A woman from Washington State spent nearly two months searching for her runaway dog.  Refusing to give up, she did everything in her power to find her beloved 7-year-old border collie, Katie. Including quitting her job.

Katie escaped from a hotel room in July during a trip to Montana with owners Carole and Verne King. Though she’s a social and friendly dog, she’s also skittish and the couple believes the pup was scared by thunder and fled the My Place Hotel while they were out for dinner.

Image credits: Debora Larose

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

They searched the hotel grounds, calling for Katie until early morning. Nothing.  The next day, King continued her search, putting up fliers, knocking on doors and posting on social media.

In total, King thinks she put up about 500 flyers in the town and surrounding area. She and her husband also brought game cameras and night-vision goggles to their search.

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

“It was devastating. I got sick to my stomach,” King told the Daily Inter Lake. As the days turned into weeks, word about Katie spread online, spurring the creation of multiple Facebook groups of users who offered words of encouragement and any information that might help her.

Image credits: Debora Larose

Image credits: Debora Larose

“I never gave up. I never lost hope,” King said. To continue her search, King even gave up her job as a postal worker. Complete strangers were keeping her spirit high, sending encouraging texts and crafting sincere Facebook posts. “I think what I got out of this was the kindness of strangers.”

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Early on Sunday morning, Sept. 15, King got a call from a man in the Country Estates neighborhood. He said there was a dog matching Katie’s description in his yard. Just the day before, King and her friend Jan Leland posted fliers in the same neighborhood. Once again, she called Leland for help and rushed out the door. By the time they arrived, however, the dog was already gone.

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

The pair decided to take a walk in the neighborhood, scanning the area with binoculars. They encountered a couple walking and asked if they’d seen a runaway border collie. They hadn’t. But the man said he saw a black dog heading north. King gave the couple a flier and was about to continue on her way: “As the lady was walking back, she points over to the tree where it’s real dark and says, ‘Is that your dog?'” King said. “And I turn and it’s Katie.”

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

“I just bear-hugged her, I wasn’t going to let her go,” King added. “Tears were flying, we were screaming, everybody is high-fiving, hugging each other. People are stopping in their vehicles, getting out and hugging us. I think the whole neighborhood knew that we found her.”

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

Image credits: Denice Rutherford‎

After taking Katie to a local emergency vet clinic to assess her condition, King learned that her pup had lost 12 pounds and was severely dehydrated and in starvation mode. “The doctor walked up to her and she said, “Is this the famous Katie? And her eyes welled up with tears,” King said. “That touched me.”

The 7-year-old pup received fluids and orders for a special diet of two tablespoons of food every two hours to help retrain her stomach. Even though she’s skin and bones, everyone’s in good spirits as she is expected to make a full recovery.

People were incredibly glad to hear the happy ending