Durn Good dog taken

Jai Wiliamson, owner of the Durn Good Grocery (4002 Wallingford Avenue North) tells us his dog, Stella, is gone. The Rat Terrier was last seen immediately outside of the store, on the sidewalk at about 12:40pm this afternoon. Williamson was inside fixing a freezer when he saw Stella go outside. Moments later, when he went to check on her, he couldn’t find her. The owner of Ramona Cleaners across the street was pointing and yelling over to him, but Williamson couldn’t hear what he was saying across Wallingford Avenue, so Williamson assumed he was pointing to the alleyway where Stella often went to sniff and do her business.

After looking in the alley, Williamson went over to Ramona Cleaners to ask what the owner was pointing to, and he replied that he watched Stella being taken by a woman in a late model green pickup truck with a black canopy. The truck was parked alongside the store during the time that Williamson went looking for Stella, and Williamson had even noticed the truck with another dog–possibly a bulldog–inside, but he had no idea the woman inside also had Stella with her.

Williamson showed me the surveillance footage of the truck which appears to be a late model Toyota with a black canopy. The front right tire looks like a spare. Sadly the video didn’t capture the woman’s license plate.

During the time that Williamson had her, Stella made quite a few friends with neighbors and frequent Durn Good customers. Tonight, customers in the store were saddened by the news of Williamson’s loss. Stella is a 2-1/2 year-old Rat Terrier, weighing about 8-10 pounds. She’s mostly white in color with some light brown. We’ll try and post a picture tomorrow if we can get one.

  1. Chris W. said,

    Oh Jai, so sorry. My family loves seeing Stella when we wait at the bus stop, and I hope someone recognizes the description of the vehicle well enough that you can get her back. Keep us posted, please.

    Wed, June 29 at 8:40 pm
  2. protected static said,

    Oh, that sucks… :-(

    Hopefully the dognapper just thought Stella was a stray (though you’d think if that was the case they’d’ve checked with $someone_nearby (like, oh, Jai) to make sure…).

    We hope she’s returned safe ‘n sound, Jai.

    Wed, June 29 at 10:07 pm
  3. eM said,

    I drove past that corner around that time today.
    I was turning left onto Wallingford from 40th when I noticed a woman standing near the flower shop who appeared to be calling a dog. She was patting her legs and looking towards the corner and saying something. I smiled to myself as I drove by and thought she was saying hi to Stella because I have visited with Stella while waiting for the bus or walking my own dogs past the store. About a block up the street it occurred to me that it was odd that she was standing near the flower shop and not actually in front of the store or at the bus stop as most Stella worshipers do. I didn’t think anything more about it until now. I wonder if it was the same woman the person at the cleaners saw.

    Wed, June 29 at 10:23 pm
  4. walkinroun said,

    Stella is a sweet little pooch who cheers up this busy intersection. I hope these dognappers somehow find it in their hearts to give her back to her family.

    Wed, June 29 at 10:38 pm
  5. Alli said,

    Oh no! We love Stella (and Jai!) and will spread the word.

    Wed, June 29 at 10:39 pm
  6. Gina said,

    Can you post a picture so we know what to look for?

    Thu, June 30 at 12:27 am
  7. Justin Baird said,

    I occasionally walk my dogs by there as I go on long excursions, so I’ll keep a watch out for that truck in the north QA, lower and east Fremont and southwest Wallingford areas. This has happened to my Cricket and it was just this type of viral posting that brought her home!

    Thu, June 30 at 1:37 am
  8. Mike said,

    This makes me so sad. My kids (5 and 9) are attached to Stella and look for her every time they enter the store. Jai – I am sorry for your loss.

    Thu, June 30 at 4:48 am
  9. Nick & Tamara said,

    We were so sad to receive this news last night. We hope Stella is found and/or returned quickly. Our thoughts are with you Jai.

    Thu, June 30 at 7:34 am
  10. josh said,

    Oh my, I haven’t even met Stella and this sounds sad! You should try and get the Stranger to run a small story. Last Days covered a missing dog recently that was found last week. They might go for this story, too.

