Hunting dog locates missing Australian shepherd lost on Christmas Day

It was Christmas Day when Wattsburg resident Kayla Zocki’s Australian shepherd jumped out of her Jeep and took off into the woods.

“I put it on every social media thing I could think of. I put it on TikTok and Instagram. We went into businesses. We hung flyers all the way up and down Route 8. I had flyers here, everywhere I could think of. I wasn’t taking no for an answer. I was going home with him. And I wasn’t going to stop until I did,” said Kayla Szocki, Dexter’s owner.

Zocki didn’t eat or sleep for days, hoping beyond hope that someone would spot her missing Aussie shepherd Dexter.

Then finally on Thursday night, she got the tip she’d been waiting for from a stranger. Dexter had been seen on private wooded property off Route 8 just south of Interstate 90.

The next day, she smartly enlisted the help of her brother’s girlfriend’s black mouth cur, a trained coon hunter.

After 97 hours of stress and searching, it was Megan Tauber’s dog Bailey who found Dexter in the woods.

“All of a sudden, Bailey starts crying and whining and pulling. About 100 yards away, there’s a little log right there. Dexter puts his front paws on the log and pops his head around the corner,” said Szocki.

The reunion was a scene straight out of a Hallmark movie.

“We all dropped to the ground crying our eyes out and he came running to me, that’s how we found him. Bailey did not stop until we found him, and it was the best thing in the world,” she added.

Kayla wants to express her sincere thanks to the entire community for helping in the search for Dexter. Dexter did injure his leg jumping out of the car but received treatment and is on the mend.

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