CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mater is the Olson family dog. A 14-year-old beagle mix, he spends most of his time outside when he isn’t following his owner around.
Last Friday, though, Mater didn’t come home for dinner.
That’s when Kathy Olson knew something was wrong.
Saturday went by. Then Sunday. Soon it was Thursday and there was still no sign of Mater.
“I was giving up hope that he was still alive,” Olson said.
But she didn’t know that her neighbors on Cottonwood Drive in Pinch had heard a dog barking for a week.
The bark sounded distressed, as if the dog were in trouble.
They had gone out looking for the source of the barks, but came up empty every time. The sound seemed to travel up and down the road.
But finally Thursday, someone followed the barks to a storm drain.
There was Mater, mouth agape, struggling…