    Thu, June 30 at 8:40 am
  11. Margaret said,

    @Gina – Jai doesn’t have any digital photos of Stella; but if he brings a hard copy of a picture to the store tonight, I’ll borrow it and scan it and post.

    Thu, June 30 at 9:04 am
  12. Eric Maurer said,

    I stopped by last night and Jai was putting on a brave face, but I am sure he is devestated by someone dognapping Stella. I am keeping my eyes peeled for this truck and will do my best to help bring back Stella.

    Dognapper lady…. if you are reading this, you suck! There is a spot in hell for people like you.

    Thu, June 30 at 9:49 am
  13. brady said,

    that is awful.

    Thu, June 30 at 9:49 am
  14. meganc said,

    One thought: it’s possible the dognapper is one of the people who didn’t feel Stella should be outside on the sidewalk on her own and is being a sanctimonious (jerk) to “teach Jai a lesson.” If so, there’s a chance Stella will turn up in a shelter or at a vet. Do we know if she’s microchipped? I hope Jai reaches out to the shelters and keeps checking, just in case.

    Poor little thing must be so scared without her people.

    Thu, June 30 at 10:33 am
  15. Margaret said,

    @Megan, we discussed that possibility last night. Thankfully, Stella is microchipped, but he’s had a hard time getting a hold of a live person at the shelter.

    Thu, June 30 at 10:35 am
  16. stacey said,

    Oh no! Hopefully she will return home soon.

    Thu, June 30 at 10:52 am
  17. Chris W. said,

    One of my coworkers just chatted with Jai & he says the truck was a flatbed with a black canopy, kind of distinctive. Maybe with black rims.

    Also, he doesn’t have any pictures of Stella that he can share, but I”m betting some of the neighbors have an iphone photo of her walking on her front legs… anyone? Let us know! I’m happy to make a poster & distribute.

    Thu, June 30 at 2:56 pm
  18. Teach said,

    What can we do?

    Does anyone know someone at the stranger who could post this story?

    Can we put fliers up?

    Thu, June 30 at 7:55 pm
  19. Carmen said,

    I’m so sad that Stella’s gone. I talked with Jai a few hours ago because I had just come back from camp and I heard the news. I’m hoping the person who took her just wanted to make sure Stella is okay and is giving her TLC. It’s a horrible thing to take a person’s dog away, but it could be worse if all they wanted to do is make sure she’s safe, even though we all know Jai wouldn’t hurt Stella and isn’t a bad owner.

    I took a few photos of her for photography class Sophomore year, I think I can dig some of them up!

    Thu, June 30 at 8:39 pm
  20. Chris W. said,

    Oh Carmen, that is so great! Yes, I’d love to get some photos & make flyers, and pass ’em out. And maybe we could leave a stack at the store if Jai’s willing, so others (like Teach) can pick some up too.

    If you’re willing to email them to us ([email protected]) Margaret can just shoot them to me, or to herself!

    Thu, June 30 at 9:02 pm
  21. cris said,

    I made this article my status on Facebook- hope it helps get the word out. The lady that did this is beyond despicable.

    Thu, June 30 at 9:53 pm
  22. Carmen said,

    Chris, I am actually leaving for camp tomorrow, and won’t be back until the 8th of July, and I want to get them up as soon as possible, so if I don’t have enough time to scan them and send them tomorrow morning, I’ll drop them off at the durn good with the man who is there in the mornings (what’s his name? He always says hi to me on my way to school, I’m embarrassed I don’t know his name…) and label them and maybe someone could go pick them up? I’ll find a way to get them to you some way or another.

    PS. they’re black and white, but I think they’ll do, and feel free to touch them up on the computer, seeing as one of them is a bit on the light side!

    Thu, June 30 at 11:41 pm
  23. Chris W. said,

    Carmen, yes please drop them off at the store. You may be referring to Jai (Jay), Stella’s owner. Please let him know that Margaret or someone from Wallyhood will come pick them up to post on the blog & make posters.

