When Beverly Bailey found Fancy, it must have felt a little like kismet. She had only recently lost her beloved dog, Preston, and was heartbroken. In fact, she was considering a new pet when she encountered a little shih tzu at a garage sale she’d stopped at on the way home.
Bailey told the State Journal Register that the woman who’d found the dog loved her, but already had three dogs and couldn’t take another. She had taken the dog to check for a chip — which she had — but the previous owner was from a lifetime ago, a former owner in the Chicago suburb of Carol Stream. But they did find out the dog ha a name: Fancy. The woman had posted Fancy’s picture and story on Facebook but as of yet, no owner had come forward.
“The dog seemed to like me and my daughter. She was a friendly little dog,” Bailey said. Smitten, she took the fluff ball home to join the family.
Fancy, now assumed a stray, was a little reserved at first, Bailey said, but her true personality soon emerged.
“She started getting frisky. She was trying to jump up on my bed, and she would jump on the love seat,” Bailey said. “She acted like she was part of the family.”
So did the rest of the family.
“Fancy was so friendly and good with kids. My 8-year-old great-grandson fell in love with the dog,” Bailey said.
Fancy’s love story, however, was about to get complicated. It turned out she did have an owner, Jaleesa Davis, who’d been searching for the dog since it escaped her yard six days earlier while her husband was mowing the grass.
Jaleesa Davis, Fancy’s owner, said the ordeal started when Fancy got out of the yard while her husband was mowing. But by the time Davis saw the Facebook post about her dog being found, Bailey had already taken her — and the woman who’d had the garage sale never got Bailey’s name.
Davis was unsure whether she’d ever see Fancy again. The Davis family made their own Facebook post and set to putting out fliers in the hope of finding Fancy, who was likely great with kids because of her family back home. The Davis household has five of them, ages 1 to 9!
“The kids have been asking me all week, ‘When is Fancy coming back? Is she outside?” Davis said.
On Thursday, Davis got the call she had been waiting for.
Bailey had taken Fancy to Capitol Illini Veterinary Services, for vaccinations and a checkup. An employee who had seen the Facebook post recognized Fancy as Davis’ dog. Bailey, though sad to have to say goodbye to her new friend, was quick to contact the family.
“I shouldn’t have gotten so attached to her, but she was so friendly and good with kids,” Bailey said. “I hated to give the dog up, but I know how I felt about my own dog,” Bailey said.
Jaleesa Davis said her kids were excited to see Fancy again.
“They looked at me and said, “Fancy’s back!” Davis said, adding that she wasn’t surprised that Bailey became attached to Fancy in such a short time.
“She loves people. She’s a very loving dog,” Davis said, adding that she and her friends are going to try to find Bailey a dog of her own.