Carole King was crushed. "It was devastating," she tells the Spokesman-Review. "I got sick to my stomach." The Montana woman and her husband had returned to their hotel room in Flathead County—where they were staying in July for a short trip—when they saw that their border collie, Katie, was gone. Seems the seven-year-old dog got scared by an electrical storm and managed to open the door. But in a rural town bordering wilderness near Glacier National Park, where do you look? King's answer: leave her postal-worker job and hunt for Katie day in, day out, posting hundreds of flyers and putting Katie's image online. The Kings also scoured fields for doggy doo, placed traps, and ordered video cameras to help find their beloved dog, per the New York Times.
King even biked and jogged in neighborhoods in the hope her sweat might attract Katie—but no luck. Despite help from strangers, who helped search and left them food, King was crying and getting demoralized. Then a tip on day 57 led them to a neighborhood near the hotel, where King was talking to a woman on the street who said the magic words: "Is that your dog?" King called to a border collie she saw by a tree, and sure enough, Katie trotted over. "All I could think about was, 'I'm done. I got her,'" says King. "I was crying, I was holding onto her, wrapped her up in a bear hug." Dehydrated and 15 pounds lighter, Katie is on a special diet and expected to recover. And King got something more: "I think what I got out of this was the kindness of strangers," she says. (Read more uplifting news stories.)