Rachel Kauffman agreed to be the temporary foster mom to a beautiful dog named Hank. She already had two dogs and wasn’t looking for another, but she opened her home for a handful of days to Hank so he could have immediate rescue.
After six days, Hank was sent to a long-term foster home so he could be treated for heart worms. Rachel had noticed that Hank bonded with her quickly, but she didn’t realize just how much until he went missing shortly after getting to his next foster home.
Hank was missing for two days. He traveled 11 miles before he ended his journey on Rachel’s porch. She told their story to The Commercial Appeal.
On Oct. 30, after he’d spent six days with Kauffman, Hank was taken to another foster in East Memphis’ Berclair area to spend the few months it would take to get him healthy. But on Sunday afternoon, the new foster locked Hank inside, then stepped out. When she came back, Hank had unlocked the front door and ran.
“It’s happened before. My last shepherd could lock and unlock the door,” Kauffman said. “I’ve been locked out of my house a few times.”
Kauffman and other animal lovers quickly mobilized. They searched the Berclair area. They posted his photo on social media. Calls came in: Hank’s in High Point. Hank’s in Sherwood Forest. Hank’s in Orange Mound. All indications were he was heading west, but Hank remained elusive.
Then, early Tuesday evening, Nicole Douglas found herself in Cooper-Young. She looked up and there was Hank, standing in front of the Memphis Drum Shop just blocks from Kauffman’s house.
“I called Rachel, ‘Rachel, I’m following Hank!” Douglas said, slowly driving behind Hank as he trotted down Nelson. When he got to Cox, Hank turned right. Moments later, he plopped down on Kauffman’s porch.
After a journey that searchers estimated at 11 miles, a meandering path from Berclair in East Memphis to Cooper-Young in Midtown, Hank was home. Truly, home.
Hank is now a permanent member of Rachel’s family. He made his choice be known and she welcomed him with open arms as you can see in their reunion video.
Have you ever had a rescue dog? How quickly did it take for you to bond? Please join the discussion.