    We’ll also hang onto those photos for you. Drop us a note when you get back.


    Fri, July 1 at 1:51 am
  24. Leslie said,

    I know Jai and Stella as well and I’m devastated by the news. I loved Stella. If I can help with any of your efforts please let me know. I work in a Veterinary ER so I could bring some fliers there to see if any dog comes in under Stella’s description or if anyone knows anything. Please let me know how I can help.

    Fri, July 1 at 4:01 am
  25. Carmen said,

    I’ll email and drop them off! No, there is another guy that works the mornings, he has thick glasses, and is always talking to the bus passengers in the mornings right outside the store.

    Fri, July 1 at 6:36 am
  26. Yani said,

    I am so heartbroken. I hope for Stella’s safe return.

    Fri, July 1 at 9:10 am
  27. meganc said,

    I just spoke to Rich (@Carmen, I believe that’s the morning dude’s name), who said the car was a green Toyota truck with a canopy; light green stripe; no hubcap on the front passenger tire. Dog walkers, please keep your eyes open this weekend.

    @Leslie, do you know if it would help to get fliers with Stella’s microchip information to all the vets we can think of? If someone took her to keep, and she has to go to a vet, it would be good to have them on the lookout as well.

    Fri, July 1 at 9:53 am
  28. Chris Witwer said,

    Can anybody see this, when you click on it? http://www.wallyhood.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/HELP.pdf

    Fri, July 1 at 11:02 am
  29. meganc said,

    @Chris W, yes, that worked for me. Maybe just add the word “microchipped” to the flyer?

    Fri, July 1 at 11:05 am
  30. Chris Witwer said,

    We’ve got a poster, folks! (I’ve just heard my link works.) See comment #28, or go here: http://www.wallyhood.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/HELP.pdf

    Anybody asking what we can do — you can print & start tacking these up around the ‘hood if you wish. We’ll have THOUSANDS of people in lower Wallingford this weekend. Let’s make the most of it!

    I’m on my way to Kinko’s to make hard copies that I’ll leave at the Durn Good if Jai wants a few. Thanks to everybody who helped with photos, etc! Let’s get Stella back now!

    Fri, July 1 at 11:07 am
  31. Julie said,

    I’ve heard Jai has 3 pictures of the truck from the security camera at the Durn Good. Can someone make copies of the pictures and put a link to make copies along with the flier?

    Fri, July 1 at 12:18 pm
  32. Chris W. said,

    He’s been telling us that he isn’t able to isolate them or use as a video.

    Fri, July 1 at 1:26 pm
  33. Mari said,

    Hi so I was just at the Durn Good and I got the pictures of the truck off the computer so I will email them asap

    Fri, July 1 at 5:55 pm
  34. Debra Myers said,

    Not sure if you’ve called the animal shelter already but I saw their truck on Wallingford avenue the other day.
    So maybe???

    Fri, July 1 at 6:33 pm
  35. Pat Malone said,

    If a good samaritan took Stella thinking she was lost I want that person to know that we will all be so grateful to know that is what happened and to get Stella back to her family. This is a loving community and you do not have to be afraid, we will welcome you with open arms. I am sure any negative comments on this blog are based on the fear that Stell might have been kidnapped by someone who wants to keep her. There is a huge difference between trying to be a good samaritan and committing a crime. I hope that someone will see this and that Stella will be returned.

    Fri, July 1 at 6:50 pm
  36. Pat Malone said,

    Henry and I are devastated and our thoughts are with you and your family. I hold out hope that this was a case of someone trying to be a good samaritan. If it was a criminal, no dog is safe with a criminal even those who are locked inside. For the neighborhood to enjoy time with Stella while shopping in your store and for you to have a companion at work, that is the most natural thing in the world and one of the things that can make a community great. Our heart goes out to you and we hope Stella is home soon. She needs her dad. Stella is a great dog because she has a great family.

    Fri, July 1 at 7:28 pm
  37. Justin Baird said,

    Has Stella’s loss been posted on Craigslist? When someone nabbed my dog, I posted under Lost & Found and the thief’s girlfriend turned on him and contacted me.

