Smiles everyone, SMILES! Norma Jean is reunited with her human.
If you checked in with us on Friday, you read about this beautiful chocolate girl who has been living in the woods for 5 long months, eluding both authorities and the citizens of Gastonia, North Carolina. The story was troubling for many reasons, as folks noted in the comments: she could get hit by a car, winter is fast approaching, and where on earth was her human who apparently let her get away from the local PetSmart? Well, all questions have been answered in one of the most heart-warming Dachshund stories of the year - just read on Dachshund Lovers, read on. Just when your faith in humanity was about to hit an all-time low, via the Gaston Gazette:
The little brown dachshund that captured many hearts during her months of homelessness reunited with her owner Friday morning.
Norma Jean, N.J. for short, eluded people for more than five months while living in the woods beside Regal Cinema in Franklin Square. Various people tried to coax her to their cars – whistling, waving food, bringing other dogs. Nothing worked.
A hot dog, her owner and the sound of her name proved the only successful combination to reel in the little girl.
Christina Baucom’s dogs, N.J. and Skynyrd, were like her children. But the family was divided when Baucom and her husband split up.
Forced to move from her home into an apartment, Baucom was faced with a dilemma. She couldn’t afford the $250 pet deposit and additional monthly fees to take her dogs with her.
Baucom called out to her Facebook friends to find homes for the dachshunds.
Skynyrd went to an old high school friend of Baucom’s, and N.J. moved in with a woman who said she’d provide a good home.
Over several months Baucom kept track of Skynyrd on Facebook, but N.J.’s new owner would never respond to messages.
Baucom hoped that both her babies were being cared for.
Baucom glanced at The Gazette front page Thursday and gasped. N.J.’s picture was prominently placed on the page, and the article described her dog as homeless.
She read how people throughout Gaston County visited her pup, bringing her food, water, toys and a dog house. But N.J. was skittish and ran if anyone got too close.
Then she sprang into action. The Lowell woman took an unpaid day off work and spent nearly 12 hours camped out by the cinema.
Strangers stopped by. Her friends came in shifts.
A police officer stayed with her a while, suggesting she leave something behind so that N.J. would smell it and remember her scent.
Baucom put out a blanket and went home. Sleeping seemed impossible. Baucom drove back to the theater around 1:30 a.m. Friday, but crowds from the midnight showing of “Breaking Dawn: Part 2” filled the parking lot.
Baucom returned at 6:30 a.m. to make another attempt before work. N.J. wasn’t visible.
She put a handful of dog food on the blanket and got in her car. Just as she started to drive away, N.J. darted into the parking lot.
Baucom got out of her car, sat on the ground, held out a piece of hot dog and called to her dog.
N.J. ran full speed ahead, jumped in Baucom’s lap and licked her face.
When she first set out to find N.J., Baucom planned to give the dog to her mother so she could avoid the apartment fees, but still have contact with her pet. That may not be necessary.
People who initially rallied behind N.J. are now standing by Baucom.
One person has offered to pay the dog’s initial vet bills to get her vaccines caught up. Others say they want to pitch in to pay Baucom’s pet deposit fees.
Tears streamed down Baucom’s face as she described holding N.J. again, and feeling the warmth of the kindness of strangers.
Thanks so much to our pal 'Caya' for sending in the link to this wonderful reunion. You can read more about it at the Gaston Gazette.
Welcome Home N.J.