Best Dog Story entry: Lady and the thief

December 14, 2011  | by: Joyce Griffin


English sheep dog Lady rides along with L.J. Doig in his 2003 Peterbilt. Photo courtesy of Joyce Griffin.


Nine-year-old Lady has traveled more than 1 million miles with owner-operator L. J. Doig, a close family friend, since she was a puppy.

The shaggy English sheep dog gets a bath every Sunday if she’s home. She enjoys the ritual because it’s her sign that she and L.J., who’s leased to Mercer Transportation, are getting ready to ride and haul some more freight with his 2003 Peterbilt 379.

Last year, L.J. stopped in Ohio to buy Lady one of her daily treats, a McDonald’s Big Mac. Before he got outside the restaurant with hamburger in hand, his truck and trailer were stolen – with Lady inside.

L.J. spent two entire days looking for her, thinking the thieves would have thrown her out of the truck, dead or alive. Family and friends finally persuaded him to come home, to Walton, N.Y., when neither hide nor hair of the beautiful dog surfaced.

Four days later he got a phone call: Someone had found his truck in Pennsylvania, and Lady was in the cab unharmed.

Our longtime trucker friend dashed to New York’s neighbor state to get his dog, but when L.J. arrived at the truck, Lady was mad at him. She would have nothing to do with him. And when it came time to go home, she would ride only with L.J.’s wife – that’s how mad Lady was.

Friends pitched in with L.J. to console the traumatized dog. For three days, we encouraged her to bond anew with her longtime devoted owner by driving to farms looking at cattle. It’s one of Lady’s favorite pastimes.

One day soon after that, Lady must have decided she still loved her owner, for suddenly she nestled at his side and wouldn’t leave for anything.

In the end, our friend got his Lady and his truck back, both in good shape. Thank God.

Joyce Griffin and her trucker husband, Joe Griffin, are residents of Walton, N.Y.

[The Best Dog Story Contest is open through the end of December. For details on how to enter, write Overdrive managing editor Lucinda Coulter, at]


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