Can you imagine losing a member of your family and, nearly four weeks later, still having no clue where he was?
That’s the situation facing Caroline Taylor Gumber and Jeremy Gumber, whose little dog, Toby, disappeared July 20. Jeremy was dropping Toby off at a dog day care center about 8:30 that morning, Caroline said, when the Pomeranian mix got loose and ran off. Some confusion surrounds exactly what happened, she said, but in trying to pick Toby up a worker at the facility dropped his leash, Toby got loose, and he ran off.
He’s still missing.
He was spotted running through a business park near the facility, Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort & Veterinary Center, 8645 Research Drive, Irvine, and later reports placed him near the 405. But no one has seen him since.
“I cannot express how heartbroken we are by this whole situation,” Caroline told me a week after Toby went missing. “We just moved to Irvine two weeks ago, we are 14 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and we are a million miles away from our friends and family. We are all alone out here and Toby is like our child – so a member of our family being taken away so quickly … is a total nightmare.”
The Gumbers moved from Austin, Texas, when Jeremy was transferred by his work. “We are alone,” Caroline said, “but we feel so loved and so supported by the community and are endlessly thankful for everything everyone has done.”
But all the support hasn’t brought Toby home. As a pet lover, my heart breaks for the Gumbers. Losing a beloved pet can be a family’s nightmare, as Caroline said. She and her husband have done everything right to try to get Toby back. They have posted flyers near their home and near where Toby was lost. Area shelters have his information and pictures. Dr. Boyd’s has coordinated a search through nearby areas. The Gumbers have created a website and a Facebook page to get the word out, and they have posted on Nextdoor, lost pet pages including those on Facebook, and kept the pressure up on those sites in hopes someone will spot him and let them know.
When he got loose, Toby was wearing a collar, leash and harness. He is microchipped so anyone who thinks they might have him can take him to any veterinarian’s office or a nearby animal shelter to have him scanned for free. (Note: All pets should be microchipped so that if they are lost, they can be…