Woman seeking missing service dog

FOLLANSBEE – A Washington, Pa., woman needs help in finding a dog who has helped her in dealing with an unusual medical condition.

Ramona Bice said she was visiting a friend at her home on Rockdale Road on Hooverson Heights on Memorial Day when her 15-year-old terrier-chihuahua mix wandered away.

Bice said she suffers from a medical condition that causes her to faint without warning, and the canine is a service dog trained to bark or nudge her before that occurs. She said the dog is able to detect an odor created by a chemical reaction that causes her fainting spells.

Bice said the dog is named Tacobella, weighs about 17 pounds and is black with patches of white and gray. It also was wearing a 2-inch blue collar that designates her as a signal service dog.

She said she’s offering a reward for the dog’s return, “no questions asked.” Those with the dog or information may call (304) 527-0616.

Bice said while she could arrange for a new service dog, she has become close to Tacobella.

“I’m hoping she comes back. I can’t even think about another dog at this point,” she said.

Bice said Tacobella has been quite dependable and it was unusual for her to have wandered away.

She said the first time Tacobella warned her of a fainting spell, she ignored it and fell on her face and needed eight stitches.

“I learned real quickly to listen to her,” she said.

Bice expressed thanks to Brooke County sheriff’s deputies who searched the area when she reported Tacobella missing and to friends and family who have spread word about the dog through Facebook and Craigslist.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)