KALISPELL, Mont. — When her beloved border collie went missing, a Seattle woman spent 57 days searching for the dog -- even quitting her job -- before finally finding her.
Katie had been the family's companion for seven years.
"It was devastating. I got sick to my stomach," King told the Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell, recalling how she felt when she realized Katie was missing.
The couple immediately began searching for the dog. They combed the hotel grounds, posted at least 500 missing dog flyers and spread word of Katie's missing status on social media.
After searching for two weeks, King and her husband ordered two game cameras and animal traps, The New York Times reported. After 37 days, King's husband returned to Seattle, while she quit her job as a mail carrier to remain searching for Katie.
“Katie was just more important to me,” King said.
By day 53, King told The Times she began feeling demoralized. While she didn't find any signs of Katie, she also didn't find evidence the dog was dead, either.
“There were days I was just crying because I couldn’t find my dog," King told NBC Montana. "And then some stranger from Kalispell texted me, saying, ‘Hey,’ talking to me, encouraging words.”
She wanted to return home to Seattle for the weekend, but her husband convinced her to stay one more week. One person in the area allowed King to stay at their home while she searched.
Finally, on the morning of Sept. 15, King received a tip from a person in a subdivision near the hotel Katie went missing from. King and a friend scoured the neighborhood. A couple who was walking a dog finally spotted Katie sitting under a tree.
King called for the pup, who came trotting over.
“I just bear-hugged her, I wasn’t going to let her go,” King told the Daily Inter Lake. “Tears were flying, we were screaming, everybody is high-fiving, hugging each other. People are stopping in their vehicles, getting out and hugging us. I think the whole neighborhood knew that we found her.”
Katie immediately fell asleep in King's car as they drove her to a veterinarian's office, the Times reported. She was dirty, dehydrated and had lost 15 pounds but was otherwise fine.
“I really want to thank the Flathead community,” King said. “It was just amazing, the teamwork that was put out to find a stranger's dog.”
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