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Archive for Friday, January 15, 1999

DOG RETURNS HOME

January 15, 1999

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The tale of the mystery dog has come to an end, and Tara Laird is thankful she doesn't have to continue rabies vaccinations.

Cobi, a dog that went on a six-day adventure that included a run-in with a car, has returned home and is doing fine.

"She's as wild as ever," said Debra Baker, Cobi's owner.

And now that Cobi's identity and owner are known, a Kansas University student won't have to continue painful rabies vaccination shots after Cobi bit her.

ears -- took off New Year's Eve from Baker's house in the 800 block of Alabama. Hours later, a car hit Cobi near 15th and Iowa streets.

Tamara Goodson was in a car traveling north on Iowa when she saw Cobi running in the street about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

"I jumped out to get it, but I couldn't catch it," said Goodson, who chased Cobi off the street to the west.

Cobi circled back toward Iowa, and Goodson watched helplessly as the dog ran into the street, where a car hit her. Although the driver of the car didn't stay to see how badly the dog was hurt, Tara Laird and her friends stopped their car. Laird bent down to help Cobi, who bit her hand before limping off.

The chase was on again, and Goodson trailed the dog as Cobi ran to the east and onto the Kansas University campus, disappearing into the below-freezing night.

Unable to locate the dog or its owner, Laird was forced to begin a series of vaccination shots to prevent a possible case of deadly rabies. She had the first shots on Jan. 5 at an Overland Park hospital. The shots aren't administered through the abdomen anymore, but Laird said they are still painful.

"It's kind of like having four tetanus shots all at once," said the 20-year-old KU psychology student from Leawood.

A story in the Journal-World about Laird's predicament generated about 10 phone calls. Two came from Baker and Goodson, and a meeting a week ago at the Animal Hospital of Lawrence, 701 Mich., solved the mystery. Goodson, who chased Cobi for a while, was able to provide a positive identification, and Baker was able to prove the dog had its rabies shots.

The incubation time for rabies is 10 days, so Laird had to endure a second set of shots just in case Cobi showed symptoms of the disease during the last two days of the incubation period.

Cobi apparently escaped from her backyard pen and headed to campus, where Baker often takes her on walks. At least one person told Laird that Cobi was seen near 27th and Iowa streets.

Cobi returned to her own neighborhood on Jan. 6, and Baker's son picked her up and carried her home. She had a slight limp, but now exhibits no symptom from the accident.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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