Fargo woman's dog, inherited from her late father, disappears
FARGO — Just before her father died last month, Teah Frye Moncada, on a couple of days' notice, managed to have her wedding a month earlier than planned so he could attend the ceremony.
The ceremony at the VA Medical Center in Fargo, where Eldon Frye was dying from lung cancer, wasn't what she had in mind. But she later told The Forum, for a story about the hastily arranged wedding, that it turned out to be a dream come true.
Her father died four days after the wedding. Moncada inherited his springer spaniel named Belle.
Belle seemed to have settled comfortably into her new surroundings after moving from Frye's farm near Watford City to her home in south Fargo. The dog never showed any signs of wanting to bolt.
So it was a shock when Moncada returned from a night out last Thursday and discovered Belle, a living link to her late father, was missing from her fenced-in yard at 1009 8th Ave. S.
The gate was latched securely, and there were no holes in the 6-foot privacy fence erected last fall, or signs of digging beneath it.
"I'm just dumbfounded because she never seemed scared," Moncada said Tuesday.
The day after she went missing, Belle's collar was found a couple of blocks away — but there has been no sign of Belle, who seems to have vanished.
"It looks like it was just unbuckled," Moncada said, referring to the abandoned dog collar. "It's not broken."
Because there were no known witnesses, she can't say whether Belle somehow managed to escape or was snatched from her yard.
"If it was a dog-napping, then hopefully someone will come to their senses" and return the dog, no questions asked, Moncada said. "She's never ran anywhere before. She grew up on a farm and she never left the yard. I just never even thought that she would try to get out."
To aid the search, she created a Facebook page, "Retrieving Belle," and posted her dog's photograph on sites for missing pets.
She's been getting advice from The Retrievers, a Minnesota volunteer organization that helps owners find their missing dogs.
Belle is a spayed female springer spaniel, brown and white, weighs about 40 pounds, and is about 6 years old.
"She is very lovable, but can get scared and be shy with new people," Moncada said.
The dog was a gift to her father from his brother. He got her as a 6-month-old puppy.
"She's a really, really good hunter," Moncada said.
Belle came to live with Moncada about two weeks before her disappearance. The wedding at the VA Medical Center was Jan. 4. Frye died Jan. 8.
"She means a lot to me," she said. "She was my dad's baby. She went everywhere with him. Not only is she just a lovable dog, she's a member of the family."
Anyone who spots a dog looking like Belle is asked to call Moncada at (701) 421-9706.