EAST FISHKILL – The 2-year-old dog who slipped away from his owner last week at an Interstate 84 rest stop was seen twice last night close by the highway.
A woman who was driving on Stormville Mountain Road, which runs parallel to the interstate near the rest stop, spotted the 23-pound red dog with a tan belly about 7:15 p.m. That followed a sighting about 45 minutes earlier on Grape Hollow Road. Both roads, as well as the Appalachian Trail, converge near the highway.
Michele Dugan of Southeast, who works to locate and reunite lost pets with their owners, speculated that the dog, a shiba inu, found the rumble of traffic familiar. His owner is a trucker.
“That’s what he’s known all his life,” said Dugan.
Sato, the dog, slipped away Thursday from his owner at the westbound rest stop, which is in Dutchess County and not far from the Putnam County line. Trucker Alen Nelson was hauling frozen bread to Atlanta when the dog, who also answers to Little Toad, ran away from him. Nelson said the dog was spooked by the new Freightliner rig he was driving.
Sato was used to riding in a Kenworth. His employer told him to give up the search and keep on trucking.
Dugan has put up fliers at the rest stop. She is also driving along Stormville Mountain and Grape Hollow roads with the dog’s favorite toy – a plush raccoon – and occasionally squeaking the toy in hopes of attracting Sato.
Anyone who might have seen the dog is asked to call 845-494-1519 or 914-329-6067. Nelson said he was offering a $500 reward.