A Chesterville woman has been reunited with her German Shepherd, months after the dog got lost.

As a dedicated dog person, this story tugged at my heartstrings. I can't even imagine being separated from Gifford for more than a year. But that's what happened to Cindy Ross, who told the Sun Journal that her dog, Shyla, bolted from her yard on May 4, 2018. It was hunting season and the already-anxious dog became frightened by gunshots, running off into the woods.

Cindy did her best to look for Shyla, and enlisted the help of Maine Lost Dog Recovery. She heard of sightings over a wide area, including Chesterville, Gray, and Pittsfield. Then on May 26, 2019, over a year after Shyla went missing, homeowners in Rangeley and Oquossoc reported seeing a dog matching Shyla's description on their properties.

A volunteer for Maine Lost Dog Recovery, Kathy Winslow, made it her mission to recover the shepherd. She set up a live trap, along with a game camera, and enlisted the help of neighbors to keep it stocked with food. Finally, after weeks of watching Shyla as she got used to the food and the cage, the dog stayed long enough to be recovered on Wednesday.

I have tears in my eyes, even as I write this, so I can just imagine how Cindy Ross must have felt. She said Shyla appears well-fed and healthy, but will visit the vet soon to get checked out. In the meantime, I'm sure both owner and dog are resting easy for the first time in months.