Roger and Julie Gill took ownership of the dog after purchasing a farm in West Newton. The previous owners moved into the city, and didn’t feel it was fair to bring McKayla, a large Great Pyrenees, out of farm life.¬† She spent 12 years herding animals, and protecting the farm‚Äôs many acres.
‚ÄúThis is McKayla‚Äôs home,” Julie Gill said. ‚ÄúShe‚Äôs usually walking up and down that line, barking and guarding. She‚Äôs never known any other life.‚ÄĚ
At least that’s what the Gills thought until she was stolen on Friday.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs quite a smart old cookie.¬†She‚Äôs been fooling us all; she‚Äôs played us like a fiddle.‚ÄĚ
You see, McKayla has another family, and a community full of people who look after her.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve just been thinking, ‚ÄėHow does this dog sustain on what little she eats?‚Äô, but now I know,‚ÄĚ Julie said.
When Julie turns her eye, the dog heads to the corner store, post office, and church.¬† She’s been hanging around these parts for years, mooching food off the easy regulars.
‚ÄúShe stands at the door like a panhandler, and catches people getting in and out,‚ÄĚ Julie said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs quite shocking there is a double life.‚ÄĚ
Someone inquired about McKayla on Friday, asking questions to the corner store clerk.
‚ÄúThat dog belongs to the neighbors,” Julie said the clerk told the woman. “And she said, ‚ÄėBut I want this dog.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Surveillance footage showed the woman coming back 18 minutes later, feeding McKayla, petting her, and taking her away.¬† The Gills watched the tape and discovered that other life.
‚ÄúAnother store regular came out at that time, and she told them stop,‚ÄĚ Julie said.
The dognappers came to the Gills Saturday and said they have the dog, but did not return it.¬† Indianapolis Metropolitan Police followed a tip, and tracked down the car.¬† When police went to the home the people said they had the dog, and handed her over.¬†¬†They told police they thought McKayla was being neglected.¬† The Gills are not pressing charges, but they are looking into ways to limit the dog‚Äôs other life.