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Duchess the dog stays by side of missing owner, 68

Fifteen hours after Dorothy Schnabel, 68, went missing, she was found dehydrated in a small ravine Wednesday morning.

Duchess, her brown Doberman, was sitting next to her.

She stayed with Schnabel, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, the entire night about a half-mile from her home in Cabarrus County.

“It wouldn’t leave her side,” said Michael Britt, Schnabel’s neighbor.

Britt said Schnabel and her husband, Richard, adopted Duchess about three years ago and have taken in other dogs in the past.

He said Schnabel wandered off when she took Duchess for a walk Tuesday afternoon.

A silver alert was issued after her husband came home around 6:30 p.m. and realized she was missing, according to WCNC, the Observer’s news partner.

A state Highway Patrol helicopter crew found her at around 10 a.m. J.L. Deal, a pilot who searched for her, said Schnabel appeared to be confused about her location when they got to her. He said she was awake and moving.

Britt said Schnabel was still in the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Even after rescuers arrived, Duchess didn’t want to leave Schnabel’s side, Britt said.

Duchess tried to get on the stretcher with her and jump into the ambulance.

Haggerty: 704-358-6180
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