(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
Families and pets go together like peanut butter and jelly.
“She thinks she’s a lap dog like most Mastiffs,” Kelly Pistone said.
Hera, the Pistone family's Mastiff, is a floppy, fun-loving dog.
This story starts Memorial Day weekend at the family's Priest Lake cabin.
“We looked for a few days, looking for her, calling for her, kind of expecting her to come back,” Pistone said.
Hera didn’t come back that weekend and the family had to come back to their Post Falls home.
“My mom ended up staying for another five days searching for her, we had neighbors out there searching,” she said, “I honestly thought that either an animal got to her or somebody had snagged her because there was just no sign."
A month would go by and to the Pistone family's surprise...
“I got a call from a man named Harry who was up there looking for huckleberry bushes,” Pistone said, “and he said he found her and got her number off of her collar and called me and I dropped everything and rushed up to Usk."
Pistone says from Priest Lake to where Hera was found in Usk is approximately 50 miles through bear and bobcat infested woods.
“When I saw her I just started crying because I couldn't believe how skinny she was,” she said.
Pistone says before Hera went missing she weighed 85 pounds.
“When we weighed her yesterday she was 55 and a half,” she said.
Hera is now on a strict, every two hour eating diet plan that her vet gave her to get her weight back up.
Pistone says she wants to thank everyone who helped spread the word when Hera was missing and to the man who was searching for huckleberries.