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Missing family dog found after two months 200 miles away in Detroit Lakes

By Lauren Donovan, Bismarck Tribune MANDAN, N.D. -- Two months after he went missing, Bentley the German shepherd is back home again with his family in Mandan after being found about 200 miles away in Detroit Lakes, Minn. Bentley is somewhat wors...

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Hailie Leach greets Bentley, the family German shepherd and her mother's medical service dog, after it was missing for two months. The dog was reunited with the Mandan family this past weekend. He was recovered in Detroit Lakes, Minn. (Submitted photo)

By Lauren Donovan, Bismarck Tribune

 MANDAN, N.D. -- Two months after he went missing, Bentley the German shepherd is back home again with his family in Mandan after being found about 200 miles away in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Bentley is somewhat worse for wear after his absence. He has lost body weight, his paws are raw, he has intestinal problems, pneumonia and a severe ear infection, but his owner, Cindi Leach, says the veterinarian who examined him earlier this week is confident that in two weeks, with medication, he will bounce right back. Bentley, a tan and black dog in his prime, was with a man who took care of him for about a month, after finding him loose near his Detroit Lakes home.

Bentley had been missing since Oct. 9. A family friend who was watching him for a few days let him outside her home in Dawson, N.D.

Her own dog returned, but not Bentley.

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Leach had devoted part of every day since trying to locate him. She searched websites, police reports and set up a Facebook page. She followed up leads and sent out posters around the region, trying to remain optimistic while grieving at the same time.

“I didn’t think I’d see him again,” she said.

While Bentley is the family pet, he is also a medical service dog for Leach, 31. She’s battled depression most of her life and her doctor gave her a prescription for Bentley so she could take him places where he might otherwise not be allowed.

How the dog got traveled that 200 miles may never be known, though Leach suspects a visiting hunter may have picked him up.

Social media help

Leach said she received a call Nov. 30 from a Jamestown woman whose friend had seen a Facebook post by a Minnesota woman, who is a friend of Bryan Deike, the man who had taken Bentley in.

She left a message on his cellphone, and on Dec. 2 he called back.

They talked and she asked Deike to let the dog hear her voice and the voices of her two daughters on speaker phone.

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“He (Bentley) got really vocal when he heard us,” Leach said.

They talked more about his coloring, scars on his nose from a cat claw swipe and Bentley’s love of peanut butter. They exchanged cellphone photos, trying to be sure with a missing collar and tags that it was Bentley.

On Friday, her husband, Anthony Leach, drove to Detroit Lakes to pick him up and bring him home.

Since then, the dog has been nervous when her husband leaves the room.

“He’s kind of skittish. You can tell he’s been through hell and back,” she said.

Finally, there was a moment when Bentley relaxed with her.

“He laid his head on my lap and just sighed. I bawled like a baby,” Leach said.

She said she’s never prayed so hard for anything in her life, as she did for Bentley.

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“I never believed in miracles until now,” she said.

She said she told Deike she wanted to give him something for being her family’s and Bentley’s angel.

“He told me he’s no angel. He’s just a guy, doing the right thing,” she said.

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKES
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