The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Noah's dog is home safely; let's move forward


September 26, 2017

Courtesy photo

Noah Molina's dog Lola went missing Thursday, and was brought home Sunday.

It began with a simple story about a lost dog.

When it was all said and done, it had turned into a good old-fashioned brouhaha on Facebook.

Let's back up a step to bring those unfamiliar with the story up to speed.

The Eastern New Mexico News was contacted Saturday evening by Denise Madrid about her 10-year-old son's dog, which had gone missing sometime on Thursday afternoon. Two days had passed and there hadn't been a sign of little Lola, a 5-year-old Yorkie.

Madrid, whom our writer was familiar with, explained that her son, Noah Molina, had bonded especially of late with the dog, and she had been sleeping alongside him each evening as he recovered from the tragic events of Aug. 28. Noah was one of six people shot in the Clovis-Carver Public Library that day. He's been recovering at home since his release from a Lubbock hospital earlier this month.

We put together a story that included Madrid's email address as a contact and a mention by her that a reward was available for Lola's return. We posted it on our website because it was past deadline to appear in Sunday's print edition and shared it on our Facebook page. A couple of hundred Facebook followers also shared the story and word spread quickly about Noah's missing friend.

Madrid received a message early Sunday morning from Clovis resident Monica Rael, who said she just might have found Lola a few hours earlier. Rael asked about a reward and inquired, "Where do I meet you, the bank?" recalled Madrid that morning.

The pair met a short while later at an agreed-upon ATM, and the dog was indeed Lola. That's where the happy ending should have occurred.

Instead, readers were furious at the new details when we posted the updated story a little before 11 a.m. Sunday.

"All I had to give her was $100," Madrid told our reporter. "It made me sad that was one of the first things she asked when I called, but Noah is so happy. Lola is his comfort and best friend. My kids and I are forever grateful."

Facebook commenters were mortified that the finder of the lost dog had asked for and accepted the reward, especially given everything the family had endured. Noah's older sister, Alexis, was also shot that day at the library.

Wanting to get the other side of the story, I reached out to Rael. To her credit, she quickly got in touch with me on Sunday afternoon.

"I found the dog this (Sunday) morning around 7 a.m. or so on Echols Street," Rael said. "I was going to take her to animal control on Monday. The dog was covered in fleas and didn't have a collar or tags on. It was scared and shaking.

"After I took her home, I talked with my sister and she told me about the Yorkie that she saw was missing on Facebook," Rael continued. "I emailed her and we met up at the bank. They are the ones who put out the reward. I'm a single mom with four kids at home and three dogs. I really didn't need another dog."

Stories like this shouldn't be about a reward, rather in doing the right thing in returning the lost dog to his 10-year-old buddy.

That was all lost when there was the request for cash. It got even uglier when Rael battled back against the Facebook posters who questioned accepting it.

Alexis Molina, Noah's older sister, tried to quell the furor with a Facebook post that simply asked, "Everybody please stop fighting over the money. We are just happy Lola is home safe."

But the combativeness continued when relative Becca Rael responded with a post that read verbatim, "Sounds like a big pity party to me so glad ur alive and have ur dog instead of bashing her for wanting a reward we all need money!"

That post — along with a few others — has since been deleted. But you get the gist and tone of some of the written confrontations without me sadly quoting any addition verbiage.

We live in a different world nowadays. And, it's not a good thing. Some wondered in posts just what has gone wrong with society when someone has to pay to get their son's dog returned.

Noah, however, had one of his better days on Sunday.

As his mom told us, "He said it was a great day. I got my Lola back and the (Philadelphia) Eagles won. He has liked the Eagles since we moved here six years ago."

Let's move on from this and continue to root for Noah — and the Eagles. Life will be better that way.

Rob Langrell is the publisher of The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at:


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