CALUMET TOWNSHIP | It wasn’t the outcome Kandi Sickles and her friends wanted, but the search for Woody and Paige is over.
The bodies of the champion show dogs were discovered inside Sickles’ burned-out house Saturday. Both were found under piles of debris in adjacent rooms, away from the area where 13 other dogs died Jan. 28. Two dogs survived. Sources in earlier reports said fewer dogs were in the home at the time of the fire. Latest information revealed there was a total of 17.
On Jan. 31, Sickles and a small group of women conducted an intensive search through nearby woods for Woody and Paige.
Michelle Jones, of Griffith, and Tammy Eddleman, of Missouri, were among those with Sickles on Saturday when authorities released the property back to the family.
“Kandi found Woody in her bedroom. She came running out of the house with him in her arms and collapsed on the ground. It was very hard,” said Jones, a longtime friend of Sickles and the owner of one of Sickles' Chinese crested powder puff variety dogs.
Eddleman said Woody, a Chinese crested hairless variety, was eventually taken to a local animal hospital.
“There were five of us there. It was starting to get dark and we knew we had to go back into the house,” said Eddleman, a breeder of Shetland sheepdogs, who found out about Sickles’ loss on Facebook.
Eddleman and Griffith Animal Control Officer Sandi Litke discovered the body of Paige, a Sheltie, in the room next to Sickles’ bedroom.
“Paige was laying against the wall. Woody was on the other side with just a wall separating them,” Eddleman said by phone Wednesday from her Missouri home.