Two lost schnauzers are causing heartbreak for a family who say the dogs are their only connection to 12-year-old Jacob, who died in a vehicle accident in December.
"These dogs mean everything to us," Mechelle Thomson said. "They're the only thing we have left of Jacob. He was so close to them."
The schnauzers, Page and Bella, were last seen Tuesday at the corner of 21st and Thornton Street.
"We are offering a reward with no questions asked," Mechelle Thomson said. "We feel like we're going through the grieving process all over again. We don't know how much more we can endure."
Thomson said the two schnauzers, who have been part of the family for four years, dashed out of the yard about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, when the gate failed to latch. She chased them on foot until she lost sight of them. "That's the last we've seen of them," said Thomson, who got in her vehicle to continue the search.
The family had fliers in pet stores, restaurants, the mall and at major intersections by evening. They have contacted animal control daily and are starting a door to door campaign Thursday to find the schnauzers.
"We've been out looking for them every day," Thomson said.
Thomson said Page, a rescue dog, knew when Jacob was getting sick and kept him entertained when his cystic fibrosis kept him from playing outside with other children. "We could tell when Jacob wasn't doing well, because Page would never leave his side," Thomson said.
Thomson said Page has been sitting in Jacob's spot on the couch where he received breathing treatments and has been napping on Jacob's quilt since December.
The schnauzers, who slept with Jacob on the top bunk every night, have taken up quarters with Jacob's 16-year-old sister, Tori. "I've slept with Page every single night since Jacob passed away," Tori said. "Since she disappeared, I haven't been able to sleep at all."
"It feels like when the dogs aren't here, Jacob's not here," Thomson said. "They have really comforted us since he's been gone."
Thomas urged anyone who might have the dogs to do the right thing, be honest and "bring them home."
Page is a silver miniature schnauzer and has a dog tag that reads "Little man," a nickname given to Jacob. Bella is a black and white spotted teacup schnauzer.
If you have any information, call 749-0946 or 749-1705.