By Marta Halliburton from Ocean Springs, MS

January 2, 2007. My 21 year old daughter & her dog Popeye, a 4 year old male pug, had been living with us for 4 months and I was Popeye's care taker during this time. Well on January 2nd, she moved out of the house and took my beloved Popeye with her. We did not hear from her until March and when I asked about Popeye she told me that he had escaped from the yard at the house she was staying in and she could not find him.

I made up a flyer and took it to the copy shop and had them make a hundred copies. I placed posters all around the area Popeye went missing. I then called my daughter to find out how long he had been missing. A month...I was shocked she had not told us sooner..statistics will tell you if you don't find the animal within the first 3 weeks you most likely will not find them at all. Still I began putting posters around town.

I received several phone calls about a pug in the area. He was lost and I always ran to wherever the caller said they had seen him. Then one day a caller said they had a male pug so I rushed to the address only to find that the male pug they had was not my baby. As the weeks passed, I saw the little male pug several times. Most times I figured it was him before I went but still I went. Still every week I put up more and more flyers for Popeye but got less and less phone calls. I put an ad in the paper and searched the neighborhood, spoke with the people, and handed out more flyers.

Until then I did not know about The Secret. It came into my life when I took my son to MSU for campus visitation and we went to the bookstore on campus. The first time we went in I purchased several items but not The Secret. I did not even see the book. But later that day my son wanted something else so we went back to the store and as we were getting in line to checkout, I saw The Secret. I had no idea what it was but the cover struck me so I purchased the book without any idea what it was. After the weekend was over I brought the book home and began reading it. Then I realized why Popeye was not home yet. When he left I put his bed in the garage. It had been in my closet but it hurt me to look at it. I put the bed back in the closet and I went to the vet and got his food. I still put up posters but I also said thanks daily for Popeye being home. I so believed he was home I would cry I was so thankful.

Still for a couple of weeks there were no calls of any kind yet I never lost faith. Then on April 17, 2007 I got a call saying they had seen a pug in the area. At the time they saw him, Popeye had been lost only for a couple of weeks but they just wanted me to know there was still hope. I thought that was wonderful of them. Then a few hours later I received another call and this man told me that Popeye was in Texas with his niece. He told me she had been down visiting in February and found Popeye by the school (very close to where he escaped). She had walked around the neighborhood asking if anyone knew him but found no one. So when it came time for her to go home she took him with her since her parents had 4 dogs and could not keep another. Her uncle and been traveling for several months and when he came home he saw my flyers around town and called his niece and told her that Popeye's family was hunting for him. He gave me her number and I called her and I asked if the dog she had did Popeye's trick and sure enough he did.

Now, you must be thinking how do I get Popeye when he is in Texas and I am in Mississippi? Well, the rest of the story is that she lived 45 minutes from my father. On Wednesday April 18th, he picked Popeye up and is bringing him home to me next month when he comes for my son's graduation!

About Marta Halliburton from Ocean Springs, MS: I am a 41 year young mother of 4, currently a housewife and substitute teacher

You are invited to create new articles, add new sections to this article, raise questions or comments on the discussion page or project/portal Forum page, or send feedback by email to

Back to The Secret: Case Studies