    Fri, July 1 at 8:43 pm
  38. Suich said,

    Excellent work, Mari! (virtual high five!)

    I think the truck is the key…a lot easier to spot than Stella!

    Chris, your poster is great! My only problem is that you call it a “flat bed.” Isn’t it a Toyota pickup? I don’t know the difference…sorry.

    I check this thread a couple of times a day and am thrilled that I’m not the only one who wants Stella back!

    Fri, July 1 at 9:04 pm
  39. Chris W. said,

    Thanks, Suich. Yes, it was intially thought that the truck was a pickup, but closer inspection of the tapes made Jai tell a customer (and friend of mine, who shared the story) that he now thinks it’s a flatbed. So I went with that after my friend made him clarify a couple times.

    Fri, July 1 at 10:09 pm
  40. Mari said,

    So I emailed the picture to the blog last night but since it is not up yet, here are links to a video of it and the picture.http://oi56.tinypic.com/2crwvgp.jpg http://oi56.tinypic.com/bh111d.jpg

    Sat, July 2 at 11:37 am
  41. Margaret said,

    Thank you so much, Mari. Sorry it took so long but I’ve put a new post up with your photo and (.gif).

    Sat, July 2 at 12:48 pm
  42. Yani said,

    That looks like a regular truck to me, not a flatbed. I can see the back wheel wells, same green as the straight up bed walls next to it.

    I haven’t seen it stated, and I just want to make sure…have the police been called. Dog napping of pure breed dogs is quite common in Seattle. And they usually resell them. That’s what I’m worried about.

    I really want Stella back home with Jai!

    I’ve been keeping my eye out for a green truck as I drive around the general area.

    Sat, July 2 at 4:50 pm
  43. Yani said,

    Ya know, I think we obviously show enough interest here as a community pulling together. I think we can get this story on one of the news shows. They love community stories, and it would get wonderful coverage to hopefully get enough people aware, and find Stella. Anyone else think it’s a good idea???

    Sat, July 2 at 5:15 pm
  44. Suich said,

    Yani, when I talked to Jai on Thursday, the police had not been called.

    I think getting the story on one of the news shows is a terrific idea!

    Sat, July 2 at 5:48 pm
  45. Pat Malone said,

    I have e-mailed all three news stations, it’s easy to do if you go to contact and then news tips. I think if more people than just me would do this or call the stations we might get this vehicle on the news. It’s worth a try

    Sat, July 2 at 5:58 pm
  46. julie cascioppo said,

    Let this also be a warning to folks who trustingly tie their dogs up while shopping at OFC and Bartels. Cute Dogs are VALUABLE and people will steal them.
    I’ve heard of someone having to chase down a homeless guy who simply took the dog while the guy was in Bartels shopping for various good bargains.

    It’s terrible but true. IF YOU LOVE YOUR DOG, don’t leave it alone for even a few minutes thinking no one will want it.

    I hope that woman is found. I will keep my eyes open for a green truck, and a woman in it.

    Sat, July 2 at 6:17 pm
  47. Rob C said,

    Re: flatbed or no – regardless of what the truck “actually” is, I think that the poster shouldn’t say “flatbed” if there’s any confusion. If it’s “really” a flatbed but doesn’t *look* like one, then people who see the real thing might be thrown off by such a description. Keep it open, and just publish a picture.

    Sat, July 2 at 6:34 pm
  48. Pat Malone said,

    Agree with Rob, it’s too confusing to say flatbed.
    Am printing some flyers to pass out in Greenwood area and hope Mari can get us flyer with truck as well.

    Sat, July 2 at 6:48 pm
  49. Carrie W said,

    Hi everybody,

    I just learned about Stella and Ozzy (my Cocker Spaniel and a Stella fan) and I are just devastated!

    I lost Ozzy just over a year ago while out hiking and though I found him the next day at the ASPCA (which I told Jai), I know the pain that Jai and his family are going through.

