Moe, the little black-and-white dog who mobilized a community, is back home.
For nearly three days, the 2-year-old dog had been missing from the home of Danny Kriedter, a paralyzed Aquebogue man who depends on the dog dearly.
But as he worried about his companion, the community swooped in and launched searches, hung up flyers and spread the word on social media.
The Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix, a shelter dog who has been with Kriedter for a year, was discovered Friday evening two miles from his home on Broad Avenue, said one of Kriedter’s nurses, Suzie Kennedy.
A high school student went to let her own dog out and spotted a shaking Moe trying to hide in the backyard. The girl, who said her name was Andrea, saw Kriedter’s contact information on Moe’s tag. She was also aware of the community effort from a television news report, Kennedy said.
The dog came home at about 6 p.m.
Kriedter, 47, is a former roofer who was paralyzed from the neck down after he fell from a home in Shelter Island in 1994. It’s not easy for him to speak, as he breathes with the help of a ventilator attached to his throat.
But when Kriedter saw Moe again, he waxed with love.
“I’m speechless,” he said in his low, raspy voice. “I’m so happy he’s home.”
Kriedter’s bedroom is his world. It looks like a hospital room, with a ventilator, suction machine and tall shelves filled with medicines and medical supplies. It’s also packed to the rafters with Jets memorabilia. Moe’s food and water bowls are in the corner.
The dog, which weighs only about a dozen pounds, loves to bound into the bedroom, jump on the couch and then leap onto Kriedter’s bed. He likes to tear apart his squeaky toys and sleep under the Jets blanket, resting his paws on his owner’s stomach.
“He’s almost like a person,” Kriedter said. “He loves people. At first he’s shy, but he loves to come up and lick your face.”
The little comic acrobat that came here from a shelter a year ago has proved therapeutic for the man who needs 24/7 assistance, said Kennedy.
“Moe brought out a new side of him,” Kennedy said. “He’s a lot happier.”
Shortly after Moe shot out the door onto Broad Avenue in this North Fork community on Wednesday, one of Kriedter’s nurses started printing up “lost dog” flyers. Social media posts popped up.
Outside Kriedter’s home earlier Friday, several of the estimated 50 volunteers were hard at work combing the neighborhood for Moe. Searchers placed a trail of dog treats leading back to Kriedter’s front door. Kriedter had offered a $500 reward.
Tracy McLaren, 51, of Southampton, didn’t even know Kriedter, but she’s been saving lost dogs for years.
“I went to the park, I put up flyers, I stopped people on foot, I spoke to the police, I went to the shelters,” McLaren said.
Later Friday, Kriedter said Moe was still frightened by his traumatic experience. But he was drinking water and starting to eat some food Friday night.
Kennedy said Kriedter’s reaction to being reunited with his buddy said it all: “Tears of joy.”