COEUR d'ALENE - A trip to Idaho to visit relatives has become a nightmare for a Canadian dog owner.
Dawn Lauder's pet, Chloe, a female German shepherd, has been missing since Monday after escaping from a pet boarding facility in Coeur d'Alene.
"I'm alone in a strange city and country and don't know anyone to ask for help to find Chloe," Lauder tearfully told The Press.
The 2-year-old dog went missing not long after Lauder dropped it off for the night at Coeur d'Alene Pet Resort, along with two other dogs she owns, another German shepherd and a Yorkshire terrier.
Lauder planned an overnight stay in Coeur d'Alene after spending time in Lewiston, visiting her daughter and two grandchildren, ages 3 and 6. For Lauder, the Lake City was on the way back to her home in Fort Macleod, Alberta, about 315 miles from Coeur d'Alene.
Lauder's family members made the trek from Lewiston to Coeur d'Alene also, so they could visit Silverwood Theme Park with Lauder before the grandmother continued on to Canada.
Now, without Chloe, Lauder is uncertain when she will leave the Lake City.
"It really scares me, the thought of leaving her here and going home without her," Lauder said. "I'm going to try and stay as long as I can. I was supposed to be back home yesterday."
The emotional toll is devastating, Lauder said. It's especially difficult because just a few months ago, a new horse Lauder acquired - her "dream horse" - got out of its pen at its trainer's and was killed by a truck.
Chloe's disappearance is also financially draining.
Lauder said she is missing work at her job as manager of the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police in Fort Macleod.
"And I'm having to pay my expenses to stay here," Lauder said.
Lauder has spent hours on the streets, driving and walking, looking for Chloe.
"I feel really bad because she really hasn't been apart from me and the other dogs her whole life," Lauder said. "The three of them are inseparable."
She reached out to the Coeur d'Alene Press with the hope that someone with information might read the story. Lauder said she's willing to pay a reward for the animal's safe return.
She has already phoned local animal shelters to see if Chloe was picked up by animal control, posted an ad on Craigslist and put up posters in the area where the dog went missing.
"I don't know what else to do because I'm not familiar with your processes for lost animals in the USA," Lauder said.
Lauder is getting help from the people at Coeur d'Alene Pet Resort. Dawn Kelp, owner of the boarding facility, said Chloe was dropped off late in the day on Monday.
"She scaled the fence. We had no warning," Kelp said. "We do ask that question when they come in, and we were told no, she wasn't a jumper."
Lauder said Chloe has never jumped over a fence before.
Kelp said if they had been told Chloe might jump, the dog would have been tethered while in the yard.
Boarding facility staff members have been out looking for Chloe, Kelp said. They've put up fliers.
"We're doing everything we can, because we care about dogs," Kelp said.
Chloe is black and tan, isn't very big, and has "a little tan spot between her shoulders," Lauder said.
The dog has been embedded with a microchip, which could lead searchers to it.
Lauder is asking anyone who sees Chloe, or with information about the dog, to contact Coeur d'Alene Pet Resort: 704-7561 or 659-8068
Lauder herself can be reached at 403-894-4629.
"But if they call me, I don't even know where the area is where someone might see Chloe. It could take me too long to get there," Lauder said.