Unique nonprofits help Md. couple find lost dog

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJLA) - It started with an open door, on May 16.

Nori the dog's owners learned their dogsitter had let her out, and she'd vanished.

"This is our kid, essentially - our family member," said Charlene Milam, Nori's owner.

Obviously, Charlene said she would do anything to find her.

"She was more than a pet, and we were going to do anything we could to get her back," she added.

As the days dragged on, the Milams used social media, websites and fliers to try and find Nori - none of which worked.

So, they embarked on a new Internet search - and came across the websites for local nonprofits Dogs Finding Dogs and They reached out to try and get help.

Heidi the dog from Dogs Finding Dogs (DFD) joined in on the search, with some added skills.

"We use a scent article, which is a bed, a collar, something which belongs to the missing pet," Anne Willis of DFD explained.

Heidi pointed the search party south.

Next, blanketed nearby neighborhoods with robo-calls to get the word out about the missing pet. Soon, tips started pouring in.

The Milams became discouraged when a week went by with no sight of Nori.

"When it rained I was laying in bed, praying 'please keep my puppy safe,'" Charlene recalled. "You know - lightening, thunder, is she going to get hit by a car?"

Nori got loose just north of Damascus, but then a series of sightings came in near Laytonsville Golf Course.

"A golfer that was actually out playing saw the dog on the course," said Darrell Milam.

Darrell headed to the golf course immediately - and then he saw her. A terrified and weak Nori.

"She started circling and came close, and when she got within about 30 to 35 feet...and then she was just like, coming home," said Darrell.

The Milams are so thankful for all the help - and want others to know about these excellent nonprofit services just nearby,.

"Unimaginable joy, unimaginable joy - because we didn't think it was going to happen," said Charlene.

But it did happen - and a family is back together again.