Multiple people being in the right place at the right time likely saved a dog's life and reunited it with its owner after it ran loose near Hoffman Estates.
Joanna Drozdz, of Hanover Park, was taking a walk with her husband and her parents' 9-year-old beagle, Buba, around 1:30 p.m. on April 9 in the forest preserve near Bode and Bartlett roads when the dog disappeared.
"Sometimes we just let her go a little bit so she can feel the freedom. She's always very obedient," Drozdz said.
But that day, Buba saw a couple of deer running through the forest and took off after them.
"I guess she just went with her instinct," Drozdz said, adding that she and her husband searched for almost three hours and had to give up when it started to storm.
"We lost hope, (thinking) that she was probably eaten by coyotes or hit by a car," she said. "It was just a miserable day."
But when Drozdz woke up the next day, she decided she couldn't give up hope. She had fliers printed and went to the forest preserve to hand them out. While there, she talked to a preserve police officer, who told her a dog had been rescued the day Buba went missing.
According to an incident report, a Cook County Forest Preserve District officer saw her running around the parking lot of the district's north area headquarters near Golf Road. The officer tried to catch Buba, but she ran into the traffic on Golf Road, almost causing an accident. Two other officers helped catch Buba, who was placed in the headquarters' kennel.
But officers couldn't tell who owned the dog, so Buba spent the night in the headquarters.
Karen Vaughan, director of communications for the forest preserve district, said the story can serve as a reminder for other dog owners of the importance of keeping dogs leashed at all times.
Drozdz said Buba is doing fine, if not better than before because the family is spoiling her so much.
"They really did a great job," she said of the officers, "because she's alive and she could have easily been hit by a car."