Squirty's Story: Dog trapped for six months and survives - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Squirty's Story: Dog trapped for six months and survives

ARLINGTON (KWWL) On May 5, an eight-year-old golden retriever named Squirty went missing from her Arlington home.

On Oct. 22, almost six months later, she was found trapped, but alive, at the Northeast Iowa Co-op in Arlington.

She lost half her body weight, almost 30 pounds, but she's gained most of it back.

Her owner, Lori Butikofer, can't believe she was found. She still remembers the day her dog went missing from her backyard.

"I didn't sleep very well that night, and I got up early the next morning and went out looking for her," Lori Butikofer said.

Butikofer remembers bad weather and said storms scare Squirty. Her gut said Squirty was stuck somewhere. But after almost six months, she thought Squirty wasn't coming home.

Then farmer David Wynthein and his dog Nellie took a load of soybeans to the Northeast Iowa Co-op grain elevator in Arlington.

Unlike most of the time, it was quiet in the elevator. Only Nellie's paws on the floorboards made noise. Then a bark. Wynthein began searching the elevator. He noticed a guard up to prevent people from getting into a crawl space.

"I went down there and shined something and saw something move and thought it looked like a dog, but I wasn't sure. I thought it was a coon possibly. She was so covered in cobwebs and corn dust. She was almost white," Wynthein said.

Curly hair tipped Wynthein the animal might be Squirty. He took her back to the co-op office where Butikofer works.

"She put two fingers up like two dogs and I looked at her and said your dog," Wynthein said.

"I was kind of puzzled. Where'd he get another dog? Pretty soon she was bouncing around in the truck and she turned, and I happened to realize it was Squirty and I was just WOW. Where did you find her?" Butikofer said.

Butikofer said Squirty looked and smelled awful, but she was back.

"It just didn't seem like it was possible," Wynthein said.

Squirty went right to the veterinarian for fluids and vitamins and a bath and a haircut.

No one will ever know Squirty's whole survival story, but the details aren't really important. All that matters is the end.

"She must just have a huge heart and full of lots of love or something that kept her going. I'm just so glad they were able to find her and she's back," Butikofer said.

David Wynthein thinks Squirty might have survived off corn dust and maybe with all the rain this spring, water somehow got down to her.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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