It’s every dog owner’s worse nightmare – one of their family dogs runs away and they are still heartbroken and without their pet weeks later. Amy Dutton and her family have been looking for their 8-year-old Golden Retriever, Nick, since January 11th when he ran off with his 10-year-old Chocolate Lab dog brother, Remi. The dogs ran off about 5 pm on Wednesday, January 11th, when they were let out to go to the bathroom, in the Fife Lake area, on East County Line Road – an area that divides Grand Traverse County and Wexford County – the southeast part of Grand Traverse County.
Remi was found three days later in Manton by two hunters. Dutton said he would have had to cross the Manistee River to get to where he was found. Unfortunately, Nick is still missing and the Duttons have offered a $2000 reward for Nick’s safe return, no questions asked. He was wearing a reflective lime green collar with his family’s address and phone number on it. There were two sightings of the dogs early on but by the time Dutton learned about them, they had moved on.
Dutton offered the large reward because she feels that someone probably kept him as a pet and she is hoping that the money would be an incentive to return him to his family. She says, “My family and I miss him so much! My house isn’t the same without Nick here. I have so many memories everywhere of him. I just hope and pray everyday that I will get my Nick boy back. He slept with my oldest daughter, Hannah, every night. He loved everyone. He would let babies crawl all over him and even pull his hair – but he was scared of everything too including loud noises, balloons, guns, etc. I called him my beautiful gentle giant.”
Nick was a surprise present to Dutton on Christmas Eve 2008 from her husband. He surprised his wife with a beautiful 6-week old puppy after she had lost her two other dogs a couple months earlier.
She named him Nick because of Old Saint Nick. She was thrilled because she had always wanted a Golden Retriever. Nick loves playing with balls – tennis balls and even rocks that look like balls. He also loves Remi and his other dog brother, Caliber, plus his mom Amy, dad Leo and sisters Hannah and Claire.
The Duttons have been relentless in their search for Nick. On the night he went missing, the whole family was out looking until almost 4:00 in the morning on rangers and snowmobiles, going through about five tanks of gas. The following days, they recruited her dad, two father-in-laws, mother-in laws, a great grandfather, a sister, a brother-in-law, neighbors and friends to help in the search. Over the weeks that Nick has been missing, they have been out looking, going house to house, putting up 200 flyers, and posting Nick on lost and found Facebook pages like the Grand Traverse County Lost and Found Pets Facebook page here.
Because dogs can travel long distances – and are sometimes picked up by people and dropped off in other locations, Nick could be in any of the counties surrounding Grand Traverse County – or even farther away. Please share this article so that more people can look for Nick and if he is with another family, they can see how much Nick’s family misses him and wants him to come home. Amy’s phone number is 231-342-6761.