Mary Kilpatrick / Houma Today
The day their dog went missing, Melissa Guidry’s 9-year-old son cried himself to sleep.
“The next day (my son) woke up and asked me, ‘Why doesn’t he want to come home?’ ” Guidry said. “I told him, ‘I don’t know.’ ”
The family’s beloved dachshund, Gilley, dug a hole under their fence and disappeared May 5. Family members said they were heartbroken.
Guidry said they checked with the Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter but had no luck.
Then the following evening as she and her husband watched their sons’ baseball practice, another parent told Guidry about Lost Pets of Terrebonne Parish, a Facebook forum for pet owners and others to post pictures and information about lost animals.
Two hours later, Gilley was home.
The pup had somehow traveled from his home in Houma near Ellendale Estate Drive and Savanne Road to the intersection of Barrow and School streets.
Shane Guidry, Melissa’s husband, said when he discovered how far Gilley had traveled, he realized how lucky his family was to find him.
“There’s no way we would have found that dog if it weren’t for Facebook,” he said.
The page, created in early February, may be one of the best ways to help lost pets besides bringing them to the parish animal shelter.
Lost Pets of Terrebonne Parish is the brainchild of Houma natives Jennifer Davis, 38, and Traci Daigle, 41 — animal lovers who joined forces to help save missing pets in the parish.
The duo didn’t know each other prior to this year. Their common love for animals brought them together through a mutual friend. The pair would routinely make separate Facebook posts about helping animals, which were exchanged through their friend, Michelle Marmande.
“(She) knew we both had a passion for rescuing animals,” Davis said. “The day that we were introduced, we started texting and communicating through Facebook, and we started the page on the same day.”
Since its inception, the site has accumulated more than 1,350 likes and helped reunite countless animals with owners.
“We have had about 200 to 300 posts since we have started,” Davis said. “Of that amount, we have had about 10 dogs that we could not find.”
Davis said the page receives dozens of found animal posts, which often do not end with happy endings.
“We have had numerous dogs and cats, too many to count, that were found, and no one has ever claimed,” she said.
She said she and Daigle pitch in to help those animals find good homes.
As for Gilley, he’s settling in nicely back home and is back to his old antics, Melissa said.
“He got out again Sunday,” she said. “I said, ‘Dog, you’re driving me crazy!’ ”
Since the incident, the family now keeps the dog in a secure area of the backyard where he can’t get out.