FAIRFIELD, CT – What began as a relaxing seaside vacation on July 4th quickly turned sad for Fairfield-based Elissa DeMaria and her family. DeMaria, her husband, and their then six-month-old daughter had taken their Boston terrier Fisher to Ocean City, Maryland, on vacation.
Not sure if the fireworks put Fisher off or if someone took him away from where they were, but on July 4th, 2020, Fisher was gone.
The family searched high and low but couldn’t find him anywhere. They advocated on social media that anyone who spied on their little buddy could reach them. They offered a reward for his safe return with no questions asked. They contacted local vets and animal shelters, posted leaflets around town, and joined lost pet Facebook pages. All to no avail.
DeMaria and her family stayed in Ocean City as long as they could until they had to return to Fairfield without their beloved little buddy. A week passed, then a month. Then another month and another. Fisher missed the vacation, his human sister hit baby milestones, and his family missed him desperately.
Someone reached out to DeMaria through the Facebook page she created to find Fisher and shared a screenshot of a dog they found that was posted on a Facebook group that DeMaria was not a part of.
“From the moment I saw the photos, I knew it was him and his little tongue was sticking out,” she told Patch. “Many, many people shared it with us almost immediately and I am eternally grateful for that. We are over the moon.”
Apparently the people who found Fisher spied on him as they wandered their Baltimore neighborhood wearing a collar but no trailer. They selected him and took him to their house to take care of him. They posted his photo on Facebook and described him as “friendly, cute and playful”.
“I’ll never be able to thank this family enough,” said DeMaria.
After partying and having an “adrenaline rush” from Fairfield, DeMaria contacted the person who posted the dog photo he found, confirmed it was Fisher by providing his microchip number, and then asked family friends who lived in Maryland lived to pick him up from the person he found so he was “with people we knew.”
DeMaria threw up a travel bag and then drove onto the freeway. It took five hours to drive from Fairfield to my friend’s house in Annapolis, but “it was worth every second.”
The poor fisherman’s paw is injured, but otherwise he is in good health. After 9.5 months, he definitely remembered his human mother and was thrilled to see her again. Their reunion was just wonderful.
“I can’t wait to take him home to meet Nellie and see Louise and Matt,” DeMaria said. “We all wish we could know how the last nine months have been for him, but we’re just thrilled that he’s safe at home.”
DeMaria paid tribute to the power of social media to reunite her with her long-lost dog. She never gave up on Fisher once.
“We couldn’t have done this without the Facebook group sharing our posts continuously over the past nine months and remaining hardworking, kind and hopeful that he would return to us,” she said. “I said I wouldn’t give up until he got home and I’m so happy I didn’t.”
This story was written by Patch Maryland Field Editor Kristin Danley-Greiner.