It certainly sounded like a radio stunt when I first heard it, but was as serious as can be. WDVE radio host Jim Krenn and his wife Hedy reported their dog Gizmo missing. Run off by a bunch of bloodhounds as the family walker to him into a local park.
Listening on the radio this morning, one might wonder if the missing dog was a promotional gimmick, except Jimmy was not there with Randy Baumann and the gang. he and his lovely wife spent the entire night into the morning looking for Gizmo.
You might be wondering why this story deserves media attention at all. After all, isn’t about a lost dog and a owner’s frantic search. It’s not the first time it’s ever happened and it certainly won’t be the last. The answer isn’t so much about the dog being missing and the celebrity who owns it as how his disappearance inspired others and showed us the best side of our city.
Jim and Hedy adopted Gizmo years ago from Animal Friends. It was that adoption that really got the Krenns deeply involved in the agency. So much so that Jim now front the campaign spots on the air and Gizmo has become the canine face for the organization. You can see those spots running now.
Jim and Hedy have four dogs and they all have their individual personalities, but none is quite the character Gizmo is … and Jim has talked about his prized pooch on the air many times before. I have even spent some time in Gizmo’s company as he took part in one of our Test It Tuesday stories.
When he went lost, Jim and Hedy hit the local parks in search of him. They looked for hours on their own. Jim even skipped work – the DVE Morning Show – to look for Gizmo. However, their mood and their luck changed when Jim’s on-air partner, Randy Baumann, announced to listeners he would not be on the air because of the frantic search.
That’s when it began. The phone calls from listeners offering to help. The people who knew Jim only as a voice on the radio both calling in their support and showing up to aid in the search. At one point, five search crews were on the lookout for Gizmo.
Finally, Wednesday night, Gizmo was found. He was stuck in a thorn bush. He was unharmed and a bit hungry, but no worse for his ordeal. The Krenns were so happy to find him … and happier still to see how many people came to their aid.
I spoke to Jim late Wednesday night. He says Gizmo is doing well and he and Hedy are so happy to have him back. He also thanked everyone for their kindness and selflessness in helping to find Gizmo. As Jim said, “growing up in Pittsburgh you know people have your back but when it’s you … its overwhelming”.
It is overwhelming and it’s what makes this town so unique. Could I see strangers coming to my aid in such numbers in New York, Boston or Chicago? No way. Only here. That’s what makes this town so special. It’s the people who, in times of trouble, come together to help others.
That being said, I’m going to watch “Boobaloo” extra close next time I walk him.