When Brian Withers' little white dog Luke went missing two weeks ago, he posted a notice on NextDoor.com and created a flyer. Over the past two weeks, although the search continues, he has received an avalanche of support from around the community.
"There are so, so many stories of just amazing people in our community helping just because the story has captured their heart," said Withers.
"We are so lucky to live in the South Bay."
Luke is a 7.5 pound, approximately 5-year-old white Maltese mix, last seen at 13th and Highland near Uncle Bill's Pancake House and Ocean View Café. He was wearing a purple harness and a red, white, and blue bow tie collar. Withers is offering a $2,000 reward - no questions asked - for his return.
Withers believes the dog was stolen. Two boys who were at Ocean View Cafe at the time say that they saw a man pick up the dog and head east.
With more than 500 comments now on his NextDoor post, neighbors have lined up with suggestions about where to look, possible sightings, and offers to hang flyers and spread the word on social media.
Volunteers have pounded the pavement, scoured nearby shelters for any Luke sightings, and distributed flyers around town and to stores, dog parks, and veterinarians' offices in surrounding cities. Several neighbors have gone out and purchased heavy-duty staplers just for the purpose of hanging flyers on telephone poles.
"I got a call last week from a young man who had to be 12 or 13 named Zeke who just called to let me know he was going to spend the day looking for Luke. He called back a few hours later and said that he was sorry he couldn’t find him, but he has a dog and just wanted to help," said Withers. "I’ve never met this guy, but it melted my heart."
The Neptunian Woman's Club posted the flyer on its Facebook page, noting that the Withers family was one of the original families that was "very instrumental in organizing our club, nearly 110 years ago."
Even in Redondo Beach, the aquarium/fish store Aquatic Fantasy is offering a $5 discount off purchases of $20 or more for anyone who shares Luke's flyer on their social media channels.
"If I could add anything, it would be how much I appreciate those who even just called or wrote to say they were praying for Luke and me, or shared their own story," said Withers. "It's just Luke and me, and I feel like a piece of me is missing... but everyone’s really been propping me up and keeping me going. It's a very powerful thing."
Anyone with leads on Luke's whereabouts is asked to call Withers at 310-283-2386.