MATTAMISCONTIS TOWNSHIP, Maine — They don’t quite constitute a search party, but about 2,800 people want to see a Welsh terrier named Braylon return home, his owner said Tuesday.
Linda Arnold said her 8-year-old dog left her Mattamiscontis Road home about 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, and has been seen several times alongside Interstate 95.
Arnold said she has received about 110 telephone calls and social media messages, mostly from strangers, reporting seeing the dog since she created a Facebook page, Bring Braylon Home, on Saturday. The page had 2,794 members as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“People are trying to find this dog. It’s amazing,” Arnold said Tuesday. “Every call we get, we rush out to, but every time we get there, he is either gone, or we just can’t see him.”
Railroad engineers operating on tracks near the highway and truckers are among those who have reported seeing the dog. The most recent alleged sighting occurred at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on I-95’s southbound side just north of Exit 217 in Howland. Using the pictures available on the Facebook page, the woman who made that call said there was about an 80 percent chance that the dog she saw was Braylon, Arnold said.
Braylon has been seen along the highway or near the Penobscot or Piscataquis rivers from Exit 227 near Chester to as far south as Alton Bog, about 30 miles, Arnold said. She has been on the phone with people as they have tried to capture Braylon, a painfully frustrating experience.
Maine State Police Troopers Benjamin Campbell and Thomas Fiske also have helped answer calls, bringing dog treats with them to help lure Braylon to safety, Arnold said.
“Braylon is very high-energy. He loves people, but he does have to warm up to you,” said Beth Enochs, Arnold’s stepmother. “He is leery of strangers and cautious around them. That being said, he is not a vicious dog either. We don’t know what could possibly be going through his head right now.”
Braylon’s disappearance is mysterious, Arnold said. When he took off, he had been let out in the yard to do his business and just didn’t return. She said he had never done that before. Now that he has been out, the dog is probably in survival mode, gone a bit wild as pets are prone to do when they are away from home for several days.
“He is like a silly dog. He is just leery of strangers, but once somebody sits down, he is in their lap. He is that kind of dog. He wants to be in your lap, and he’s definitely a lapdog,” Arnold said.
But Welsh terriers also are hunting dogs, tough survivors, said Enochs, who has two of her own, Mia and Bella. Braylon is Bella’s father.
Arnold is very grateful for all the help she has seen, although she doesn’t really know why so many people have opted to help her. The owner-operator of Timberhouse Restaurant of Lincoln for the past 16 years, she said she suspects many people know or know of her, but that most folks just don’t like to see a pet go missing.
“We have a great community. We really do. It is amazing how our community has come together. That’s all I can think of,” Arnold said.
They hope the dog is still alive and can continue to survive, Arnold and Enochs said.
“I believe Braylon will continue to find food and shelter, but I worry about the night and the cars,” Enochs said. “This has been hard on everybody. You always think of the worst-case scenario.”
Anyone who thinks they see Braylon along the highway is asked to call Enochs at 794-5005 or Arnold at 794-5053.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Braylon's owner is Beth Arnold. It is Linda Arnold.