ALERT: Lost Shiba!

(Original publication: January 6, 2008)

Sato, a 2-year-old dog Shiba Inu, should be riding shotgun in a Freightliner cab tonight on his way home to Colorado.

But the 23-pound, red dog with a tan belly is instead on the loose in the Lower Hudson Valley.

His owner, trucker Alen Nelson, was hauling frozen bread to Atlanta early Thursday when the dog, who also answers to Little Toad, ran away from him at the westbound rest stop on Interstate 84 in East Fishkill.

Nelson, who was just outside Oklahoma City tonight, said the dog was spooked by the new truck and ran away. He was used to riding in a Kenworth. Nelson wanted to keep searching for his friend but said the freight company told him to keep on trucking or find a new job.

People living near the rest stop have been searching for the dog, and ask that anyone who might have seen it call 845-494-1519 or 914-329-6067.

Nelson said he is offering a $500 reward.