WALLINGTON, N.J. -- An anguished Wallington woman's search for her runaway chihuahua/pug mix ended Tuesday night in an abandoned building on the other side of town.
Carolyn Barr shone her flashlight into the dilapidated building and saw garbage. Overcoming her fears about who or what might be inside, she went in and called out for Shnuckums.
"There my baby was!" she told Daily Voice. "I couldn't get down to her, but I kept calling and she figured out how to get to me. She jumped on all the miscellaneous crap laying around and made it to my arms."
Shnuckums bolted through a hole in the backyard fence around 10:50 a.m. Sunday.
"She just disappeared," Barr said. "She's never done this before."
For the next two and a half days, Barr hardly slept. She posted fliers and Facebook messages everywhere she could, while scouring local streets with friends and loved ones.
"I was getting very disheartened tonight because I hadn't had any calls or even possible sightings," she told Daily Voice on Tuesday. "A friend from hs came down to help me look.
"We decided the best bet would be to hand out flyers at ShopRite to every shopper. We got a lot of 'We hope you find her' and 'We will look out for her'," Barr said. "But no one had seen her.
"We got to the produce aisles and found a woman who thought she saw her on Sunday night about 7 p.m. at Jefferson Elementary School -- the other side of town! We went up to the school and wandered and called her -- nothing.
"Behind the school is a dead end road with trees on one side and houses on the other," Barr said. "I kept calling Shuckums name and we thought we heard a bark in the distance, but there was also barking coming from one of the houses.
"There was an offshoot of that road that went down to the Wallington side of the tracks by the new Westmont station," she said. "There's the abandoned building down there.
"I had an overwhelming feeling that i had to go in. My friend was trepidatious about going in. 'Will there be drug addicts, homeless people?'
"We found $7 just inside the door (Shnuckums will get a treat with that)." Barr said. "I called her name and shined the flashlight."
What came next had her shaking hours later.
"It took me awhile to catch my breath," Barr said. "I can't tell you how happy I am."
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