Ken and Mischa Alexander have peppered the region with 600 lost dog posters looking for Duchess, Major and Zeus. Contributed photo

LEWISTON — Duchess, Major and Zeus have been everything to Ken and Mischa Alexander. Cherished furry children. Loving companions. And last fall, when the couple was devastated by a miscarriage halfway through Mischa’s pregnancy, the large dogs were a comfort when little else was.

Mischa Alexander holds Duchess, one of the family’s three dogs that went missing two weeks ago. Mischa Alexander photo

“Having my babies here with me, they made it possible for me not to get into that dark place,” Mischa Alexander said.

But two weeks ago, Duchess, her mate Major and their 5-month-old puppy Zeus vanished from their yard where they’d been left for a few minutes. There have been almost no clues in their disappearance and just one sighting of the trio of big, friendly, unique-looking dogs.

With help of friends and complete strangers, the Alexanders have been searching, peppering the region with lost dog flyers and sharing their story on social media. They are desperate to bring the four-legged members of their family back home.

“I was hoping for a Christmas miracle,” Alexander said. “But if I can have my babies for the New Year, I’ll be happy.”

Alexander let the dogs outside around 10:30 a.m. Dec. 17. The family lives on three-quarters of an acre on Waters Edge Drive, off No Name Pond Road on the outskirts of Lewiston, a cul-de-sac neighborhood bordered by woods.

If they were going to roam, the dogs didn’t usually go any farther than a neighbor’s house to visit another dog. They absolutely never left the block. Duchess did like to wander, but the boys didn’t, and the three tended to stay together.

“Usually when I call for Zeus or Major, they come right away,” Alexander said.

This time they didn’t.

Alexander quickly realized something was wrong. The dogs didn’t come when called. Neighbors hadn’t seen them. A search turned up nothing.

The dogs were gone.

Two nights later, someone in the neighborhood spotted Duchess, Major and Zeus down the road, but that person didn’t know the dogs and wasn’t aware they were lost. The Alexanders didn’t find out about it until the next day. That was their last confirmed sighting.

The Alexanders have seen canine paw prints in the snow around their home, but it’s impossible to tell if they’re from their dogs. Other dogs live in the neighborhood and at least one was seen wandering through the yard recently.

The couple has scoured the area. They’ve peppered the region with 600 missing dog posters. They’ve called animal shelters across Maine and into New Hampshire. They’ve shared their plight on social media with the hope that someone might find Duchess, Major and Zeus and make the connection.

“We’ve had thousands of shares already, and a lot of people are actually out there actually looking. Like I had a guy I’ve never met before text me and say, ‘Hey, just came out for my snowmobile. We’re going to get those babies back to you,'” Alexander said. “Being from New York, I’m not used to this level of compassion and commitment from people from the community.”

It hasn’t hurt that Ken Alexander is a popular mail carrier in town. People want to help, his wife said, when they learn his dogs are the ones that are missing.

“It’s made the search expand even more so,” she said.

Still, despite the attention, Duchess, Major and Zeus remain missing.

The Alexanders have wondered whether a coyote or other wild animal might have attacked them, but the dogs are large —40 to 85 pounds each — and they stick together, making it hard for the couple to imagine that all three dogs could have been attacked and killed without a trace. They’ve wondered whether the dogs accidentally roamed too far, got lost and can’t find their way back since it’s snowed a couple of times and they’ve only ever left the neighborhood in a car. The couple has wondered whether someone took Zeus, the puppy, or maybe all three dogs.

“I don’t see any of them going anywhere without the other,” Alexander said.

While Duchess is the most outgoing of the trio, all three dogs are extremely friendly and affectionate. All three know how to give high-fives. Major knows how to open some doors.

Alexander believes they are very likely to be together.

Duchess is a 1½-year-old boxer-shar pei mix, about 75 pounds, with a reddish brindle coat and a black face. Major is a 1-year-old pit bull-Labrador retriever mix, about 85 pounds, with a light brown brindle coat. Zeus is a 5-month-old mixed breed, part boxer, shar pei, pit bull and Lab. He weighs about 40 pounds and, like his mother, has a reddish brindle coat and a black face.

Because the dogs get out of anything placed around their neck, they aren’t wearing collars.

The Alexanders ask anyone who has seen the dogs or has information about them to call (631) 922-0909 or (631) 992-1137.


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