Port Richey man is reunited with Mara, his lost dog

Zachary Mitrovich’s beagle mix, Mara, 13, disappeared April 21. After posting about 600 fliers and a story in Thursday’s Times, Mitrovick and Mara were reunited Thursday.

Special to the Times

Zachary Mitrovich’s beagle mix, Mara, 13, disappeared April 21. After posting about 600 fliers and a story in Thursday’s Times, Mitrovick and Mara were reunited Thursday.

PORT RICHEY — Zachary Mitrovich feels good about the world again. After the passing of his father, his mother's disabling illness, his own fight with death and the possibility that he and his mother might lose their home, the 19-year-old already was holding on to hope by a thread.

And then his best friend, a 13-year-old beagle mix named Mara, slipped through an open backyard gate on Monday.

Mitrovich, who has saved at least 20 stray animals and reunited them with their owners, refused to cry or acknowledge his heartache. Instead, he went into action — making 600 color fliers and posting them all over Port Richey, banking on karma and the good in people.

He believed. And the universe responded.

Early Thursday, as copies of the Times with a story about Mitrovich's plight were being delivered, he embraced Mara. A woman who lived about a mile from Mitrovich's house had seen a flier for Mara and knew it was the stray dog she had found a few days earlier and taken in. She called and asked Mitrovich detailed questions, to make sure the dog was really his.

And then she put Mara on the phone. Mitrovich spoke, and Mara wiggled, as much as a senior citizen with bad back legs can, and she barked her seal-like yelp. Mitrovich sped over there in his car and brought Mara home.

Losing Mara was the last thing Mitrovich needed. The dog comforted him after his dad died and helped him in his own fight with a virus that drained his testosterone. His mom, who suffers from lupus, is disabled and can't work. The pair are struggling to keep up the payments on their home.

So Mara's return was a joyous event. As she slept all day Thursday, exhausted from being lost, the good karma kept coming to Mitrovich. More than 200 people who read the Times story called him. They offered to give him money, which he thanked them for but refused. They wanted to help search and pray for Mara.

"It was very touching to hear that people who don't even know me or Mara could care that much," Mitrovich said.

He wants to thank all of the people who called and all of the others who were kind to him. During his search, he walked up to people on their porches and knocked on doors and flagged down postal workers. All of them listened and took the fliers.

As he talked on the phone Friday, Mara slept behind him in a chair.

"Words can't describe how I feel," Mitrovich said. "All I can say is, 'thank you.' "

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4609.

PORT RICHEY — Zachary Mitrovich feels good about the world again. After the passing of his father, his mother's disabling illness, his own fight with death and the possibility that he and his mother might lose their home, the 19-year-old already was holding on to hope by a thread.

And then his best friend, a 13-year-old beagle mix named Mara, slipped through an open backyard gate on Monday.

Mitrovich, who has saved at least 20 stray animals and reunited them with their owners, refused to cry or acknowledge his heartache. Instead, he went into action — making 600 color fliers and posting them all over Port Richey, banking on karma and the good in people.

He believed. And the universe responded.

Early Thursday, as copies of the Times with a story about Mitrovich's plight were being delivered, he embraced Mara. A woman who lived about a mile from Mitrovich's house had seen a flier for Mara and knew it was the stray dog she had found a few days earlier and taken in. She called and asked Mitrovich detailed questions, to make sure the dog was really his.

And then she put Mara on the phone. Mitrovich spoke, and Mara wiggled, as much as a senior citizen with bad back legs can, and she barked her seal-like yelp. Mitrovich sped over there in his car and brought Mara home.

Losing Mara was the last thing Mitrovich needed. The dog comforted him after his dad died and helped him in his own fight with a virus that drained his testosterone. His mom, who suffers from lupus, is disabled and can't work. The pair are struggling to keep up the payments on their home.

So Mara's return was a joyous event. As she slept all day Thursday, exhausted from being lost, the good karma kept coming to Mitrovich. More than 200 people who read the Times story called him. They offered to give him money, which he thanked them for but refused. They wanted to help search and pray for Mara.

"It was very touching to hear that people who don't even know me or Mara could care that much," Mitrovich said.

He wants to thank all of the people who called and all of the others who were kind to him. During his search, he walked up to people on their porches and knocked on doors and flagged down postal workers. All of them listened and took the fliers.

As he talked on the phone Friday, Mara slept behind him in a chair.

"Words can't describe how I feel," Mitrovich said. "All I can say is, 'thank you.' "

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4609.

Port Richey man is reunited with Mara, his lost dog 04/25/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:36am]

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