Larry LaRue

Larry LaRue: Stolen dog’s big adventure ends happily in Tacoma

Chanel, the Spanaway dog who disappeared last month in a stolen car, is back home.

Don’t bother to ask her about the adventure.

The 12-pound, Chihuahua-terrier mix was found in Tacoma, living under an assumed name — “Ginger” — two weeks after going missing on Aug. 17.

The Honda Civic in which she was stolen? It was found in Federal Way the morning after Chanel’s disappearance.

You might recall reading about it in this column Aug. 30. Now comes the happy ending.

Chanel’s family, April Doidge and her teenage daughter, Autumn, were at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Aug. 31 when they got a telephone call from a gentleman who said he believed he had their dog.

Turns out, he’d had Chanel nearly the full two weeks she was missing. Because she was wearing only a pink collar without identification, the man and his wife had taken her in and given her a name.

“We didn’t think it could be Chanel, because we couldn’t figure out why she’d be in Tacoma,” April Doidge said. “The car was stolen in Spanaway and found in Federal Way. But the man said a friend had told him, ‘Your dog was on the news!’ so he called the number listed.”

On the way home from the zoo, April and Autumn knocked on the couple’s door — and when it opened, there was Chanel.

“We took her home, and she was pretty nervous in the car, which surprised us because she always loved riding in the car,” April Doidge said. “When she got home, though, she was playing with our other two dogs and three cats almost immediately.”

That didn’t mean the 2 ½-year-old dog wasn’t a bit frazzled by the experience.

“She has this stuffed animal, a pink monkey, that she’d always suck on at night before going to sleep — like a little kid sucking her thumb,” April said. “About 30 minutes after we brought her home, Chanel found her pink monkey, latched onto it and was sucking away.”