by Nancy L. Ford

It's said that a dog has a keen sense of direction; but, one local dog really took that description to a whole new level recently.

Her name is Gigi and she's a Sheltie that was originally owned by Bob and Marianne Anton of Higby Road outside Frankfort. Gigi lived with the Antons, along with two other Shelties; her father Mac and her brother Jack.  About one month ago, a Mohawk man, Dick Greene, adopted Gigi from Bob and Marianne.

Gigi would end up living with the Greene family for only a week when she abruptly decided to run-off following a walk with her new owners.

Thus began a 16-day, 23 mile adventure that involved relentless searching day and night by Dick, Bob, Maryanne and many others. They faced wind-chilled frigid weather, trekking through snow and ravines, following Gigi’s tracks and following up on the many tips of sightings by Facebook friends and strangers. They walked, climbed, fell, got lost and froze during the search of the woods. Even the mayor of Ilion, and local & state police were involved in live pursuits of Gigi, who always managed to get away.

Marianne, Bob and Jack, (Gigi’s sheltie brother) searched for her day and night for the 16 days. They cried everyday that she was missing, believing it was their fault she ran off..feeling in their heart she was looking to find the only home she knew, back with Bob & Marianne.

On January 2nd, Gigi walked into Bob & Marianne’s garage as if nothing happened. This little smarty pants found her own way from Mohawk to the east side of Utica, back into Frankfort, up the steep Coupe Hill to her true home on Higby Road.

Gigi was not quite worse for wear: Thinner, burdocks, as well as reports of bleeding paws, but she was in good health.

All involved agreed on 3 things:
1. Gigi is one smart canine.
2. Gigi is one tough cookie.
3. Gigi needed to live where her heart is: with Bob, Marianne, Mac, Jack and all.

Yes, the amazing Dick Greene decided to give Gigi back to her family.  It seems pretty clear, that's where Gigi thinks she really belongs.

Listen to the story as told by Marianne on the Keeler in the Morning radio show:

Related social media content:  

Dick wrote, “God led her back there. She belongs there… Marianne, I don't know what to say except THANK GOD, You and Bob, and all our friends for being there for her!!! Most of all thank you GIGI for being the toughest dog I've ever known...BAR NONE!!! You knew where you wanted to be and nothing was going to stop you from getting there!!! I couldn't be happier you're where you want to be. You will always have a place in my heart as the dog I almost had...I LOVE YOU!!! And thank you to everyone for all your help and support!!!”

I also want to share words from the Help Save Jack Facebook page that thanked the many involved:

“Thank you Kim the animal control officer … Also like to thank Sandra and her family on Center Road for all their time and help. Truly great people!!!!! Also like to thank Dana Anne Carney Madigan, Kate Volz, her dad Bob Volz, Tom Bowman and everyone else for being out there searching also.”

Nancy Ford is a local photographer who operates the Facebook Page, Mohawk Valley Pet Lost and Found.