A dog named Josie: Local helps reunite lost dog to owners

Savannah Vasquez
Local Kalen Smith found this Chesapeake Bay Retriever while driving along Main Street in Destin and was able to reunite Josie with her owners.

A few weeks ago, Destin local Kalen Smith was driving along Main Street when she noticed a dog in the middle of the road.

“When I found her she had just come out from the park on Main Street and she was just freaking out,” said Smith. “There were three cars that almost hit her so I stopped in the middle of the road and opened the door and she jumped right in.”

The dog was wet and frightened, but Smith said she could immediately tell she was someone’s beloved pet.

“She didn’t have collars on and was a rare bred of dog,” said Smith. “You could tell that she just had puppies and I was worried for the puppies. I thought, ‘I got to find the owners!’”

After driving around the neighborhood for two hours, Smith said she posted a photo of the dog on the Destin Log’s Facebook page and it wasn’t long before she found someone who knew the owners.

“I would have had no earthly idea who they were if it wasn’t for Facebook,” said Smith. “It would have been a tragic story that he never would have gotten his dog back.”

As it happened, a friend of the owner saw the post and immediately notified Smith that this dog was a special breed, and belonged to his fishing buddy.

“Someone who knew him from fishing got in touch with me and connected us,” said Smith. “She’s a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, they are a good chunk of change those dogs and she’s done a lot of shows and won a lot of ribbons.”

Six hours after finding the dog, whose name she learned is Josie, Smith was finally able to reunite her with her owners. Although the owners wish to remain anonymous, Smith said the experience gave her a taste of how different people react in situations like this.

“Some people don’t want to pick up a stray dog… but she would have never found her home,” said Smith. “The fact that she did because of Facebook, this is letting people see it differently, as far as people sharing and reaching out; without social media, I would never have found the owners.”

 Smith told The Log that this is actually the second dog she has rescued along Main Street and reconnected via social media, the last one being a month ago from visitors out of Alabama.

“I’m one of those people that have brought every single animal I find on the side of the street home,” said Smith. “You don’t come by chances like that very often to do the right thing-to do good. When people can see that then that’s what makes it worth it.”