Roscoe wasn’t just any dog.
Not to the Langhoff family of Menomonee Falls. The family’s seen more than its share of loss the past two years, and the new dog, which they picked up Sunday, was going to be a source of income. He symbolized so much more, though.
“It’s the first time I’ve been optimistic about something since she died,” said Tammy Langhoff, Roscoe’s owner.
Katie Fennig, Langhoff’s 19-year-old daughter, died two years ago after a brain injury. There is a scholarship fund in her name for Menomonee Falls High School students, and a still-active Facebook site that says, “We won’t forget Katie Fennig.”
Now Roscoe is gone, too.
The family only had Roscoe, a black-and-white German shorthair, for just a few hours. He broke off his leash during his first run Monday with the family. Tammy Langhoff says more than a dozen people have been trying to find him all Monday.
Family members. Neighbors. Strangers.
“We just got him from the breeder yesterday,” she said. “He’s a German shorthair, a runner. I took him for a run. I kept stepping in front of him. I tripped and fell. He took off and yanked the leash out of my hands. He took off with the leash and everything. It was like someone fired him from a cannon.”
Langhoff added: “I am the woman whose daughter's plaque was stolen from the memorial tree in Mill Pond Park last summer; not having very good luck.”
That plaque, taken by vandals in 2011, had been erected in memory of Langhoff’s daughter, Katie.
The family also had a different German shorthair. He died of epilepsy a couple years ago.
“I didn’t have the energy to have anything in my house,” Langhoff said, of the last two years since Katie died. “I thought about foster kids.”
Instead, the family got Roscoe. Her husband, who is unemployed, was going to use the dog as “a source of income” by doing guided hunts with him.
“The dog is a bird hunter. He’s been training for the last year for guided hunts. We put a lot of money into it," she said.
Roscoe was last seen at the corner of Shady Lane and Grand Avenue in Menomonee Falls at 7 a.m. Monday, said Langhoff, who is a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
“I had just posted on Facebook, ‘We got the dog. It’s a great weekend. I’m finally feeling things are on upswing after so long,” Langhoff said, her voice breaking up.
The dog came from a kennel in Missouri. Pictures of similar dogs can be seen on the website.
Roscoe has a black face and head, with black-and-white spots, and weighing about 40 pounds. Roscoe is about 1 year old. He was wearing an orange collar, attached to a retractable leash with a blue handle, although he might have pulled the collar off by now.
If anyone finds Roscoe, you should let the Menomonee Falls police know and they will contact Langhoff. Contact MFPD at 532-8700. Langhoff is offering a $200 reward for his return.
In addition, donations can still be made to the Katie Fennig memorial fund by contacting the Waukesha County Community Foundation. The money goes to an arts scholarship for graduating seniors at the high school. “Katie was very artistic,” said Langhoff, who has one other daughter in addition to stepchildren.