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Missing dog takes on mythic quality

Nov. 24, 2006 at 9:20 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A missing show dog named Vivi has taken on something of a mythic quality through a series of rumored sightings across New York.

While a $5,000 reward still stands for the recovery of the whippet -- which disappeared from Kennedy International Airport in February -- reported sightings of Vivi have begun to take on a near urban legend quality, The New York Times said.

The dog had appeared in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show before it disappeared. Steve Zeitlin, the director of the urban folklore center City Lore, says that only adds to the novelty surrounding the sightings.

"It is," said Zeitlin, "the way that New Yorkers express their humanity -- through their concern over a small, helpless show dog from California."

Callers place Vivi in unusual locales such as cemeteries. All but a few driven volunteers have said they don't plan to stay in the search.

"My goal is Vivi," Rosa Chile, one of the more devout volunteers, told the paper. "It's all about Vivi and to get her back in California and back to her happy life again."

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