Lauren Smucler and her fiance, John Gabriel, were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with family in Chicago. Instead, they spent the day looking for a lost family pet.
The couple’s dog, Mishka, went missing from a pet boarding facility at around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, as Smucler and Gabriel were headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
Just before they boarded their flight, they got a call from the facility saying Mishka had jumped a fence and ran out the door. Employees chased the dog across Veterans Parkway, but were unable to catch her, Smucler said.
The dog, a three-year-old black mixed breed, was last seen near the Rooms to Go outlet store at 6499 Veterans Parkway.
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When they heard the news, the couple -- who just moved to Columbus three weeks ago from Clarksville, Tenn. -- drove back from Atlanta and began looking for Mishka.
Smucler, a part-time student at Columbus State University, said they skipped eating Thanksgiving dinner and watching the Macy’s Parade this year in favor of posting signs and walking through neighborhoods, looking for Mishka.
Smucler got the dog three years ago in Houston, Texas, where she was living while Gabriel, a captain in the Army, was deployed to Iraq. She found Mishka during a rainstorm shortly before Christmas and decided to keep her.
“I was begging for a dog and this dog came right before Christmas, this little angel in my lap,” Smucler said. “She was this little black fluffy cotton ball with a nose sticking out.”
Mishka has been with Smucler through her fiance’s three deployments, two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.
“She’s just such a sweetheart,” Smucler said.
Mishka does not have an identification chip and ran away from the facility without her collar. She is a female collie/chow/shepherd mix. She weighs about 40 lbs and has black fur, black spots on her tongue, perky ears and a long, slightly curled tail. Anyone with information on her whereabouts can contact Smucler at 713-252-2942.