COLCHESTER, Vt.—Love wasn't the only emotion that swept through the Bessy household on Valentine's Day weekend.
There was wonder. Joy. Astonishment. And most of all, relief.
After 52 painful days, the family's dog, Scout, had been found safe.
“Unless you've been through something like this, where you live in a world where you don't know what happened to something you care about, something you love ... it was emotionally exhausting,” said Andrew Bessy, whose 8-year-old black Labrador mix was captured in a trap set up to rescue him early in the morning hours of Feb. 15.
“We were really nervous, pulling back the cover and the trap cover, wondering whether it was her or not,” said Bessy, operations manager at AirBoss Defense Inc. in Milton, Vt. “When I finally got a look into the trap, I saw it was a dog shape. It was her. She recognized me and was so excited to see me and my wife.”
Bessy and his wife, Erin, and their two daughters, Deanna and Julia, could breathe again. Scout had survived for nearly two months, among bobcats and wild animals, in the cold and snow, “a brutal winter, even by Vermont standards,” Bessy said.
“If we could only know the stories of what she went through,” he said. “Sleeping with horses, making friends with llamas and wild dogs ... I wish I could get into her head and have her tell me the story. It's amazing that she just survived. This is just mindboggling.”
The ordeal had begun on Christmas Day. The Bessys had traveled to Michigan for the holiday to visit family. While in the care of friends, the dog got loose.
“She got scared and bolted,” Bessy said.