Family launches search for beloved dog residents learn spirit of giving after the storm


January 15, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BOB RAINEY of Westminster was hanging Christmas lights Dec. 6 with his family dog, Pabst, nearby. A moment later, Pabst was gone. Alison Rainey says, "He just disappeared."

Since then, family members have launched an intensive search for the dog they have owned for 11 years. The search has made Mrs. Rainey aware of the problem of lost dogs and has landed the family a chance to appear on a local cable television show.

"We are just heartbroken," Mrs. Rainey said. "He is like a part of the family. Some nights I can't stop sobbing. On Christmas Eve, I sat by the sliding glass door, just watching out for him, hoping he would come home. Our whole Christmas was ruined. My kids are so upset."

The Rainey children are Kelley, 14, Kimberly, 12, and Rachel, 5.

The Raineys have tried to turn their grief into action. They have handed out more than 800 fliers with Pabst's picture and description. Pabst was last seen Dec. 6 on Bowersox and Stone Chapel roads.

The Raineys have visited many animal shelters, one as far away as Cockeysville. State and county road crews are helping the family look.

Mrs. Rainey remains optimistic.

"We've responded to at least four calls, but none of the dogs were ours. We even followed paw tracks in the snow and mud hoping to find him."

Mrs. Rainey said Pabst is not one to wander. "We keep him in the house and, when he is outside, he lies on the deck. He sticks around. Sometimes he does get sneaky and slips off. But he always comes back."

It was Mrs. Rainey who found Pabst when he was about 9 months old.

Knowing someone would be heartbroken, she made every effort to find his owner. It was only after she had provided the puppy with all of his shots and fed and cared for him for a while that she found his owner and, regretfully, returned him.

Mrs. Rainey was overjoyed when the dog's owner called a few weeks later to ask if she wanted to keep the puppy.

The family taped a segment Saturday on a show called "Unsolved Crimes in Carroll County," which is produced by psychologist Steve Menick and airs on cable Channel 19.

Mrs. Rainey said Rachel says a prayer every night.

"I know someone out there knows where he is, and whether he is dead or alive, and I wish they would just tell us," Mrs. Rainey said.

Pabst is a small to medium collie and terrier mix. He is thin, 20 to 30 pounds, with wiry, medium-length hair. He is mostly tan, but his back is darker. He has a white strip on his nose and a white muzzle, a white chest and belly, and white on his paws and one leg. He was wearing a purple collar.

Anyone with information can call the Raineys at 875-2808. A reward is offered.

Band seeks members

Westminster Municipal Band is seeking members. The band rehearses from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays, October through April.

The band was formed in 1893. It has 56 active musicians and 11 color guard members.

For information, call Richard Hill at 848-3703 or Greg Wantz, band president, at 848-8852.

Neighbors help with snow

After the hush of heavy falling snow and the howling winds that came in on the backside of the blizzard, the sun came out Monday morning as if to mock us with its smile.

It seemed as if half the people who live in the tiny town of Union Mills were outside, swinging shovels, pushing snow blowers, talking in small groups about the storm we had all made it through.

Weaving his way through the flying snow, neighbor Rick Sparacino went door to door, note pad in hand.

"I'm going to make a run to the store," he said cheerfully. "Does anyone need anything?"

Although the local Brewer's Market was closed, as well as supermarkets in Westminster, Mr. Sparacino, who had just finished digging out his four-wheel-drive vehicle, found that the Westminster Giant was open.

His stop to check on the needs of others was just the kind of neighborliness the storm seemed to carry.

No mail was delivered, folks had nowhere to go, yet they seemed to make the best of it.

And even though they knew they didn't have a choice, it was just like a Carroll County resident to go about it with a smile waiting for the next storm to hit.

Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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