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Already hit with one tragedy, mother and son hope for return of missing dog

Rebecca Butchock’s bed is feeling very empty this week, and her 2-year-old son, Liam, worries that everyone he loves who gets out of his sight may never come back.

Their beloved dog, Ruby, got away from a friend during a walk earlier this week and they’ve mobilized a solid team of friends -- those they know in real life and some they only know on social media -- to find her.

It’s been a tragic month for the mother and son.

“On the fourth of July,” says Butchock, “my boyfriend and Liam’s father died very suddenly of a heart attack.”

On the 12th, a friend offered to take Ruby for a hike at a farm in Glyndon to give Rebecca a bit of a break, but something spooked the terrier mix and she bolted, yanking her leash out of the friend’s hand and vanishing into the woods.

“It’s been four days since we’ve seen her,” says Butchock, who’s an adoption coordinator with the MD SPCA. She says Ruby is very fast and very wiry, easily frightened, and not likely to come to anyone unfamiliar, making it that much more difficult to search for her.

Butchock and her boyfriend, Chris Chaney, adopted Ruby about a year ago from the MD SPCA.

“She’s so great with Liam,” says Butchock. “The day we met her, she went right up to him and kissed him on the face. We knew right then we were done for.”

Until earlier this week, Ruby slept with Butchock and has always been a great, if highly energetic, member of the family.

“She can sense I’ve been sad the last few weeks,” says Burchock. “I broke down in the kitchen one night and was laying on the floor crying, and she can right in and laid down with me. She’s my buddy.”

Liam is also having a hard time with her disappearance. “He’s two,” says his mom. “”He’s easily distracted. But he knows Daddy left and didn’t come back, and he knows Ruby left and didn’t come back. He has some anxiety now when people are leaving. He gets upset.”

Ruby has black fur with white tips on her feet and a white diamond-shaped mark on her chest. She weighs about 40 pounds and, when last seen, was wearing a pink harness, salmon-pink collar with identification tags, and a navy blue leash with the South Carolina flag printed on it. She has a MD SPCA tattoo on her upper inner right thigh, but it's difficult to see.

A dog tracker believes she’s within a mile of where she was lost along Longnecker Road in Glyndon; Ruby lives in Hamilton and is not familiar with the area. She is skittish and likely scared, and Burchock says anyone who approaches her may spook her even more.

“Don’t chase her down,” she says. “She’ll probably run. If she’s stuck or hurt, though, please try and get to her. Otherwise,  take note of where she is at what time and call 410.598.2247.”

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