They adopted the 4-year-old beagle not long ago from a Florida rescue agency. Before that, Tessa was a stray in Georgia.
With the help of Twitter and Facebook accounts, Lehane and his wife organized two search efforts Thursday in sections of Brookline and Boston, where they suspect Tessa could be. In the beginning, there were three sightings within about two miles of their home not long after a house sitter reported that the dog was loose.
But the trail went cold for days after a sighting near a McDonald's restaurant. Tessa wasn't wearing tags, but does have a microchip.
"Every dog expert we talk to is strongly suggesting that she's in somebody's house," Lehane said. "That's why we keep saturating the area with pictures. Because somebody could have her and just not know."
Missing dog posters dotted the family's Coolidge Corner neighborhood Thursday, including in the front windows at Durty Harry's dog grooming shop where Tessa is a client. Shop owner Michelle Fournier said interest in the search took off even before people knew Tessa had a famous owner.
"This is about a dog and her family. This is about a community who loves dogs," she said.
Lehane said Thursday that Tessa is so sweet that she'd taken to spooning the family's puppy before her disappearance. He said if someone knows where Tessa is, he only cares about a happy ending, not about solving the mystery of where she's been.
"It's a no-questions-asked issue," the author said. "... Bring the dog to a shelter or call me and I will pick up the dog."