Threadless rallies to get lost dog home

  • Bort -- whose real name is Pip -- was reunited with his owner with the help of Threadless Tuesday.
Bort -- whose real name is Pip -- was reunited with his owner with the help… (Jeffery Guerrero - Threadless )
August 13, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

“Bort” the dog wandered into Threadless on Thursday, and by Tuesday, Chicago’s T-shirt team had him home.

Daniel Burr, the director of technology for the Chicago-based social T-shirt maker, said he decided to take a phone call outside Threadless’ Chicago office at 1260 W. Madison on Thursday because of the nice weather. That’s when he noticed something odd.

“I heard some rustling in the bushes nearby,” he said. “Out pops this little black head, and it’s a dog.”

Burr, who has volunteered with rescues before and owns two himself, had his instincts kick in, and brought the dog to hang out with the rest of the team in the office. He quickly sent out an all office email seeing if anyone knew the dog, which was nicknamed Bort in honor of "The Simpsons." When the timid but friendly dog couldn’t be IDd (he had no collar or name tag), the gang went to work.

“A lot of people spent a lot of time coming up with names for him,” he said, adding rejects included Thor, Larry, Ernie and Thready. They settled on Bort at the insistence of one of the team members.

“Everyone here at Threadless kind of rallied around posting it to different places,” he said. “Reddit, Lost Dog Illinois, Craigslist, that kind of stuff.” A photographer from the team made fliers to post around the neighborhood, and a volunteer from Reddit’s r/chicago board walked him a mile radius around the office to see if anyone knew Bort.

Burr said he took it upon himself Thursday to bring Bort to a vet across the street, where he got him a rabies shot, medicine for Roundworm and checked for a microchip. He spent the night at a fellow Threadless employee's apartment in the city, and Burr took Bort back to his hometown of Crystal Lake and put him up at a boarder for the weekend.

On Monday, the team was contacted by the rightful owner, Sam Fabian, 19, of Humboldt Park, who told Burr the dog had gotten loose after he was spooked after the car he was in was involved in an accident. Burr said they were able to return Bort -- who they found out is actually named Pip -- to Fabian on Tuesday morning.

"It was pretty good that they got him back and helped out,” said Fabian.

“I think the one that was the happiest was their other dog,” Burr said, adding that the two immediately tackled one another.

He said he and the team didn’t think twice about setting out to find Pip’s home.

“We’re pretty good about rallying around stuff like that,” he said. “It’s that sort of thing, it costs very little to do useful things like that on the small. I don’t know if you believe in Karma, but whether you do or you don’t, it can’t hurt.”

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