Missing Great Dane Service Dog Returns to Owner

Poster for Lydia, a Great Dane service dog who had gone missing Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. She returned home the next day and is no longer lost.

Granite State Dog Recovery: https://www.facebook.com/granitestatedogrecovery

Poster for Lydia, a Great Dane service dog who had gone missing Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. She returned home the next day and is no longer lost.

One of the people who trained Lydia, a Great Dane service dog who went missing Friday from the Jamaica Pond area, confirmed the 18-month-old dog found her own way home on Saturday.

Lydia apparently became spooked and ran off, but recovered her wits and showed up Saturday outside her new owner’s home, said trainer Kati Whitley. Someone noticed the dog was beside a parked car and took the dog into the house.

Whitley said Lydia showed impressive smarts, since she had only been with her new owner less than a week.

The new owner is Joanna Leigh, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who lives in JP. Leigh, a spectator on the day of the bombing, told NECN she suffered brain injury from the second blast as she came to help people hurt when the first bomb went off. Leigh received a small payment from the One Fund, the charity set up in the bombings’ aftermath to help survivors. She has a Go Fund Me campaign to cover the cost of her ongoing rehabilitation.

Lydia was trained at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich to help their future handlers with mobility problems. For instance, a dog helped her owner cross the stage to receive her diploma at graduation.

The story of Lydia going missing gained widespread attention on social media while the search was on.

  • rob bennett

    As a SDP faithful, I wish to thank the Jamica Pain news, the local TV stations and all the folks who live in and around there who expressed a desire to help find Lydia. There are a couple of thousand of us who are dedicated to this site and think of these puppies as are own.

  • Michael Brundin

    Thanks for the Good News! All’s well that ends well! Smart dog! And to all who sent out the word, thank you.

  • Marcia Blattner

    Right there with you Rob! Thanks to all involved — many many answered prayers!

  • salkins GA

    Perfectly said Rob. So many thanks for your help!

  • BeckyT-GA

    So true Rob! They demonstrated again how they are Boston Strong! Thank you to all who helped!

  • Gail F

    I was one of the searchers; and was very pleased by the concern displayed by people I spoke to; J-P is not only a dog-friendly area, it has many residents who are kind and helpful in an situation that does not directly concern them.

  • TinaS_SoCal

    Very emotional day for all of us SDP supporters, but it had a happy ending. Thank you to everyone that searched or kept people updated on news!

  • Bones

    Wonderful news as a SDP fan on explore.org. I did not know that Lydia’s person was a Bostin marathon hero, this just makes the story and Lydia getting home that much sweeter. Thanks JPN for your coverage of this adventure.

  • NJerseygirl

    Thank you so much for covering the story and a happy ending!!

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