His beloved silver labrador, who vanished in July, was located more than 50 miles away.
In what friends commented was a “Christmas miracle,” Krichbaum and Lucy, now about 10 months old, were reunited thanks to Facebook.
When Lucy disappeared on July 27, she was still fairly new to Krichbaum’s 80-acre family farm. Krichbaum, 55, had bought his silver lab, a rare breed, in the spring.
That summer day, Lucy was playing with Krichbaum’s sister’s boxer, Plank, while Krichbaum repaired a sawmill on his property.
The dogs eventually wandered down to a neighbor’s yard, unbeknownst to Krichbaum.
“I heard a couple gunshots,” Krichbaum said. “My sister’s dog came back, and he was terrified. At that point, I hollered for Lucy and she never came back.”
Krichbaum spent days searching for his puppy in creeks and ditches for miles with no luck.
Talking with the neighbors, he determined she was last seen playing with their young daughter. But the family didn’t know who Lucy belonged to, and they assumed since she was wearing a collar, she’d find her way back home.
“At least at that point, I knew she wasn’t shot and she was still alive,” Krichbaum said.
As the days turned into weeks, Krichbaum made missing posters, putting up the signs for miles and distributing them to the area animal shelters and veterinarians.
He also posted photo after photo of Lucy on Facebook, hoping someone might recognize her. Many reached back and shared his posts, but no one had seen Lucy.
“My biggest fear was she was stuck in an Amish puppy mill or something like that,” Krichbaum said. “Not knowing was just the hardest thing – not knowing her condition or where she was.”