DAVIDSON Mary Kay Taylor said she was the lucky one when she rescued Rowdy three years ago from an animal shelter.
He is very loyal and very attached to me, I think because he had some previous trauma, Taylor said.
So she made sure to spoil the dog, often taking him for walks on the campus of Davidson College near where she lives.
I walk him usually well into campus and let him off the leash for maybe a five-minute run around. Looking for squirrels is his favorite thing in the whole wide world to do, she said.
But on Sunday, Rowdy got carried away.
In a matter of seconds he was not within my vision and I heard this yelp noise. And right away I thought, Thats not good.
But she had no idea what happened and no idea how to find the 8-year-old Jack Russell.
I spent about an hour and a half, two hours looking, Taylor said, looking, looking calling his name.
She posted fliers on every campus light post, and the online news site DavidsonNews.Net even posted the story.
She spent a lonely night without him, wondering if he was gone.
When you come home and hes not there to greet you and all that kind of stuff, its sad, she said.
Despondent, she was stunned when she received a phone call early Christmas morning 36 hours after Rowdy had disappeared.
Hed somehow fallen down a 12-foot pit in the well of a window outside the campus library.
I think he jumped and down he went, she said.
Tuesday morning, a man out walking his own dog heard Rowdy crying for help. He called the campus police. They then called the fire department and a few hours later Rowdy was snuggling by the fire in time to enjoy some new Christmas chews from Santa.
Its a miracle, Taylor said. Its a Christmas miracle and I feel so grateful.