Anne Rideout, left, and her daughter, Erin, are overjoyed to have Snickers back in the family fold.
The trembling bundle of white craddled in Erin Rideout’s arms likely doesn’t know just how lucky he is — or how much joy he’s brought to his family.
To some, he might be just a dog, but to Rideout and her mother, Anne, the fact that the Maltese mix is back in their fold is a miracle. And a testament to a great animal-loving community.
“We are so thrilled,” Anne Rideout said. “We are so grateful to everyone. We had strangers calling up to say that they were walking around the neighborhood looking for him.”
Snickers, a 15-year-old lap dog with a host of health problems, including heart issues that require daily medication, disappeared from the Rideout’s Gonzales Road home on Friday during a burglary. The Rideouts feel for sure the burglars took Snickers to sell.
The intruders were in an out of the home quickly after bursting in a front panel of the front door, ripping the security alarm off the wall and grabbing what they could. Rideout’s home-security company alerted her to the break in at 12:07 p.m., and she returned to find the ransacked house within 15 minutes. The police arrived about 45 minutes later.
While Anne Rideout hasn’t done a complete inventory of what was taken, she said they mostly stole what was easy to take — laptops, a camera and old cell phones. They also took Snickers’ dog carrier on a counter — along with their beloved pooch.
The Rideouts said the aging dog would not have wandered away from the home. Aside from heart problems, the dog is deaf and has cataracts.
On Saturday, the Rideouts plastered as many areas as they could with flyers offering a reward for the dog’s safe return. In addition to a newspaper article, two television news teams also reported on the missing dog.
Shortly after 11 p.m., Erin Rideout received a call from a fellow animal lover with seven small lap dogs of her own. After a few attempts at rescuing the dog from an area near Regal Cinemas on Cerrillos Road, the person said they were able to safely put the dog in a carrier they had with them.
The Rideouts quickly arrived and were reunited. Snickers suffered no ill effects from his adventure, Erin Rideout said, aside from a few thorns. He was checked out by his regular veterinarian, Joan Moreau, on Monday.
“He’s a bit anxious,” she said. “But he’s like that when he’s not at home. He seems like he’s back to himself.”
The rescuers, who didn’t want to be identified, turned down the reward offer, asking that any reward be made as a donation to help the Haitians suffering from last week’s earthquake.
Anne Rideout, who moved to Santa Fe about a year ago from Pennsylvania, said it was refreshing to find such a vibrant community of animal advocates.
“You have the burglary, and you’re so angry, but then you have people who go out of their way to help. It makes a huge difference. The support was just fabulous.”
For Erin Rideout, 25, Snickers has been a part of the family since she was a baby. She got him as a gift on Valentine’s Day when the dog was 10 weeks old. Another sibling, Elizabeth Rideout, who lives in Wyoming, worked the Internet when the dog went missing, posting information on Craig’s List and sending photos to the media.
“To see that pain in girls’ faces, it was hard,” said Anne Rideout. “But we have him back, that’s what’s important. The material things, we can replace.”