    During my search to find Ozzy, I was directed to http://www.lostmydoggie.com/package-options.cfm.

    They are a ‘amber alert’ for lost/stolen pets service. For the most comprehensive service – including notification to area shelters, vets, pet agencies, etc. it is $115. I would love to donate some money to help get this service to find Stella… anyone else interested?

    Sat, July 2 at 7:23 pm
  50. Suich said,

    Carrie, I’m in! I thought maybe offering a reward, too.

    Sat, July 2 at 7:26 pm
  51. Chris W. said,

    Sorry about the flatbed guys. You’re all correct, but Jai was adamant before (perhaps a language barrier?). I passed out over 90 flyers yesterday that say flatbed, so they’re out there. At least Stella’s picture is on them, and a question mark after “Toyota.” Feel free to make newer, better flyers & tack them over my old ones as you see them. Though I’ve already noticed that some of these flyers + Jeramy’s fliers about Mage have been taken down since last night.

    Sat, July 2 at 7:38 pm
  52. Carrie W said,


    EXCELLENT!!! I just dropped off the information and a donation to Jai at the store. Feel free to stop in and offer up what you can.

    I’m really hoping it helps!!!

    Sat, July 2 at 7:50 pm
  53. Julie said,

    I just spoke with Jai. He did call the police last night because someone thought they had spotted the truck. It turned out to be a Ford though, and he is sure it is a Toyota. The fliers look great all over the neighborhood. Thanks to all who have put them up.

    Sat, July 2 at 8:25 pm
  54. Marie said,

    I just called King5’s breaking news phone line. 448-5555.

    They say they’ve heard about it and are considering it. I did feel a little silly, but I’m glad I did it. Jai is a good guy and Stella surely deserves better than being drug away by some cold-hearted woman. At least there is a lead in this case. A picture of the truck is a very good start. If that got on the news, someone will put two and two together.

    C’mon guys, let’s give it a try!

    Sat, July 2 at 9:07 pm
  55. Pat Malone said,

    Thank you, don’t feel silly. I felt silly until I realized there were so many other Stella worshipers. The important thing is to do anything we have to do to get Stella home. She needs her family!

    Sat, July 2 at 9:54 pm
  56. Yani said,

    I sent a letter to each of the news stations as well. Good news that Marie got a “we’re considering it” response!!!

    Sun, July 3 at 8:25 am
  57. Yani said,

    Kiro News is interested in picking up this story! Hopefully we will get some coverage!!

    Sun, July 3 at 10:43 am
  58. Justin Baird said,

    The poster looks great!

    — Lost & Found
    — Pets (for rehoming)

    I posted the CL question a couple days ago. Has Stella been listed in CL lost & found? When my jack Cricket was ‘napped the thief’s girlfriend saw the ad I placed and narc’d on her beau.

    Also – we should keep watch on the Pets offered areas of CL to watch for attempts to rehome her.

    Again, however …. If a CL lost & found post is placed, the neighbor or friend of the dognapper may lead Jai to Stella.

    Sun, July 3 at 11:29 am
  59. Suich said,

    Great news!!! I just left the Durn and KOMO is there right now filming!

    Justin, can you go ahead and post on Craig’s List?

    There is an envelope behind the counter that says “Donations for Stella” if anyone wants to help re: Carrie W.’s post upthread.

    Sun, July 3 at 11:50 am
  60. Justin Baird said,

    Great news about KOMO!

    @Suich I’m presently “iPhone only” so I’m unable to post to Craiglist with attachments.

    Can someone post Stella on Craigslist’s “Lost & Found”?

    Sun, July 3 at 11:55 am
  61. Yani said,

    That’s fantastic news about KOMO!!!

    Sun, July 3 at 11:59 am
  62. Pat said,

    Great news about Komo. I just hope Stella gets returned soon. It’s wonderful to see everybody so concerned and helpful.

    Sun, July 3 at 12:10 pm
  63. Nancy M said,

    Send KOMO over to Meridian Park. The inmates are running the asylum.

