Family searching for missing therapy dog


By John Peters - jpeters@mtairynews.com



Six-year-old Eli Goad, pictured here with Stella. Family members say Eli, who has ADHD, has been distraught over the therapy dog’s disappearance Monday. They are hoping someone in the region has seen the dark brindle-colored boxer.


Submitted photo

LAUREL FORK, Va. — A Carroll County, Virginia, family with some ties to Mount Airy is searching for a therapy dog that went missing on Monday morning, and they’re hoping folks in Surry County can help.

Emily Goad said Mount Airy area residents might know her and another dog she once had, Sable.

“We lost Sable three years ago to cancer,” she said.

That animal was what she described as a well-trained therapy dog that Goad took to nursing homes and medical facilities, including Northern Hospital of Surry County, for visits with patients and residents.

“We’d go to Lowe’s or Chick-Fil-A in Mount Airy and people would see us and say ‘I know that dog,’” she said of Sable.

Goad had been training Stella, a dark brindle-colored boxer she received about two years ago, to do the same.

Monday, she let Stella and her pet pig, Piggy, out for a bathroom break, and while Piggy returned as usual, Stella never returned.

“She’s a true Velcro dog, she’s never disappeared for more than five minutes, let alone since Monday,” she said late Thursday afternoon.

In addition to hoping to take Stella into area medical facilities to work with patients once her training was complete, Goad said Stella’s loss hits particularly close to home.

“My nephew has ADHD and he likes to pet her while he is doing schoolwork and she keeps him focused,” she said of 6-year-old Eli Goad. “He has been so upset,” not wanting to go to school, worried over the fate of the dog.

“Stella is a special dog,” she said, one who had an affinity for elderly people, as well as making a connection with other animals.

“Stella is like my animal whisperer. I have a small farm and any new animal I have brought home, from a parakeet to a horse to chickens, ducks and even a hedgehog, she is the first to welcome them and comfort them,” Goad said. “We have spent the last day or so handing out close to 200 flyers all over the area. Stella never wanders. We have been blessed with how much help we have been offered to find her, but we haven’t received any leads at all, which is what scares us.”

Goad said a K-9 search from Greensboro is scheduled to travel to Laurel Fork at 10 a.m. today to help search for the dog.

She said she’s posted the dog’s picture and info on various social media outlets, with thousands of shares and forwards.

A former corrections official, Goad said she has ties to law enforcement, and has learned through those ties that some folks have had their dogs stolen by individuals hoping to sell them for profit. She said it’s even happened in her part of Carroll County.

With Mount Airy relatively close to Laurel Fork, she’s asking anyone who may have seen the dog to call her at (276) 730-5516.

Six-year-old Eli Goad, pictured here with Stella. Family members say Eli, who has ADHD, has been distraught over the therapy dog’s disappearance Monday. They are hoping someone in the region has seen the dark brindle-colored boxer.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_GoadDog.jpgSix-year-old Eli Goad, pictured here with Stella. Family members say Eli, who has ADHD, has been distraught over the therapy dog’s disappearance Monday. They are hoping someone in the region has seen the dark brindle-colored boxer. Submitted photo

By John Peters

jpeters@mtairynews.com

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