On a warm November day at the Enfield Dog Park, the curious and remarkable story of Miss Mya reached a triumphant conclusion.
The precocious young boxer owned by Jennifer Christiana had been missing for some months before returning back home and playing among the other canines at the dog park.
Recently rescued by Christiana from a Newington shelter, Mya bolted from her owner at Pet Smart only two months later.
"The day it happened, she went from PetSmart over to Stop and Shop parking lot and there was a young girl collecting carriages. She went right up to her, but before she could grab her, somebody beeped a car horn," Christiana said.
Still skittish from her early experiences, Mya roamed the woods of Enfield surviving for more than five months on her own.
Karen Ward of the Enfield Dog Park recounted how she made her way around the town, being spotted in the Scitico section as well as on Brainard Road. At one point she was reported to be living or hanging around a barn or wood shed in Powder Hollow.
The Dog Park community helped with the search as soon as they found out.
"We've had this out on our Facebook page as soon as we knew about it," said Ward, "and Jen had flyers all over town."
Searching for Mya proved frustrating, but sightings continued.
"It would go in spurts," Christiana said. "Sometimes it would be numerous times a day for a week or two, and then we'd go two weeks without hearing anything."
Mya was finally found and lured onto an enclosed porch by the owners of Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.
"They lured her with pizza and string cheese into their mud room," Christiana said.
When she was found, Mya was in terrific shape given her ordeal in the wild. Though she was covered in ticks, she was in otherwise excellent shape.
"As soon as she came in the house, within 15 minutes she was back to normal, and 15 minutes after that we had her in the bath for a flea and tick bath," Pete Olko, Mya's other owner, said.
She was put on antibiotics as a precaution for ticks and parasites and was quickly back to her lovable self. In beating the odds and returning, her owners were overjoyed.
"A great big thank you for everyone who followed her story and were my eyes and ears out there and obviously to Big Fluffy Dog for getting her home," Christiana said.
Dog Park officials organized the meet and greet for Mya, and dozens of dogs and owners turned out for an afternoon of play in the dog park enclosures. A collection of dog food, supplies, and accessories was also held to benefit the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.
Also at the event, Eagle Scout candidate Jamason Pestana was given a certificate by the Dog Park for his work in constructing a bulletin board for the site. Pestana wanted to complete a project for his Eagle Scout designation and chose to assist the Dog Park.
After initial fundraising and settling on a project, Pestana enlisted the aid of family and friends to construct the bulletin board from the ground up.
"One of my uncles is good with woodworking, and I went out and got the materials at Kelly-Fradet, and one of the guys helped me draft the plans and get the lumber," Pestana said.
Filing paperwork on the project is the last hurdle for Pestana becoming an Eagle Scout. He is currently a sophomore at the University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford. He is also the proud owner of a 7-year-old Bassett Hound named Gertie.