Good News Sunday: Sleepy Hollow dog home after five-day search -- and a dramatic rescue

  • Daisy, a 15-month-old Labrodor retriever was missing for five days from her Sleepy Hallow home. Owners Rich and Jennifer English and their daughter Cady are happy to have her home.

      Daisy, a 15-month-old Labrodor retriever was missing for five days from her Sleepy Hallow home. Owners Rich and Jennifer English and their daughter Cady are happy to have her home. John Starks | Staff Photographer

Posted1/24/2021 6:00 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published by the Daily Herald during the previous week:

Through five days of searching for their dog, Jennifer and Rich English saw their emotions swing an unbearable number of times between hope and hopelessness.


Miraculously, though, Daisy is back home, thanks to community members who saw her on a road and the police and fire personnel who freed her when she became stuck inside a culvert pipe.

"I felt like I had an anvil taken off my chest," Rich English said.

After exhausting nearly every available avenue to find their 15-month-old Labrador retriever -- and exhausting themselves in the process -- the Sleepy Hollow couple finally got the news Sunday afternoon they'd almost given up on hearing: Daisy was spotted after bolting several days earlier.

A woman and her son, who had seen flyers with Daisy's picture on them, noticed the dog running around Boncosky Road near Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary. After calling Jennifer and Rich, they saw Daisy dart into a culvert pipe and become stuck inside because of a blockage of sediment at the other end.

Rich and Jennifer soon arrived, as did many of the volunteers who helped in the search. Help also arrived from four police departments and the Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

After nearly two hours of trying to either clear the blockage or push her out the other side, an effort that included using the Jaws of Life rescue tool, Daisy emerged unhurt.

She was scared, dehydrated and a few pounds shy of her normal 50-pound frame, but Daisy was overall healthy.

An entire community, meanwhile, was relieved.

"It's the worst imaginable situation," Jennifer English said, "but it was the most heartwarming thing to see how many people were so nice and so helpful."

For the full story, click here.


Young entrepreneurs promote mental health

They call it simply Happiness Project.

This grass-roots campaign run by four Arlington Heights friends devoted to boosting positivity and removing the stigma of mental illness is gaining national attention.

Jake Lavin, Joey DeFilippo, Mike Jones and Joey Ruben have more than 86,000 followers on Instagram, growing demand for their custom apparel, and now a short film out that confronts teenage suicide while driving home their message of elevating happiness.

Just last month, they were the subject of a Q&A in the online magazine Entrepreneur, which explored their journey to build a clothing brand while creating an impactful business.

It was Lavin who founded the organization after a classmate at Hersey High School lost his battle with mental illness.

"Enough is enough. No person should battle their mental struggles alone," he writes on the organization's website. "And with that thought in my head, I created Happiness Project."

"We really pride ourselves on focusing more on the mission of our project and less and less on the clothes."

For the full story, click here.

Free tutoring project expands in Lake Zurich

A tutoring project launched early in the pandemic by a trio of Lake Zurich High School seniors has grown into a full-fledged community service effort.

When businesses and schools began closing down in March, Daniel Kalarical, 18, heard about parents losing jobs, students struggling with remote learning and people needing food. Kalarical wanted to help, so he and his best friend, Aiman Naqvi, came up with the idea of offering free tutoring.

Starting from scratch, they built a website and promoted the program through school counselors, in the community and on social media. Their nonprofit organization, Tutor4Service, became official.

Fellow senior Holly Ryan, 18, joined the team early in the process and is the community outreach director. Ryan assists with advertising, social media and outreach projects. The mission of Tutor4Service "is to enhance education by providing free tutoring in communities and use our teaching abilities as an act of community service."

For the full story, click here.

Wheeling couple wins local citizenship award

A Wheeling couple with a history of local volunteer work are the latest recipients of the village's George Hieber Citizenship Award.

Mike and Kathy Burns were honored during a village board meeting, which was held remotely because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Mike Burns is vice president of the Wheeling Park District board. He's also a retired Wheeling firefighter, a former member of Wheeling's plan commission and a volunteer with the Wheeling Helping Hands nonprofit group, among other roles.

As a pair, the Burnses have wrapped Christmas presents during the Shop with the Cops event, portrayed Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the annual Lights Around Wheeling holiday celebration and performed other community tasks.

"We are grateful to Mike and Kathy for their good citizenship and for their commitment to making Wheeling a better place," Village President Pat Horcher said. "Thank you so much for your contributions."

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.