By KAITLIN BEAUREGARD
As many UNH students tailgated and watched the football team play against Central Connecticut State University this past weekend, a few of the field hockey players were on a run to chase after Gizmo, a four-year-old Yorkie.
The gun-shy Gizmo darted from owner Lynne Lehman’s yard on Edgewood Avenue when cannons went off for the game. Gizmo was being dog-sat by Lehman’s Field Hockey teammates.
Lehman’s friends followed the pooch’s path towards the Field House, but then a cannon fired again, and Gizmo bolted into College Woods. Gizmo would be lost from Saturday night to Monday morning.
“It was devastating—like a pit in your stomach,” said Lehman. “And sleep was impossible.”
Once Lehman found out Gizmo was missing, fellow roommates, teammates and her parents searched from 7 p.m. until after midnight with no luck, and searched again the next day.
“Every time someone would call and say they saw may have seen Gizmo, I would send out a group text to my team and everyone would hop on their scooters or cars and start looking,” Lehman said.
Lehman, a biomedical science major, also found help through her professors.
“My professors were so understanding,” Lehman said. “I went to take a quiz at 8 a.m. on Monday and my professor let me leave early to look. I emailed my professor my next class and she told me ‘not to come in until I found him.’”
And professors were not the only people who helped Lehman find her missing pooch. With over 500 shares on Granite State Dog Recovery and “Lost Dog” posters around campus, Lehman received texts and phones calls with people around the community wanting to help and sharing their concern—one woman even left work early with her own Yorkie to try and find Gizmo.
“It was really the community coming together and helping out,” Lehman said. “I had so many Facebook messages that people saw him. Texts and calls just to see if I found him yet—all of the concern and help was heartwarming.”
Students like Taylor Scafidi used the UNH Class of 2018 Facebook group to spread the word.
“A small black/brown Yorkie (dog) got loose tonight and was last seen headed towards college woods- if anyone sees him tonight or tomorrow please please [direct message] Lynne Lehman !!! His name is Gizmo and he has a tag!” Scafidi wrote on Facebook.
Even the UNH Police Department tweeted about a missing Yorkie in hopes that it was Lehman’s dog.
Although this was a tough experience for Lehman, the fact that the community came together and showed so much support helped make these past few days bittersweet.
“I was just really happy with the turnout and I was so surprised to see how many people were willing to help,” Lehman said.
With Gizmo home safe and unharmed, Lehman can take a breath of relief. This dog owner, who has had Gizmo since he was born, could not be happier that her companion is back.
“[Being a pet owner] is incredible. An animal, I think, is the most comforting and supportive thing to come home to,” said Lehman.