Race to Find Ace continues as owners turn to psychics, 'dog whisperer'

Reward for lost dog now up to $6,000

It’s been nearly three weeks since Ace, the 5-year-old Labrador retriever with the gentle disposition, darted out of his owner’s house and took off on what his owners, George Elliott and Nicole Peterdozzi, thought was a run.

He had done it before, and always came back, but this time the sun rose and set repeatedly without any sign of the dog the family loves and spoils — even giving him his own swimming pool.

“He’s George’s buddy. He walks right behind him. It’s been hard. You just take it one day at a time. I just want to know that he’s OK. If somebody has him, I just want to know he’s OK,” Peterdozzi told the Coastal Point on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Elliott, who first held Ace when he was an squirmy 8-week-old puppy, said he quickly offered a $6,000 reward for the dog’s return, invested in a service that calls hundreds of phone numbers to alert neighbors Ace was missing, and talked to a professional dog tracker, who suggested putting out boards sprinkled with flour and marshmallows (a favorite Ace treat), to leave tracks if Ace walked through it.

The couple consulted a psychic recommended by a friend and also Virginia-based psychic Todd Segal who, according to his website, is used by police agencies and by search-and-rescue entities around the country. He told the couple he had a feeling about a blue house and blue shed involving the number 4. Peterdozzi, while out looking for Ace, spotted a house that color, with the street address having 4’s in it, but Ace wasn’t there.

In recent days, Elliott was a guest on local radio shows, and Peterdozzi talked to a “dog whisperer” in Wilmington.

“The dog whisperer talked to him, talked to Ace, and asked him questions. ‘Are you between here and there? Are you here?’ They speak to him that way. I went where she thought he might be, to the Pine Tree camp site, but had no luck,” she said.

“Another psychic made mention of him moving away from water inland, possibly with an older gentleman that lives down a long driveway. You can’t see the house. It’s a smaller house, and he is feeding him human food and his tummy is upset. But we still haven’t found anything,” she said.

She plans to follow a lead about a dog matching Ace’s description seen in the back of a pickup truck.

A friend erected a large sign and placed it in front of her business, Ocean View Seafood, but Peterdozzi said a DelDOT representative have now told her and Elliott that they have to remove all the posters attached to utility poles. She heard she would be fined $25 per sign, but C.R. McLeod, director of community relations for DelDOT, told the Coastal Point no fines are forthcoming.

“A complaint was received about the signs in the Ocean View area, and one of our roadside enforcement officers responded and removed the signs, as they were in violation of DelDOT’s sign laws. We explained to the family why these signs are a violation, and that the family will not be fined for the signs that were posted and we wish them the best in finding the missing dog,” he said.

Peterdozzi said she’ll put up yard signs instead.

There have been more than 100 sightings of similar dogs reported by those trying to help reunite the beloved canine with his family, saddened by his disappearance.

Ace, who is unneutered, has a brown stripe on his nose.

“His tail is round at the end, as it was injured as a pup. He is extremely loveable and gentle. We are asking that everyone keep an eye out for Ace. … He could be anywhere, since he is also a swimmer,” Peterdozzi wrote on the Race to Find Ace page on Facebook.

Concerned dog lovers commented by the scores and agreed to help search.

“Ace is so important to our family, and the unknown is killing us. It has placed a huge void in our family, and our children keep asking if he has come back,” Elliott posted on Facebook.

“We are just praying that he is safe and being cared for. … If you are reading this and he jumped into a vehicle with you please have the heart to bring him back to us.

“Ace is a very sweet dog and deserves to be back home.”

“He has a pool to swim in. He goes with me to work,” said a downcast Elliott, who owns Coastal Services and lives off Cedar Neck Road.

If the dog is returned, he won’t ask any questions, he said. He just wants Ace back.

“We have spent thousands of dollars, and we aren’t going to give up,” Peterdozzi said.

“It’s stressful. Every day is a long day, but we’re going to keep trying to find him. We are leaving our clothes hanging on the fence in the yard, hoping he’ll get our scent and come home.

“We just take it one day at a time.”

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter