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Orcutt Woman Reunited With Doug The Pug

Days after escaping the yard and being given away by his finders, the missing dog is returned to its grateful owner

Orcutt woman Lindsey Serna was reunited with her pug, Doug, Monday after he escaped from the yard and was handed off to strangers twice.
Orcutt woman Lindsey Serna was reunited with her pug, Doug, Monday after he escaped from the yard and was handed off to strangers twice.  (Lindsey Serna photo)

Three days after escaping his Orcutt yard and apparently getting handed off twice to strangers, Doug the pug is back home and owner Lindsey Serna is elated.

Serna received the call she had been waiting for at 4 p.m. Monday while hanging more posters on Santa Maria Way.

The caller was a man who had been handed the dog and reportedly then gave Doug to a woman in front of the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria.

Serna, who spent the weekend canvassing Orcutt with family and friends in a desperate search for her 18-month-old dog, had entered the man’s name as “Doug is Coming Home” in her cell phone.

“Sure enough I met the man at the Kmart parking lot and there my man was rolling up in a tow truck eager to tell me his adventures!” she wrote in a Facebook post announcing the reunion.

“The love, the prayers, the support is something I can never repay! The love I have for my dog and this community I call home will never be able to be measured.” 

Serna launched a community-wide hunt for the missing black pug, creating a Facebook page “Bring Doug the Pug Home,” that gained more than 800 Likes in the first 48 hours.

The pug and Serna’s other dog, a Labrador retriever named Walker, escaped from her yard Friday afternoon. Walker was founded almost immediately.

Doug, who has a diamond-shaped white spot on his chest, reportedly was rescued by a family on Rice Ranch Road, Serna was told. But when she contacted the family, they claimed to have given the pug to a skateboarder, a story she said they later admitted was false.

Instead, Doug supposedly was handed off to a friend who lives in Old Orcutt and claimed he went to the animal shelter and gave the dog to a lady he encountered outside the facility.

Serna was forlorn at Doug's absence. 

“I walked by your crate this morning, pug,” she posted on Facebook. “The gate was open and made me think of all the times I would open it in the mornings and have to wait for you to get up! You would yawn at me and just chill there! It is your safe place in a home that is filled with all the love in the world! I will find you, Doug!”

Just 18 months old, Doug has lived with Serna since he was a puppy. She had convinced her fiancé they should adopt the dog despite the breed’s reputation for being self-centered.

Doug is neutered, microchipped and licensed, but wasn’t wearing a collar at the time he disappeared. He loves water, and has a baby pool to splash in to his heart’s delight.

Serna and her fiancé had purchased the pool to keep him from playing in Walker’s water bucket.

Like most pugs, Doug doesn’t elicit only adoring adjectives from his owner. He’s onery. He snores. He sheds like a cat.

“He’s got so much personality,” Serna said.

He also has one very bad habit she turned into a humorous hashtag: #dougthepooeatingpug.

“I’ve just learned to accept it,” she said resignedly.

After the rollercoaster of hoping and hurting in the hours since Doug disappeared, Serna pledged she wouldn’t give up on getting her pug back.

“I just want my baby back,” she told Noozhawk Sunday while sporting Doug’s photo on her T-shirt, a birthday gift from a friend who recognized Serna's love for the pug.

Doug was at least the second dog to vanish under unusual circumstances in the Orcutt area in the last several days.

A boxer that ran away after a rollover car crash on East Clark Avenue was reunited with its owner late Saturday after a 2½-day search.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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