Marion family still seeking family dogs lost near lake

A Marion County family continues searching for two family pets that disappeared New Year?s Day from the vicinity of French Creek Cove at Marion Reservoir.

Shaun Craft said he and his wife, Melissa, along with their children, Gannon, 2, and Iliana, 6, recently moved back to the area with their dogs, Daisy, 11, and Cocoa, 10.

?Our dogs were at my folks house (in a large pen outside), but when it got cold,? Shaun said, ?we moved them inside at my father-in-laws house (at Marion Reservoir).?

The family had been at the house for a couple of days, and both dogs didn?t want to venture outside because it was extremely cold, he said.

On New Year?s Day, Shaun said he let them outdoors for a bathroom break, and he went for a coat.

?I was inside for a minute and when I went back outside, they were gone.?

Frantic to find the dogs because they were unfamiliar with the area, Shaun got in his car and started looking for them.

When he was unable to spot them not long after they ran off, the family used social media and contacted veterinarians in and around Marion County and the humane society.

When reports started coming in, Shaun said they drove a lot of back roads in the area of 230th and Kanza, which is also in the vicinity of the house.

?The dogs aren?t familiar with the area,? he said, ?so when someone contacted us (we followed all leads).

?We got reports of sightings on Nighthawk to Peabody, old U.S. Highway 56 and up and down north and south roads and east and west roads in the area.?

Melissa and Shaun have posted ?lost? ads on Facebook pages and Marion County Swap.

?Last week, someone told us they saw our dogs in the Canton area, but when we followed up, we couldn?t find them.?

Family members even followed the river near the house, but with no luck.

Characteristics

Shaun said the dogs are females and both weigh about 60 pounds.

They are purebred Labrador retrievers and have been members of the Craft family since they were puppies, he said.

Daisy is yellow in color and Cocoa is brown. Both were wearing orange collars, he said.

?They are both typical-looking labs,? Shaun said. ?Cocoa is getting a lot of grey on her muzzle area, and Daisy recently had a mass removed from her shoulder.?

According to Shaun, they are both fairly large labs, but Daisy is slightly smaller than Cocoa and has a little more pointed snout.

?She is not as bored looking as Cocoa,? he said.

As far as any particular markings, neither dog has any.

Cocoa, he said, is the rambunctious one and Daisy has started slowing down.

?Cocoa will get her nose down and she goes, which is part of the problem,? he said. ?She will start wandering out there and have no clue where she is going.?

While Cocoa is the more energetic of the two, Shaun said Daisy will follow.

On a few rare occasions Daisy and Cocoa would get out when the family lived in Newton.

?They would run around the neighborhood,? he said, ?but Daisy would always go and bring Cocoa back.?

As for family pictures, Shaun said he recently changed cell phones and a lot of his photos were lost in the process.

Sadness

Iliana and Gannon have both expressed how sad they are in their own way, Shaun said.

?Our little boy calls all the dogs he sees, Cocoa. Every time he sees a dog, they are Cocoa to him,? he said.

The couple?s daughter needs to stay busy and remains optimistic.

?One evening we were sitting at my parent?s house, and after dinner, Iliana asked if she could color a picture of Cocoa and Daisy,? he said.

Her grandfather, Rob Craft, who is also the Marion County sheriff, said he and Shaun both thought it was a good idea for her to draw a picture of them.

?She made 10 copies of the drawing and the deputies have seen the picture.?

These animals are the only dogs Iliana and Gannon have known.

?Our children?s first words, after mama and dada, were Daisy and Cocoa,? he said. ?They are so much a part of the family, and we all miss them.?

Iliana remains optimistic, but she does ask why they ran off.

?We tell Iliana they are on a little adventure and are doing fine. We let her and Gannon know they will be coming home someday,? he said.

If anyone has information about Daisy or Cocoa, call the Marion County Sheriff?s office at 620-382-2144 or stop by the office at 202 S. Fourth St., Marion.

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