Flyer’s Story – Never let ANYONE tell you what’s impossible!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled lessons to bring you a heartwarming success story that proves the real power of teamwork, tenacity, and belief.

I just witnessed a miracle in my hometown of Beaverdam, Virginia.

This is the story of Flyer the dog, her family, and a town that wouldn’t give up.

Get your tissues ready.  You’re going to need them.

Flyer the Sheltie
Flyer the Sheltie

Flyer and her owners were visiting family in Beaverdam for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, a long way from their home in Delaware, when Flyer lived up to her name.

She escaped.

It was no easy task trying to get her back, either.

For an entire heart-wrenching month, Flyer’s family struggled to find her.

They put out posters, worked with animal control, set traps, and tempted her with chicken and beef, all while the people of Beaverdam diligently reported sightings.

Things were looking bleak.

After Christmas, with Flyer missing since Thanksgiving, the family had to go back to Delaware.

Without Flyer.

Can you imagine the heartbreak of being forced to leave a loved one behind? As much as they wanted to stay and look for their furry family member, they had to go home, back to their jobs and schools. It wasn’t an easy decision, but they couldn’t put their lives on hold to keep looking.

Before they left, though, they made sure that everyone in Beaverdam knew about Flyer.

They put up posters and enlisted the help of neighbors, because even though they had to leave Flyer behind, they weren’t going to give up on her!

flyer 2Throughout the months of January and February, the town kept trying to catch the skittish Sheltie who was still out there on her own.

But there was another danger.

Bad weather was coming, and everyone worried that the February ice storms would be too much for the skiddish little dog to handle after being on her own for months.

On the few occasions that she was spotted, she was reported to be skinny and dirty, and she still wouldn’t let anyone near her.

Despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation, though, people continued reporting sightings. To the massive credit of the locals, they kept putting out food, straw, and blankets in the hopes that Flyer would remain safe until she was finally caught and returned home.

This town wasn’t giving up! Her owner even came back from Delaware several times to walk through the woods and look for her, but to no avail.

Those who were apprised of the situation stayed active, making sure that everyone who lived near the location of the sightings knew Flyer’s story,

They knocked on doors, put up signs, and animal control continued to put out traps. As bad weather approached, people even considered trying sedatives or tranquilizers, but with her condition already deteriorating from being on her own for so long, it was possible that tranquilizers would cause permanent damage.

With that in mind, the town redoubled efforts to find her without hurting her.

Flyer was still on the loose when snow, ice, sleet, and subzero temperatures bombarded the area…for days.

Flyer’s family in Delaware and her new friends in Beaverdam were doing everything they could for her. The town continued to watch for her, often reporting sightings, and together worked towards her safe return even after she had been on the loose for nearly 4 months, and gone through several severe winter storms.

Flyer’s friends and family weren’t going to give up hope!

Finally, on the weekend of March 14th, the hard work paid off.

To the relief of the entire town, Flyer was rescued by volunteers.

The traps worked!
The traps worked!
Curled up in the car
Curled up in the car

Volunteers at BARK, Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9s, and some local heroes, set up a trap and a game camera and checked both daily.

They were thrilled to find Flyer safely inside the trap, alive and well after surviving four months on her own in unfamiliar territory and some of the most severe winter weather Virginia has seen in years.

After that, Flyer was a sensation! The town of Beaverdam never gave up on her, and neither did her family. She proved that faith, tenacity, and a few people focused on accomplishing something can really do the impossible.

To all of the people that took the time to report when and where they spotted her, to all of the volunteers that went out in the cold and snow and ice to make sure she had food and shelter, and to all of the dedicated individuals that wouldn’t let a town forget about one lost dog hundreds of miles from home, THANK YOU.

You are proof that miracles can happen.

You are real heroes, not just for Flyer and her family, but to everyone who ever feels like giving up hope. Most people would have given up Flyer for lost months ago, but Beaverdam and Flyer’s family were never going to stop until she was returned safely.

Thanks to a few exceptional people, a family is together again, and that’s amazing.

Reunited at last!
Reunited at last!

Special thanks to everyone who went out of their way to look for Flyer and report sightings, and more special thanks to Brooke and Joe V., Pat C., and Flyer’s mom Mary M. for never giving up, and for letting me use these pictures to tell Flyer’s amazing story. I didn’t take any of these photos myself – all credit goes to these wonderful people.

Mary deserves to have her story told to a national audience, so make sure you share this story with your friends! Let’s get Flyer on Good Morning America, guys! Flyer is a survivor, and Mary is one of the most dedicated, driven, and compassionate dog owners out there. Congratulations for the happy ending!


Shortly after its publication, this story was featured on the local news. We’re thrilled that it reached a wider audience!

But there are a couple of points to make here:

Much to the chagrin of the locals who were involved in the capture, the credit was incorrectly given to animal control, and despite the reporter having the contact information for all of the people who were directly involved, the only interview given was by animal control.

The story also called the town of Beaverdam “the wilds of Hanover,” which bugged a few of the residents.

Those kinds of little details are commonly misreported by media outlets, which is one of the reasons that blogging is so important. Fortunately, the news website linked to this blog post for people who wanted to get more accurate and complete information, and we’re still incredibly grateful that Flyer got to tell her story.

10 comments on “Flyer’s Story – Never let ANYONE tell you what’s impossible!”

    • Becky in VA
    • March 17, 2015

    Thanks for a well written story about Flyer – we need more good stories with happy endings and this is definitely worth sharing.

    1. Reply

      I love happy endings, too! I hope Flyer’s story inspires a lot of people.

    • Betty
    • March 18, 2015

    Oh, thank goodness – she’s been found and reunited! Thanks so much for the “rest of the story” about Flyer – a very happy conclusion for everyone involved. Says so much about the good people of Beaverdam as well as this dedicated owner.

    1. Reply

      The fact that nobody gave up after months and ice storms and lulls in sightings is incredible. BARK and all of the people that kept looking for her are true heroes

    • Kendra
    • March 18, 2015

    Hi, I’m Kendra and my border collie, Jack, is best friend’s with Flyer! Zach is the 15 year old boy who is Flyer’s owner. He’s been having a rough time since Flyer ran away, a concussion, a hard time at a new school and his Grandma is in ICU at the hospital. Flyer’s return has brought tremendous joy to him and his Grandma!

    1. Reply

      I wish I could have seen the look on his face when he was reunited! I’m so glad that there was such a happy ending to this story!

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    • michael stewart
    • March 20, 2015

    we must live in parallel universes, our sheltie, ‘GINA’ ran away while we were camping in mississippi early november and through local folks, social networking and the US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, we got her back on january,18. she also lost 12 lbs but, after 2 months back with us it’s as if nothing ever happened except now she’s not shy about going out in the rain at all.

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