- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - On the coldest night of the year, Abbye Klamann was trying to pick up a friend stranded at the airport after a canceled flight.

Instead, two Michigan State Police troopers ended up helping her search for - and ultimately find - her frightened and frigid dog in some Ypsilanti Township woods after a car crash, according to The Ann Arbor News ( https://bit.ly/1f6pv8q ).

Klamann and her dog Seamus were on their way to Detroit Metro Airport on the frigid night of Jan. 6 to pick up a friend whose flight was canceled. About 11:20 p.m., Klamann lost control of her 2004 Toyota Tundra on some black ice and hit the median of eastbound Interstate 94 near Wiard Road in Ypsilanti Township.

“It was a pretty bad wreck,” she said. “The airbags deployed and the dog got thrown around.”

Klamann called police and Trooper Anthony Young responded to the scene. With a calm demeanor, Young reassured Klamann he’d stay with her and wait for a tow truck, which she very much appreciated.

“He was really patient and really nice,” she said.

Young and Klamann waited on the side of I-94 waiting for the tow truck driver, with Young providing a deterrent for drivers, helping to make sure no one accidentally collided with the Tundra.

When the tow truck eventually got on scene, there was some discussion about what to do with Seamus. The hound dog mix breed weighs about 50 pounds and the tow truck driver was apparently apprehensive about having him in his truck. They agreed to keep him in the Tundra, but Klamann warned the driver, when he went into the truck, that the dog was jumpy and wanted to get out.

Seamus was shaken up from the crash and Klamann had put his leash back on him because she was afraid he’d run away. When the tow truck driver went to leave the truck, that’s exactly what happened.

“He just jumped right out of the gap (the driver) created,” she said. “He’s a runner, so he was off.”

Klamann said she started trying to run after Seamus while Young immediately moved into action. Seamus was running along the median, so Young drove his patrol car alongside the dog so he couldn’t run across the highway into traffic.

Still, the maneuver was no match for the determined canine, who jumped across the hood and ran across the freeway. Klamann got in the tow truck and the two of them tried to follow Seamus with Young also following along.

Eventually, Young was able to find the spot where Seamus fled into the woods. Klamann said she was worried about the dog’s safety in the frigid temperatures - it was minus 15 degrees at the time, and the wind chill reached minus 40 degrees. She told Young she was going after Seamus and the trooper followed her into the woods without hesitation.

Klamann said she and Young searched the woods on foot and also got a ride from Trooper Patrick Gallagher, Young’s partner, at different parts of the search.

“We just trudged into these woods and ended up in someone’s backyard,” she said. “The neighbors came out and said they could hear us screaming for the dog.”

After about 45 minutes, and roughly four-and-a-half miles from the crash site, Klamann and Young found Seamus. The dog’s paws were cracked and bleeding from the cold and he was “just frozen,” she said.

Young radioed back to Gallagher who came and picked the pair up and brought them back to the crash site.

Klamann said she was blown away by Young and Gallagher’s willingness to help her out in the search.

“I’m sure these officers had other things to do, but here they are looking for my dog,” she said.

Seamus didn’t suffer any lasting injuries, Klamann said. He spent much of the next day in bed but was just fine after that.

Meanwhile, Klamann wrote to Colonel Kriste Etue, director of the Michigan State Police, expressing her gratitude for the efforts of the two troopers.

“I wanted to do something and wanted someone to know what they’d done,” she said.

That effort resulted in the two troopers being personally recognized by Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday, thanking them for their service to the citizens of Michigan, according to Sgt. Mark Thompson of the Michigan State Police Brighton Post.

Klamann said she wasn’t sure what would have happened to Seamus if she didn’t have Young and Gallagher helping her out. He still had his Christmas collar on, which didn’t have his usual dog tags, and given the historically low temperatures, it’s fair to wonder if he would have made it through the night.

She said she was told after the search she was fortunate to have those two be the ones who came to her call.

“They said, ‘You’re really lucky you found the two troopers who really love dogs,’” she said.


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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