to keep away a man and his best friend.
“So happy because we finally found our dog,” laughed Caleb Kallberg.
The family says Sammy lost about 15 pounds while he was out wandering by himself.
Last year the reclaim rate at the Duluth Animal Shelter was 80 percent, which they say is very high.
The dogs who don’t reunite with their owners go to Animal Allies.