KALISPELL, Montana (KECI) — Carole King and her border collie, Katie, have been constant companions for seven years, until July 20, when the King family was visiting the Flathead from Washington.
King and her husband returned to their Kalispell hotel room, and realized Katie had escaped.
“Oh I can still feel it,” King said, recalling how that moment felt. “I got a stomach ache.”
King immediately began searching for her dog. She didn’t know then that search would stretch to 57 days.
King put up fliers, knocked on doors and followed up sightings of Katie—she quit her job to stay in Kalispell and search.
“You love your dog so much, and you just have hope,” King said. “You know she’s out there searching for you. You can’t give up.”
The nearly two-month search was difficult, but King said the Flathead Valley community stepped up to support her—calling in sightings, posting flyers and offering her food.
“There were days I was just crying because I couldn’t find my dog, and then some stranger from Kalispell texted me saying ‘hey,’ talking to me, encouraging words,” King said.
Finally the tip King was waiting for came in—Katie was spotted in a Kalispell neighborhood. With some help from residents, she was able to locate the dog.
“She was right there in the bushes,” King said. “I yelled her name, and she came right up to me.”
King said Katie lost 12 pounds, but otherwise she’s healthy.
Despite the difficult search, King said Kalispell—and the Flathead Valley community—are special to her now.
“It was just—I should use another word—but amazing,” King said. “I just don’t know how to describe it.”