An afternoon of play at Lincoln Landing did not turn out the way that it was supposed to last summer on the Fourth of July. Claudia Ebling was throwing the ball for her dog, Kerie, when fireworks exploded in a neighbor’s yard.
Kerie, 7, is an Australian cattle dog and labrador mix.
“I turned to throw the ball, and she had just vanished,” Ebling said.
The dog was nowhere to be found until the next day, when an unknown man picked her up along the I-90 floating bridge and brought her to the Mercer Island Veterinary Clinic.
Kerie’s microchip, it turned out, was still registered to previous owners who had surrendered her to the Seattle Animal Shelter, where Ebling had adopted her three years prior.
The veterinary clinic contacted the former owners, who reclaimed the dog.
Ebling would spend the rest of the summer trying to get her dog back.
“My best comfort was, I remembered those ‘Lassie Come Home’ books that I grew up with,” Ebling said.
Ebling tracked the former owners to Lynnwood. They claimed that the dog had bolted into traffic and had been killed on the Bothell-Everett highway. But Ebling knew that couldn’t be true.
Ebling finally contacted the police.
A Mercer Island resident of 15 years, Ebling grew up on a large farm in Palouse, Wash.
“My best friend was always a dog,” she said.
She raised her family on the Island, then divorced and moved to Seattle. An artist who specializes in textile restoration, she taught elementary art at Seattle Country Day School and the Northwest Art Center in Bellevue. Kerie was her class ‘model.’
A Seattle police officer contacted the former owners, who agreed to relinquish the dog.
“Thank goodness the dog knew me,” Ebling said. “The dog had really gone through trauma.”
Ebling has since returned to Lincoln Landing with Kerie and her other dog, a Bichon named Leilo.
Kerie still loves to chase after balls at the landing, Ebling said. But she will be keeping the dog indoors this Fourth of July.