GREENPOINT — Her cousin's Canadian wedding had not yet begun, but Danielle Maveal jetted home from Winnipeg early Saturday morning as soon as she learned of the emergency — Myrtle was missing.
"She was going on a late-night walk and there was construction...someone knocked over a metal barrier and the sound scared her so she ran," the Greenpoint resident said of her Chihuahua's disappearance late Friday night while strolling on Nassau Avenue with a dog sitter.
"She's my only dog."
Since this weekend Maveal — a small business consultant who adopted the six-pound black stray last year — has used her social media prowess to enlist attention to her frantic search from celebrities, neighbors, and a Newsweek blog.
She's even inspired supporters to donate a $1,000 reward to Myrtle's lucky spotter.
"Hunting for a lost dog in Greenpoint," famous singer Neko Case retweeted last week. "Reward now $1,000."
"Luckily a lot of people are contacting me and telling me I need to have hope, the support is really helping," said the 33-year-old dog lover who started the blog Find Myrtle.
"Who else is looking for Myrtle? Horatio Sanz, John Hodgman, Neko Case, Ted Leo, The Mountain Goats, Liz Lee, John Wurster, Molly Crabapple," Maveal notes on her blog, referring to all the well-known performers who have tweeted on Myrtle's behalf. "The Internet will find Myrtle."
But still, Maveal's hope to find her shy pup "goes in waves."
"Tonight I'm having people go out and just knock on doors," Maveal said, insisting that the previously scarred Chihuahua would flee from strangers who called out her name.
"If they find her they should call me and I'll come try to lure her back," Maveal said, noting that Myrtle ran when the dog sitter spotted her twice early Saturday morning in Greenpoint. "She's really had a hard life and it took me a long time to pull her out of her shell and get her trusting."
Maveal, who first bonded with Myrtle while volunteering at Manhattan's Animal Haven a year and a half ago, said the timid canine at first "didn't even want to walk on a leash" and feared all humans.
"She's from a 'puppyville,' which meant she was used to breed. They probably left her in a crate her whole life," claimed Maveal of the business outside New York State that "just dumps [the dogs] at shelters after eight or nine years."
But Maveal insisted that since her love and care for Myrtle, "she's a different dog now."
"I didn’t even want a Chihuahua, I love big dogs, like pit bulls — but she chose me," Maveal claimed of her bond with the tiny creature who slept with her every night.
"Sometimes I wake up and shes under my pillow under my head," reminisced Maveal. "She loves to burrow under pillows and blankets...I think she's either hiding deep in the industrial area [of Greenpoint] or somebody took her in."