    Sun, July 3 at 12:18 pm
  64. Suich said,

    Story coming up right now on KIRO!

    Sun, July 3 at 5:21 pm
  65. the morning guy said,

    STELLA IS BACK!!!!!!! Jai just received a call from a ballard vet hospital saying that “someone had left her off there,,,ask tomorrow and i might have some more info. Jai thanks everyone for their concern, their super efforts and technology, and of course for being such great neighbors.having lived in the hood for 22 years in august, i just knew that our collective energies and strong community spirit would bring her home.
    Thank you.

    Sun, July 3 at 5:23 pm
  66. Pat said,

    Oh my god I am so happy!!!!! This is the best possible outcome!!! Thank you all for your efforts and concern. How wonderful.

    Sun, July 3 at 5:35 pm
  67. Carrie W said,

    NO WAY!!! I just got goosebumps!!! I’m so happy : )

    Sun, July 3 at 5:40 pm
  68. Suich said,

    Cool! Happy Dance, Happy Dance!!!

    Rich, is that you?

    Sun, July 3 at 6:06 pm
  69. Chris W. said,

    Ooooo, thanks everybody! So happy for you Jai!

    Sun, July 3 at 6:17 pm
  70. Carmen said,

    YAY!!! oh I’m so happy I wish I could see her right now! This has been such great news for me today! A good ending to a bad day :) When I get home I’m going to go over and give her a BIG hug!!!!!!
    Great efforts everybody! Just goes to show what positive thinking and a great community effort this was! I’m glad we can all show supp

    Mon, July 4 at 12:28 am
  71. Carmen said,

    Sorry, typing from an iPhone can be a bit tricky sometimes…anywhoo what I was saying was : just goes to show what support and a great effort can do to bring a community together!!! Thanks, everyone!

    Mon, July 4 at 12:32 am
  72. Chris W. said,

    Thank you, Carmen. I never saw your photos, so if you dropped them off with Jai he probably still has them. I’m headed up to hug that puppy today, too! Happy Fourth and enjoy the camping!

    Mon, July 4 at 8:41 am
  73. yani said,

    I’m so incredibly happy for Stella, Jai, and their family, and I’m super proud of my community!!!

    Mon, July 4 at 9:11 am
  74. Chris W. said,

    I just stopped in at the Durn Good. Both “the morning guy” and Jai were there, as was Stella. I didn’t get to see her, though. Maybe she was napping, or perhaps they’re being protective (I would be!). Regardless, the morning guy has a message for Wallyhood: thank you thank you thank you!

    They were so impressed with everyone’s concerns and the spirit of community that may just be responsible for Stella’s return. Jai told me she was dropped off at the Ballard Veterinary Hospital wearing a new harness, so someone probably meant to keep her.

    And the morning guy (that’s how he logs on here), he was so impressed with how people shared their skills to help– like pulling the image of the truck off the surveillance video, and Margaret’s posting the story that started it all. Thanks to all! As the morning guy summed up, “Tears of joy!”

    Mon, July 4 at 11:24 am
  75. Jason said,

    This just made my morning. I posted on Craigslist the day after it happened, and was going to contact the My Wallingford Blog, but contacting King 5 and KOMO was a brilliant move! Nice work you guys!

    So glad she has made it home. I drive past Durn Good every single day, and Stella is mayor of the neighborhood in my opinion. Welcome home Stella!

    Mon, July 4 at 11:56 am
  76. yani said,

    Do we know yet? Did the Ballard vet know Stella was missing and contacted Jai, saying they think they have her? Or did they read her chip and contact Jai? How did the Ballard vet and Jai come together? I’m so curious!

    Tue, July 5 at 7:37 am
  77. Sonja said,

    I am so happy that Stella was reunited! Hooray!

    Tue, July 5 at 12:11 pm
  78. Pat said,

    Agree with Jason that Stella is the mayor of 40th and Wallingford!

    Tue, July 5 at 8:13 pm
  79. Chris W. said,

    Hear hear!

    Tue, July 5 at 8:39 pm
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