FARR WEST, Utah -- A Farr West family is offering a reward in hopes of finding their two dogs after the pups escaped on a camping trip in Little Sahara Easter weekend.
The Davis family said they’re worried their dogs have been wandering the dunes for a week, and one of them has special needs.
Either that, or another family could have picked up Cooter and Diamond.
Tawnie Davis said Diamond, a three-year old double merle mini Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, is deaf and only knows sign language commands.
Five-year old Cooter, a mini Aussie, came into the Davis family after Tawnie said one of her sons died as an infant.
“He would have been six this coming November, and I got Cooter as puppy,” she explained.
Not only are both dogs special to the family for different reasons, Tawnie said the pair are never separated. Cooter is Diamond's father.
“He's her ears,” she said, referring to Diamond not being able to hear.
The puppy pair ran off when Tawnie said the family pulled up to camp at Little Sahara and their nephew opened the camping trailer door on Friday. She said they normally take the dogs with them everywhere with no issues—including the sand dunes.
“We don't go anywhere without them,” she said.
Tawnie isn’t sure what sparked the dogs to run off, but she immediately began walking from camp to camp to track them down.
“We got to a couple camps they said, ‘We seen the white one here, we seen the blue one there,’” she recalled. Tawnie said eventually, her husband Hub began searching the dunes on his 4-wheeler.
Hub said over the weekend they ended up searching clear out to Nephi.
“All in all, about a 200-mile area is what we searched, and never spotted them,” he said.
The family had to return to Farr West without their beloved family members Monday evening, sick over not knowing what happened.
“It feels like losing my child all over again,” Tawnie said.
She began to call every shelter and dog rescue, and she posted all over social media and classified websites. Tawnie said a woman in Nephi drove out to the Little Sahara area every day to look on her own.
Unfortunately, they said neither dog is microchipped. After last weekend’s ordeal, Tawnie said she took her other two dogs to get microchipped.
They still have hope of finding the dogs and this weekend, they plan to launch another search.
“A bunch of buddies… we’re getting together Saturday,” Hub said. “About 30 of us are going down there.”
Whether the dogs are still in the dunes, lost in the sea of sand alone, or if someone else picked them up—the Davis family hopes the two can be found safe.
They said they're offering a reward if the dogs are found.
“We got to have them home,” Hub said. “This is where they belong.”