by Winona Post Editor-in-chief Sarah Squires
Anchor is missing.
He’s been missing since either late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, and no one has seen hide nor hair of him since.
I can’t remember ever worrying about something this long. I’ve plastered posters everywhere around Merrick State Park, Fountain City, Buffalo City, Cochrane, random places in between. I’ve walked and driven every inch of the park, I have trudged through the swamp, and lost my voice calling his name. I’m at a loss, and I am so worried about my little guy.
Captain, whose famous move as a puppy was opening a window latch and figuring out how to jump outside at 2 a.m., has seemed to have taught his younger brother this skill, and the rubber band I had in place to prevent such escape artwork did not withstand their master latch-picking skills. While I was gone late Saturday night and early Sunday morning visiting my friend Lexi in Winona, Anchor jumped through the window, then kicked open the door for Captain (who no longer seems as excited to jump out the window) so they could go play. Captain came home. Anchor did not.
I am not used to this. I’ve always had dogs, but the ones who occasionally “took themselves for a walk” either stuck close to home or would return after just a short jaunt. Our famously naughty dog Freddy used to walk himself quite often when we lived in town, having learned his own lock-picking skills. When you live in town, someone notices a dog running around almost immediately, so he was frequently picked up and brought to the nice people at the Winona Area Humane Society. Those nice people usually gave him a bowl of that sweet, sweet puppy chow, and after a few trips there, he started walking himself directly to the shelter, rather than waiting for a ride from animal control, and could be found jumped up, peering in the windows, wondering where those kind kibble-givers had gone.
I don’t think Freddy was ever gone long enough for me to worry. But on this day, after three days without Anchor, I’m sick with fear that something terrible has happened to him.
So, I am imploring all my friends in the region, please keep your eyes out for him. There were quite a few duck hunters camped in the park over the weekend — perhaps he hitched a ride with one of them? Maybe he stubbed a toe jumping out the window or was running around in traffic and they were worried. It seems likely, as Anchor would gladly jump into a stranger’s car, but Captain would not, that in this scenario, Captain would just run home while his brother went on an adventure. It’s possible that Anchor has decided he would like to start dating, and failed to ask his mother for permission, and he’s been holed up on a farm somewhere on the bluffs, living the life, open troughs of puppy chow galore. If you hear about a big, 100-pound, fluffy white puppy taking up residence in someone’s home or barn, please, please let them know he has a very loving home and we miss him so much.
It’s also possible, with the highway and the train tracks, that he was struck by a car or a train. It hurts my heart to think this might be the case, but if it is, I really need to know. Not knowing would be the hardest possible outcome.
Anchor is in the photo below on the left. He may have been seen running around with Captain (right), the three-legged boy, before he went off for his solo adventure. If anyone saw either of these dogs, or, sadly, thought they hit an albino deer with their vehicle over the weekend, or is playing host to a puppy party in the barn, please give me a call, day or night. My number is 507-450-5763. And in the meantime, Anchor really, really likes cheese.