By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The McKenzies left their dog, Trevor, with the dog sitter when they went to Atlanta last month. It was September 25 and not long after leaving town, the dog sitter called to share that Trevor ran off.
“Something got into him and he started running,” said Stephanie McKenzie. She and her husband of Westminster Glen were helping their daughter Caroline move to Atlanta for a job, she had recently graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology.
The 12-year-old Trevor was likely trying to return to his home. The McKenzie’s got him when Caroline was 10 and their son Christopher, who is now a senior at the University of Delaware, was 9.
By the time the McKenzies got to Atlanta, it was turning dark but 10 loyal friends in Austin were “ running around looking for him” while they were at the hotel.
Caroline quickly posted on social media platform Nextdoor and lost dog websites.
They got word that someone in Steiner Ranch thought they spotted him and then that he was in Westminster Glen. The next morning, someone posted they spotted him at Greenshores on Lake Austin, and they wondered how he got down there.
They left their daughter in the hotel in Atlanta and came back to Austin to help search the next day.
They had help from some volunteers from Trapping, Rescue & Pet Recovery Service. TRAPRS helps people find lost pets.
“They were amazing,” McKenzie said. The ladies shared what to do and what not to do to find him. For example, when pets are out in the wild, you have to approach them differently and they will approach you differently.
“We had so much help and guidance from neighbors and friends,” McKenzie added.
They searched from Saturday to Wednesday calling him and carrying bacon around everywhere but they did not find Trevor.
Sadly they were giving up hope that Trevor would be found alive. They flew back to Atlanta to resume the move-in. Things looked more promising the next day, however, when he was spotted off City Park Road.
The McKenzies also learned of another tool to aid the search, tracking Trevor with the use of a scent dog. The tracking confirmed that he did go to Greenshores and along City Park Road.
Once the McKenzies got back home a couple days later, Trevor’s scent was picked up at Bell Mountain Drive and crossing RM 2222, then through the woods and he ended up in the Jester Estates community.
People would call and text that they spotted him but no one was able to catch him.
In yet another attempt to get Trevor, they had set four, wire Tomahawk traps throughout the community. They didn’t catch Trevor but they did catch a ringtail cat, a possum, and a fat, anger racoon, McKenzie said.
Then on Oct. 6, they had gone up to Jester after getting a call from someone who saw him.
“‘We have our eyes on Trevor, you need to get here,’” they said.
They raced over to Jester, some four miles away. Again they called him but Trevor would not come.
“Fortunately all houses in the cul-de-sac had fences. He ran under the fence into this yard, and the people weren’t home so we couldn’t get him,” McKenzie said.
It was totally dark at this point.
“Five minutes later, he comes out of the dark. He realized it was me, and he cried,” McKenzie said.
He made it somehow, unscathed — no broken bones, no cuts, just a little skinnier, she said. “Somehow he found out how to survive in the wild.”
Now the dog they’ve had since he was 10-weeks-old is back home, sleeping on the couch and at the end of their bed.
Trevor’s journey pulled the community together, after this year has been so challenging in so many ways.
A mom even asked if she and her two children could come over to meet Trevor earlier this week. They had kept up with the story of his sightings and hoped for the best.
“Everyone was rooting for this old dog,” McKenzie said. “It was an amazing response of the neighborhood.”