LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – “Neighbor up the road lit off a big boomer and her ears went behind her head and she took off,” said James Novak.

Misty was missing for 2 days because she was scared by fireworks and ran away.

July 3rd was the first day for fireworks in city limits. It was a split second for James Novak and in the blink of an eye, his 4-month-old puppy, Misty, was gone. The Novak’s spent the next hours and part of the next morning searching all over Lincoln trying to find their golden retriever. Said James:


“Woke up about 6 in the morning and started driving all over looking for her. Then about 9:30, 10 I thought, ‘This is like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Misty was nowhere to be found.

Finally, when the Novak’s felt that what they were doing wasn’t working, they turned to social media.

“I just thought the best bet would be to go online and just try to spread the word,” said Candice Novak, Misty’s owner.

Candice posted on Facebook pages for lost and missing pets.
Someone there recommended she try the “Next Door” smartphone app. Luckily, a family several neighborhoods away had also downloaded the app.

“When we saw the post, we thought right away, ‘Man, I have to go look for that dog,’ simply because it was such a connection,” said Don Duitsman, half of the couple that found Misty.

The Duitsman’s had seen the posts on social media and on Next Door and were incredibly drawn to Misty’s story. They also had three sons and a golden retriever named Misty. They said, they felt like they had to find her. Two days later, when their neighbor found a golden retriever puppy under their deck, the Duitsman’s knew they’d found the one.

“As soon as we saw her, we knew that was the little Misty,” said Linda Duitsman. “She never touched the ground after that.”

The Novak’s said it was the sweetest reunion.

“I had just lost my best friend,” said James.” (When we found out) Man. I started crying.”

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