Deanne Stein, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A couple from California is desperate to find their lost dog that ran away in Oklahoma on Christmas Eve.

It's been a month now, and Jackie Vestal continues to search for Maddox, her 7-year-old miniature pinscher. He was last seen at 11804 Camelot Drive in northwest Oklahoma City.

"He's my best friend, he's my whole world," said Vestal. "I can't leave without him. I'm not leaving without him."

Vestal has decided to step up the search, calling on missing dog specialist Karin TarQwyn and her tracking dogs.

"Miniature Pinschers are very tough dogs, very tough," said TarQwyn. "He's traveled approximately eight miles from where he first began, following creeks and ditches and basically living on his own."

TarQwyn and her dogs tracked Maddox's scent a few weeks ago just west of Lake Hefner. Over the weekend, she returned and again, tracked his scent, this time north of Lake Hefner.

"They definitely can survive. Very rarely do they actually succumb to the elements," said TarQwyn. "There is some concern for coyotes."

This is why TarQwyn believes Maddox continues to wander, in order to not be a target for predators. She says the dog's natural timid behavior is also keeping him in hiding.

"Dogs that have this behavioral profile, they don't get braver when they're out here in the great outdoors," said TarQwyn. "They get much more suspicious, much more reticent to allow people to approach them."

So, sightings from people in the community are vital.

"Our goal is to get within the area we think he has traveled recently, get a sighting from somebody who thinks they saw the dog and then get traction and capture," said TarQwyn.

And until that happens, Vestal refuses to leave Oklahoma.

"I know that he's out there," Vestal said. "I know I'm going to find him."

Maddox is a black and tan Min Pin, weighing 12 lbs. He was wearing an OKC Thunder collar and is micro-chipped. If you see Maddox, don't chase him. Instead call Jackie Vestal at (405) 615-3279 or (323) 217-9337.