12/24/13 — Airman's wandering lost pup makes surprise holiday return

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Airman's wandering lost pup makes surprise holiday return

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on December 24, 2013 1:46 PM

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Edith Bowden scratches Mac on the stomach in the backyard of the Bowden home.

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12-year-old Pomeranian mix, Mac, waits for Billy and Edith Bowden to return from a shopping trip. Mac, a wanderer, had been lost since September, but was found just in time to welcome home his airman "dad" today.

Mac the Pomeranian is no stranger to trouble.

Left to his own devices in the Bowden family's front yard, he has been known to set off on his own, wandering around until someone from the neighborhood turns him in.

"Mac has always been a runner," Edith Bowden said.

Mac, whose full name is Mac E. Mac, is the pet of Staff Sgt. Mitchell Bowden and came to stay with Mitchell's parents when his "dad" joined the Air Force.

Edith said Mac has a habit of walking off, but is usually around his own area off Central Heights Road, where the neighbors know him.

But this time the independent 12-year-old took a longer trip than he probably planned -- a three-month sojourn that ended up back home, by chance -- and the kindness of strangers.

It was a September day and Mac was under the care of his human "uncle," Elliott, in Jefferson Park, outside of his usual neighborhood, while Edith and her husband were visiting family in Delaware.

"He had him out front and he got his head from his collar and went to running, to walking, to exploring," Edith said.

But this time, in a strange neighborhood, he did not find his way home.

"Usually people will see him and call us to come and get him, but he was away from home." Edith said.

The family looked for Mac in all the usual places, hoping the wanderer would show up.

No luck.

After weeks of searching, putting up posters and sending out "lost dog" pleas on social media, the family had all but given up hope.

It was especially hard for the airman who could no nothing to find his friend. Mitchell is stationed in California.

"When he first went missing, it tore me up that I couldn't do anything to look for him," Mitchell said. "I put stuff on Facebook, but it didn't do much. I started to hope that a good family had found him."

That's where Diamonds in the Ruff comes in.

The canine rescue group had found the Pomeranian mix and had brought him over to the Berkeley Veterinary Clinic for a checkup.

A veterinary assistant thought Mac looked familiar.

Diamonds in the Ruff sent Edith a picture and asked her to send one of him, too, just to make sure.

"And it was Mac," Edith said. "They asked me to send them a picture I had of him, so I did. They were just being careful and that's good."

Mac was home -- a week before Christmas.

There was just one thing left to do -- tell Mitchell.

Edith sent Diamonds in the Ruff's picture of Mac sitting on Santa's lap to Mitchell.

"I thought it was an old photo," the airman said. "Then I read the message that it was new. That they found him."

Mitchell will get to see his buddy today when he returns to Goldsboro for Christmas. He will be as excited as he was when he first heard the news thousands of miles away.

"I'm glad I was alone, because I started screaming 'they found my dog,'" he said.

The Bowden family wants people to know about the good work Diamonds in the Ruff does and to check with the rescue group if they are missing a dog or are looking for a new family member.

Mac was picked up along U.S. 70 and taken to a foster home in Mount Olive after he was found by a distance truck driver.

The rescue group can be contacted at 919-222-0500 or online at www.ditrnc.com.