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Beloved Dog Reunited with Family After Nationwide Search [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Disastrous Fireworks: The Calteaux family’s golden retriever, Lucy, got spooked by fireworks and ran away during their camping trip in Charlotte, N.C., setting off a massive search.
  • Community Heroes: With the family back in Buffalo, the Charlotte community stepped up. From dressed-up parades to dedicated Facebook groups, the hunt for Lucy became a city-wide mission.
  • Surprise Reunion: Months later, in a twist of fate and community vigilance, Lucy was found, leading to an emotional reunion and underscoring the power of collective effort and hope.

The suspense of the lost and found has always been gripping, especially when it’s about a beloved pet.

But Lucy’s story was unlike any other; it was a tale of a community rallying together, the unyielding hope of a family, and the lengths they went to in reuniting with their golden retriever.

The Calteaux family, originally from Buffalo, New York, had been camping at Carowinds Camp Wilderness in Charlotte, N.C.

Everything was going perfectly until a fireworks show at the park sent Lucy into a panic, causing her to break free from her leash and disappear.

The heartbroken family extended their stay in Charlotte, hoping to find their dear Lucy. As days turned to weeks and then months, their hope wavered, but the Charlotte community remained resolute in their support.

The story, first covered by WCNC Charlotte in April, became a focal point for the local community.

Neighbors, volunteers, and even strangers dressed up in eye-catching dog costumes for holiday parades, rode bikes with Lucy’s posters, and engaged in forest searches.


A dedicated Facebook group, boasting more than 2,000 members, kept the flame of hope alive, posting about potential Lucy sightings across the nation.

The Calteauxs employed the help of Tucker K-9 Search & Rescue, run by Teresa Tucker and Kelly Chatman.

As the search expanded, the trackers believed that Lucy might have been accidentally adopted by someone out of state.

In an emotional video chat with WCNC Charlotte anchor Vanessa Ruffes, the family was prepared for yet another plea to the public.

However, they were in for a surprise.

Ruffes introduced a “special guest” into the video chat frame – a leaner Lucy, looking slightly worn but very much alive.


It was a moment of overwhelming joy, tears, and relief for the Calteaux family.

They learned that Lucy had been spotted in the Ballantyne area after Monday’s severe storms, looking identical to the posters spread across the community.

Lucy’s story wasn’t just a win for the Calteauxs but also for several other families.

The extensive coverage and publicity of Lucy’s disappearance led to multiple other lost pets being identified and returned home.


For Dana Calteaux, Lucy was more than just a pet.

“We got her during COVID, and I lost my dad to COVID, and I stopped talking to everybody, and I only had that dog,” she shared.

Her bond with Lucy was irreplaceable, a source of comfort during the toughest times.

In a rush of gratitude, the family quickly made their way to Charlotte for a reunion, promising a future filled with tighter security measures for their adventurous pup, including microchipping and GPS.

And as the reunion unfolded, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight.

It was a reminder that even in the vastness of the world, with a little hope, community spirit, and determination, every lost can be found.