Cape County family searches for missing dog

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Caramel, the beloved golden retriever of two physically challenged children in Cape Girar-deau County, has gone missing.

When Barb Rutherford's family returned home the evening of Nov. 14, their 6-year-old dog of nearly nine months was gone.

Her children, Zach, 9, and Emily, 6, suffer from static encephalopathy, a disease similar in appearance to cerebral palsy that affects motor skills and prevents them from talking. They don't quite understand that Caramel may be gone for good.

"They know we've been riding around looking for Caramel, but we haven't told them she's gone," the mother said. "We just tell them that for now, we don't know where she is."

That's why Rutherford is hoping someone will find Caramel and help her get back to her young, special-needs owners.

"They've grown so attached to her," she said. "They miss her."

Thanks to the help of a family friend, the Rutherfords adopted Caramel from a wheelchair-bound man in Kentucky who could no longer properly care for the dog and wanted to place her in a loving home.

Ever since Caramel disappeared, Rutherford has contacted area veterinarians and the Humane Society and put up posters.

Anyone with information about Caramel's whereabouts is asked to call (573) 243-0464.

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