The other night, Louie ran away.

It was around 10:15. The Mombellos have an invisible fence, but somehow Louie — a 10-month-old puppy — escaped.

Julie Mombello was about to pick up her husband Michael at the train station. She left a frantic voicemail: Find a ride home. She was looking for Louie.

The doors didn’t open at the Green’s Farms platform. Several people missed the stop. Amy Harris and Michael Cohen, who live around the corner from the Mombellos, gave Michael Mombello a ride home. He told them the puppy was missing.

They dropped Michael at his home, on the corner of Long Lots Road and Turkey Hill. Quickly, they returned. They said they thought they’d just seen Louie, running up Linda Lane.



Amy dropped her husband at home, then drove back. She wanted to keep looking.

Julie and her husband searched the streets off Long Lots: Linda Lane, Elmwood, Moss Ledge.

Amy — now accompanied by her son — kept looking too.

Julie Mombello with her other dog, George, at a charity walk in Bridgeport. She is a director of the well-respected Adam J. Lewis Preschool in that city, where she also teaches.

Julie Mombello with her other dog, George, at a charity walk in Bridgeport. She is a director of the well-respected Adam J. Lewis Preschool in that city, where she also teaches.

Around 11;45 p.m., Julie’s cell phone rang. A woman on High Point Road thought she had Louie.

As Julie pulled into that street, a car came down. It was Amy and her son — still searching for Louie.

Julie told Amy she thought they’d found him. Amy pulled over to wait.

When Julie walked out of the High Point house, holding Louie in her arms, Amy and her son came over. They told her how happy and thankful they were he’d been found.

By then it was midnight. Amy — a stranger to Julie a couple of hours earlier — had been out with friends in New York. Julie is sure the last thing Amy wanted to do was look for a lost puppy that wasn’t even hers.

But she did.

Louie and George, the Mombellos' other dog. They're best friends.

Louie and George, the Mombellos’ other dog. They’re best friends.

Julie was overwhelmed by her perseverance, and the kindness of the woman on High Point who got up to see why a dog was barking in her yard at 11:45.

It was cold last week. Louie is little. Julie shudders to think what might have happened.

“This whole experience made us feel like we were living in a small town again, where people actually care about their neighbors,” Julie says.

The next day, she dropped thank-you notes in both families’ mailboxes.

But it was such a feel-good story, she wants to share it with the “06880” world.

PS: A couple of days later, Julie received a note in the mail. The woman on High Point Road thanked Julie for her note, adding that as a life-long dog person, she knows “all about the feelings enmeshed with our canine family members.”

She signed the note “Baba and family.”

Baba Ganoush is her dog.

13 responses to “Doggone!

  1. Beth Orlan Berkowitz

    I must say that I’m so happy they had a happy ending. There are lots of wonderful people in Westport and the surrounding areas because unfortunately I have been in the same scary situation with my dogs. Fortunately, many people have come to help me, as well. Luckily with Facebook groups and other social media, people can post immediately that their dog has gone missing and people, who I only know from mutual friends on FB, have offered to start looking and left their homes to go out and look at night and during the day. People have found dogs and posted online asking if anyone has been missing their dog and told us the dog is safe and we have been able to connect the safely found dog with the frantic owners that may have posted on a different FB page. So glad to hear more success stories. Unfortunately, we have also found out that some dogs haven’t made it back safely because of animal attacks on small dogs(and some cats too, both success and sad stories). Thanks Dan for letting us know of yet another sweet success story.

  2. So happy Louie is home safe! I hear numerous stories about dogs escaping despite the use of “invisible fence” systems. Years ago, I house sat for a friend’s three dogs in New Canaan while such a fence was engaged on their wooded 2+ acre property. Unbeknownst to me, their Standard Poodle escaped almost daily, chasing a runner down the road, but of course came back to eat and sleep in the house. (Yes, I know, Poodles are very intelligent.) The runner telephoned numerous times while I was there to report this and threatened to call the dog warden. The owners ultimately had to put a double collar on this cunning escape artist.

  3. Joyce Barnhart

    Invisible fences are far from fool-proof. An excited dog can run through, getting shocked. but not stopped Then, once on the other side, they are afraid of coming back and getting shocked again so they remain “outside the fence” with all the potential trouble out there. I wouldn’t have one.

  4. Nice Story, thank you to all the neighborly neighbors.
    Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.

  5. Ahhhhhh, what a gentle, warm story ♥nice to start the day reading that 🙂

  6. What a wonderful story (I held my breath as I read)! I still pine the painful loss of Andy (remember ANDY, the Corgi?)…we ALL (dog-people, anyway) experienced that loss with great disappointment. THIS story, a great one, lifts the spirits to great heights on this otherwise, Wintery Wednesday…with a happy ending!

  7. This is the perfect example of Karma. Julie is such a kind and giving person. She volunteers in our community and is always giving to others. It doesn’t surprise me that others, knowing her or not, would give of themselves to help her. Louie is a lucky puppy!

  8. What a great story!

  9. Great story! We had a similar incident last week with one of the dogs in our family. My daughter lives in upstate New York on 5 acres and has a portion of their property including the house encircled with an invisible fence to confine her 2 Peekapoos. Unbeknownst to them the battery had expired and the dogs ended up on a very fast road behind their property. Unfortunately, one of the dogs was hit by a car. 3 cars stopped and contacted my daughter via information on the dogs collar. Thanks to these good Samaritans and 2 very good vets our Tucker is recovering from a hip replacement.

  10. Bobbi Essagof (Mrs. Essagof)

    Great Story but no surprise about Mitchell, Amy and Zach Cohen. They are our dearest friends and I always say they are the types that would come if called anytime , day or night to help with anything. Amy also never gives up until the job is done. So glad for the happy ending. So proud of the Harris-Cohen family!

    • Bobbi Essagof (Mrs. Essagof)

      I must correct my comment as the son that was with Amy was Jesse Cohen.
      2 great sons, I just picked the wrong one! Sorry Jesse

  11. The Hrarris-Cohens are very special people. I am not surprised at what they did

  12. Janet Marthers

    I agree– the Harris- Cohens are the kind of family that make Westport a great place to live. I can’t thank them enough for how welcoming and helpful they have been during my move to Westport. They love their own two dogs, and I am not surprised they would put in the time to help out neighbors (human and canine) in need.