Town rallies to find trucker's lost dog


EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WAND) — Jamie Stang Ellis is a wizard with the paintbrush, but her greatest work doesn’t involved canvas. It involves a search party, four legs and a whole lot of fluff.

“I think it just takes patience, time and gaining Remi’s trust,” Stang Ellis said.

Remi the Kuvasz is a little shy and fairly skittish. But for five cold Illinois nights, he was the toughest dog in Effingham County.

Truck driver Andy Susin got Remi to be a companion on long trips. The two were inseparable — until Remi got scared and slipped out of his harness last weekend.

Susin was carrying a truck load of perishable food. If he stay past Sunday night, the whole load would sour. He had no choice.

“It just about killed me to have to leave him,” Susin said.

But while he was delivering his load of goods in Toronto, the town of Effingham got to work. Aided by a Facebook chat pulling together people from Canada, New York and beyond, volunteers combed the vast fields near the I-70 corridor.

“[Our search party went] from three to about….30, 40, 50 people,” said Tracy Greuel.

“[We had] the worst conditions, freezing rain. It’s so cold and it’s pitch black,” Stang Ellis said.

Until finally, after hours of searching — and multiple cheeseburgers used as bait — Remi was back where he needed to be.

“Just to see him smiling again, he’s got a great smile,” Susin said. “He’s relaxed. It’s just a big relief.”

“We say no one gets left behind,” Stang Ellis said. “I think that’s some of our purpose in life and to inspire others to do the same…It’s an amazing feeling today to know that Remi is home.”

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