Craigslist helps reunite Hazel Dell woman with lost guide dog


by Katherine Cook /

Posted on May 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Updated Thursday, May 27 at 9:06 AM

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A visually-impaired Hazel Dell woman was reunited with her guide dog Wednesday, after it escaped from her home.    

Amber Crispin spent hours searching her neighborhood, cane in hand, listening for her yellow lab, "Therese."

"She always comes when I call," said Crispin, "except for this time."

Around 6 a.m., Crispin said her fiance left the garage door open, and Therese ran out.

"She's more than just a dog, she's my eyes," said Crispin, 24.  "She's everything I'd ever wanted in a guide, and I'm really attached to her."

The pair had been a team for three years.  Congenital cataracts and glaucoma had taken most of Crispin's vision.  She said Therese restored some of her freedom.

"When we go across the street I depend on (Therese)... she's there to stop me if there's a car coming."

It had been more than six-hours since Therese ran away, and Crispin grew more and more discouraged.  Then, her cell phone rang.  It was someone from the Humane Society of Clark County, with news that brought small smile of hope to Crispin's face.

"They found a posting on Craigslist about a dog found in Hazel Dell," shared Crispin.

Tyler Chester had listed the early-morning discovery: a small, female, yellow lab, found near Jorgenson park -- right by Crispin's home.  Within a half-hour, Chester was walking up Crispin's driveway, umbrella in one hand, leash in the other, with Therese leading the way.

"Hi!" Shouted Chester, as Crispin came into view.  "Ahhh, hello!" Replied Crispin, as Therese broke into a full sprint, totting Chester behind.  "I was worried about you," said Crispin, as she ruffled Therese's ears.  "Thank you so much for finding her!"  Squealed Crispin.

"Therese just wandered into our yard," recalled Chester.  "She was very friendly and cozied up to us ... my wife wrapped her in a blanket while we tried to figure out who she belonged to... she's a great girl."

Crispin thought Chester was a pretty nice guy.

"There are a lot of people out there that could have just said, 'oh, free dog!'  And that would have been the end of it," she said.

Crispin promised Chester she'd bring Therese by for regular visits.

"We'd like that," said Chester.