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Celebrating World Kindness Day

A story from this year's Cynosport to illustrate the importance of kindness toward others.


by Annie DeChance

In honor of World Kindness Day, we are re-running this story from Cynosport last month about Stacey Breckels lost Sheltie, Andromeda.

Stacey wanted to share her story with the agility community to help educate others on what to do if one of our dogs ever gets out and spooked and how the kindness of strangers was a major factor in getting her beloved dog returned safely.

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One of the best parts of agility competition is traveling to new places and making new friends. We take every precaution to keep our dogs safe when we travel too. We research the best vehicle, the best crates, provide emergency contact information for them, the list goes on.

Then our worst nightmare happens. Somehow, one or all of our dogs accidentally escapes from our vehicle, crate or the show grounds.

Our world screeches to a stop as we try to adjust to this new, horrible reality. In an instant, dog agility is not very important to us anymore.

Were a little embarrassed about what happen and ask only our closest friends for help. Slowly word gets out and others join in the search. Hours pass and we get reports of sightings, but no luck finding our beloved family member.

Then were overwhelmed with grief, anxiety and the generosity and kindness of friends and strangers who come to our aid to help search for our beloved family member.

On the second to last day of Cynosport 2015, Stacey Breckel from Louisville, KY unfortunately had this nightmare come true. All three of her Shelties somehow escaped from the crating area and were gone.

Fortunately, she was able to find and secure two of her three beloved dogs quickly, but her youngest, Andromeda, was nowhere to be found.

As word got out among friends, nearly 20 competitors and friends stepped up to help find Staceys lost dog. One of the many people who came out to help was Elizabeth Evans.

According to Stacey, Elizabeth did everything under the sun to help get her beloved dog back including making flyers, posting them in the surrounding neighborhood and providing encouragement and support throughout the day. Elizabeth missed her walk-throughs and runs that day to help Stacey.

The amazing part was Elizabeth and Stacey were total strangers before this happened.

Elizabeth says she didnt think twice about jumping into action to help. She believes in paying it forward with the belief that if this situation happened to her, the agility community would reciprocate if one of her dogs ever got lost.

Elizabeth spent the entire day helping Stacey look for Andromeda, and it paid off.

Just before dark, one of the many Lost Dog signs posted throughout the surrounding neighborhood of the facility resulted in the call everyone had been waiting for all day. A neighbor called saying they believed Andromeda was on their property but was too scared to come to them.

Stacey called Elizabeth and together, they rushed off to calm Andromeda and coax her to safety. It took nearly an hour for Andromeda to calm down enough to realize Stacey was there with her and she was safe once again.

The entire agility community played a role in reuniting Stacey and Andromeda, but it is the kindness from a stranger, Elizabeth Evans, that made it all possible.

Elizabeth says she wouldnt hesitate do it again tomorrow. She believes her faith and prayers played an important role in reuniting Stacey and Andromeda.

Stacey has no words to describe the roller coaster of emotions she experienced throughout this ordeal, but is grateful for her family, friends new and old and the entire agility community for their help in bringing Andromeda home safe and sound.

And of course, Stacey and Elizabeth are now life-long friends and they have a wonderful little Sheltie to thank for it.

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