Tommy Linn had only been in his home a few minutes when he noticed his shadow was missing.
As usual, his 5-year-old Pomeranian had been trailing the Beaufort man when he stepped outside his Ash Street home Wednesday morning. But when Linn came back in from fixing a booster seat in his wife’s car, Cody was not with him.
The short, yapping bale of brown and gray fur wasn’t in the yard either, or wandering the streets when Linn and his wife took turns circling their Cherry Hill Estates neighborhood calling for him. Cody has been missing since.
He was likely taken by an older woman, whom one neighbor saw carry the dog into a car and drive away, promising to bring him to “the pound,” according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
No local shelters or veterinarians have seen him, Linn said.
“He’s like a child to me. He’s just a wonderful dog,” Linn said. “And he never wanders off.”
Deputies have not been able to talk to the neighbor who spoke with the suspect, but Linn said he thinks Cody was snatched from his front yard.
“He never goes in the road,” said Linn, 53, who is in charge of facilities maintenance for Island Management on Hilton Head Island. “He’s like any child. He’ll go to the edge of the road and look at me. He listens better than my grandkids.”
The neighbor, who lives at the end of Ash Street, told Linn and his wife, Ava, that she was sitting outside when an older woman in a silver car walked up with Cody. The dog was not wearing a collar on Wednesday, Linn said.
The neighbor reportedly told her Cody’s owners lived just up the street, but the woman replied that she was short on time and would bring him to a shelter. The neighbor was leaving for work, too, and could not take the dog herself, Linn said.
“We keep checking the shelters. But we still haven’t got our dog,” Ava Linn, 53, said.
She and her husband lost another dog in June. Their rat terrier, Zeus, died while the family was on vacation. The home has been even quieter since Wednesday, with one less character chasing a rubber rat, resting behind Tommy Linn’s head on his recliner or greeting him when he walks in the door.
“Cody would just go berserk, like ‘Daddy’s home,’” Ava Linn said.
Ava Linn said she thinks the woman may have noticed Cody’s rare grayish coloring, called a blue coat. The couple bought him for less than $600 at Keller’s Flea Market in Savannah, but later learned he was worth more than $1,500.
“This sounds to me like this woman saw an opportunity and took it,” Ava Linn said. “That’s the part that’s getting to me, because I just want to make sure he’s taken care of.”
Tommy Linn has plastered his picture on signs in the neighborhood and enlisted friends and family to keep their eyes out for a woman matching the neighbor’s description. Linn said he wouldn’t be angry if the woman returned Cody, and he would pay for her inconvenience.
“It’s good enough for me to get my dog back,” he said.