Woman reunited with dog that was stolen with car

Fells Point woman's car was taken Monday; Matilda the dog was inside

May 19, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

Kelly Belk rarely travels beyond Fells Point, where she lives, and Hampden, where she works. But on Monday night, Belk decided to meet friends at a Pikesville crabhouse for an all-you-can-eat special. She took Matilda, a 9-year-old Rottweiler and German shepherd mix.

"When I was leaving for dinner, she gave me the stink eye. It was like, ‘You better take me with you,'" Belk said Thursday. "She's happier being in the car than being home alone."

It's a decision that Belk regretted after her sport utility vehicle, with Matilda inside, was stolen from the parking lot of an adjacent bank on Reisterstown Road. Belk said she later realized that she had left the keys to the SUV inside the vehicle after earlier checking on Matilda, who had been injured that day while out for a walk with Belk.

But that regret turned into relief late Thursday afternoon when Matilda wandered into the yard of a Park Heights home about 10 minutes' drive from where Belk's car was stolen. She allowed Gia Davis to check out her tags and was reunited with Belk a few hours later.

Belk was overjoyed. Belk, a waitress, has owned Matilda since she was a 8-week-old stray. Her sister had been on her way back from a Willie Nelson concert when she found the dog wandering on a Delaware highway. Belk named the dog after one of Nelson's songs.

"My car is still missing, but I'd rather have my dog back," Belk said Thursday night, after having a friend drive her to Davis' home.

Belk said that she will give Davis a $50 reward. She said the owner of the crabhouse also promised to send Davis another $200.

Baltimore County police are still searching for Belk's white 1991 Ford Explorer, but according to spokesman Lt. Robert McCullough, the fact that Matilda was found in the neighborhood between Pimlico Race Course and Druid Hill Park "will give us an area to focus on."

Police spokesman Sean Vinson said before Matilda was found that whoever stole the vehicle could also potentially be charged with the theft of Matilda.

After searching with her boyfriend and others for a few hours Monday night and nine hours on Tuesday, Belk hired Sherry B. True of Damascus, who bills herself as an "animal communicator," to assist in the hunt for Matilda.

Belk said she was skeptical about using a psychic but that she was desperate.

"It sounds crazy," Belk said before Matilda's was found, "but I don't know what to do. I'm just beside myself. I can't eat, I can't sleep."

True wrote Belk an email Thursday saying that Matilda was safe but feeling a little confused as to why she wasn't with Belk.

She also wrote that the dog was in "an area where there are pine trees and water," near a housing development and a drainage ditch.

Davis said there is a development for the elderly, a drainage ditch and many trees behind her house.

"That's kind of eerie," Davis said when told of True's vision of where Matilda could be found. "I don't believe in psychics, but wow!"

Davis said that she noticed Matilda a couple of houses away, but seeing she was a Rottweiler mix, was fearful of approaching it. Despite the fact that she owns two "friendly" pit bulls, as well as a Pomeranian, she thought Matilda "looked kind of intimidating." That's until Matilda, who suffers from hip dysplasia, limped over and put her head on Davis' knee.

Davis first contacted Animal Control, but after reading Matilda's tags, called the Milford Animal Hospital in Delaware, which put her in touch with Belk. Davis, who was able to feed Matilda and give her some water, said the dog stretched out on her porch in front of the door and looked "kind of sad" until Belk arrived.

"When Kelly called her name, she jumped right up," Davis said. "It was definitely a great sight to see."


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