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Dog Gone: A Lost Pet's Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home (Hardcover)
A real-life Lassie-come-home story with a twist! Toutonghi deftly tells the tale of Gonker, a loveable golden retriever who disappeared on the Appalachian Trail in October 1998. His family conducted a massive search, while Gonker’s human “grandmother” Virginia set up a pre-social media command center at home to spread the word, garnering world attention. Virginia and Gonker form the heart of the story, showing both human resilience in the face of cruelty, and the deep, imponderable bond between humans and canines.— From Victoria
The true story of a lost dog's journey and a family's furious search to find him before it is too late.
Saturday, October 10, 1998. Fielding Marshall is hiking on the Appalachian Trail. His beloved dog a six-year-old golden retriever mix named Gonker bolts into the woods. Just like that, he has vanished. And Gonker has Addison's disease. If he's not found in twenty-three days, he will die.
The search begins. Fielding and his father, John, are dispatched to the field. They have the family's other dog, Uli, in tow. Combing the trails, Fielding and his father bond like never before. Fielding's sister, Peyton, calls and talks him through some of his lowest moments. And at home Fielding's mother, Virginia, sets up a command center.
Virginia becomes a field general. With a map and a phone book at her side, she contacts animal shelters, police precincts, general stores, community centers, newspapers, radio stations, churches, and park rangers. She is tireless. The local paper in Waynesboro, Virginia, writes a small story about the family's search. The story hits the AP newswire. Tips many of them of questionable authenticity pour in from across the country. But as the search continues, the Marshalls realize they may not survive losing Gonker. Even as the wounds of their past return to haunt them and threaten to jeopardize everything, they know they have one mission: bring Gonker home.
With a big heart, intelligent humor, and a deft touch, Pauls Toutonghi tells this true tale of loss, love, and resilience.Dog Goneis by turns a story about how a family comes together in a crisis and the way heroism can assert itself in the little things we do each day.
About the Author
PAULS TOUTONGHIis a first-generation American. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, and he has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Granta, Tin House, and numerous other periodicals. He lives in Oregon, where he teaches at Lewis & Clark College."