Cliff Mass' Epic Search For His Lost Dog Leah

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There is almost nothing Cliff Mass does that we don't report on. From his fight to change the way weather is forecasted, to his fight to change the way schools teach math, to his fight to change the way KUOW fires people, it's clear we're Crazy for Cliff. Which is why it might be easy to dismiss us for reporting on something as mundane as his missing dog, Leah, if the search for said pooch wasn't so epic.

The possible Far From Home sequel (that will hopefully have the same happy ending) began four months ago, when Mass and his wife went out of town and left their 9-year-old cockapoo with a "professional pet nanny" who had come highly recommended both by Yelp and a family friend.

While still away, Mass found out from the nanny that, despite her stated policy that she never left the dogs alone outside, many under her care had managed to escape from her yard. All had been recovered. All except for Leah.

What followed was predictable for a man so willing to take on causes: A spare-no-time-and-expense effort to retrieve his lost pup.

Neighborhoods blanketed with flyers and robocalls; Craigslist ads; infrared cameras; visits to every shelter in Seattle; a tracking dog named Kelsey; a volunteer sign-waving awareness campaign at busy intersections; and a call to King 5's consumer advocate Jesse Jones of "Get Jesse" fame.

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Run home, Jack! Run home, Jack! Wait, wrong movie. Run home, LEAH! Run home, LEAH!

These forces and more were marshaled in Leah's name, eventually paying dividends when a few people reported spotting her in Mountlake Terrace, nearly 10 miles from where she'd first disappeared.

As Mass makes clear in his own, sprawling post on the search, there are both heroes and villains in the story.

Heroes: The people behind Missing Pets Partnership, who offered Mass both emotional and practical support, including the volunteers and Kelsey the tracking dog. All of the nice people who've fed poor lost and lonely Leah, including the nice Moose Casino employee who gave her a hamburger.

Villains: Yelp, which allowed Mass' former pet nanny to remove the negative review he left for her. And the city officials of Mountlake Terrace, who used contradictory excuses as justification for removing the signs Mass had posted, then backed off when they realized a TV station might report on their heartlessness.

So where is Leah now? Unfortunately, Mass and his wife still don't know. Though, thanks to the extraordinary effort they've expended to find her, they know she was last spotted near Cedar Way and 236th SW.

Seen her? Leave Mass a note in the comments below.

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