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Prize-winning show dog lost at Atlanta airport reunited with owner

ATLANTA – A prized show dog is back with his loving owner Tuesday after a wild adventure in Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Gayle, an American Staffordshire Terrier, went missing Saturday after being checked in for a flight near the international terminal. Officials said Gayle stepped out of her chest and went running to the airport.

The airport called in two of their staff experts. Steven Boyd and Jeff Miller airport biologists. They are usually charged with the keeping of wild animals from the track and the property, but they quickly switched gears to help the domesticated puppy.

An intense search of the 4,700 acres began almost immediately, but their first major breakthrough came Sunday when Gayle was spotted in a section of the airport known as the rock quarry. Boyd and Miller spent the whole day Monday to search in the evening, even during a hailstorm, the track of the missing canine.

“We had some pretty serious searching through the whole airport, but we knew that she was moving to the rock quarry,” says Miller.

Monday morning, Gayle was again spotted in the same area of the airport.

“We focused most of our search because we knew that they did not come out of it,” says Miller.

“We were under the impression that she was there for cover and water,” said Boyd, adding the area is also below the line, that makes it a lot quieter than the rest of the property.

“It’s a rainwater run-off basin, so with the rain of last night, there is a low level of water that could be dangerous for her,” says Miller.

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But fortunately, Gayle stayed to the perimeter, to find cover in some of the bushes during the heavy rain and hail Monday night.

Tuesday morning, they tried a different tactic. They brought Gayle the owner of the rock quarry to try to lure her out. He walked down into the rocky area and started to call her name. It took about 20 minutes or so for the show dog be forced out of her hiding place, but when she did it was pure joy.

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