Morgan come home.
Helen Buzinkai and her family may have lost everything in the fire that destroyed their Hilltop Drive early Monday morning. But the material things lost during the inferno don't matter to her.
"That's a big nothing to me," she said tonight.
All Buzinkai wants is her baby back. Morgan, a four-year-old boxer-pit bull mix, was rescued from a horrific life in South Carolina two years ago. She ended up at the Jersey Shore Animal Center, where Helen and her family found her.
Morgan has been missing since the fire. Helen and her fiance Bill Schreiber had put her and another family dog in the fenced-in back yard to keep them as far away from the blaze as possible. But the fence had holes in it from Superstorm Sandy and the family thinks Morgan may have pushed through one of them.
"She's just a beautiful little soul," Helen said. "It breaks my heart."
Morgan weighs about 55 pounds and is extremely friendly, considering the abuse she endured in her life down South.
Morgan's owners had abandoned the dog, moved away and left her chained, unable to reach food or water. A section of the chain had twisted around one of her legs, which she nearly lost, she said.
"She's bubbly," Helen said. "She loves to play. She wouldn't hurt a soul. She would take abuse before she would give it. I want my dog back."
Buzinkai and her fiance Bill Schreiber were asleep when the fire broke out. Her son George was downstairs working on his computer when he smelled smoke.
"If it wasn't for him, we'd be dead," Helen said.
George saw light flickering under the door to the garage. He first thought that someone had forgotten to turn a light off. But when he went to open the garage door, smoke poured in. He yelled to his family.
The fire spread rapidly, fed by more than 40-mile-an-hour winds. In less than half and hour, their home of 28 years was gone. And Morgan was missing.
"It just happened so fast," Helen said.
There have been a number of sightings of a dog resembling Morgan in the nearby Sylvan Lakes neighborhood. But each time the family has responded to a sighting, Morgan is nowhere to be found.
Helen stressed that Morgan is not dangerous, and is extremely friendly.
"She's a real sweet dog, not a mean bone in her body," she said. "If somebody sees her, don't be afraid to call. We are hoping to get that call. She is an extremely approachable dog."
Anyone who thinks they may have seen Morgan please contact her owners with any information at the following numbers:
Jay 732-300-6180 (Morgan's Emergency contact)
Buzinkai is offering a $500 reward for Morgan's return. The family has set up a Facebook page "Finding Morgan," and asks that readers share it. Morgan is microchipped and is wearing a collar.