Just when Dylan Summers had completely given up on ever finding his dog again, fate intervened in a big way.
Ten months ago, his pup Athena was hit by a car near their Bourbon, Missouri, home. She survived, but part of her tail and one of her back legs had to be amputated.
Dylan paid for her costly surgery and was nursing her back to health when she suddenly disappeared from the backyard. Especially since she was still recovering and on medication, Dylan desperately searched for her online and in person. Sadly, there was no sign of her, and he feared that she’d been taken.
“I had suspicions that she was stolen but I couldn’t confirm it. I was so worried about her,” Dylan said.
the #1 good news email read by 500K+ people.
After almost a year with no sign of her, he decided it was time to move on and adopt a new dog. Just before New Year’s, he was searching pet adoption websites when he saw a very welcome and very familiar face.
Once Dylan realized the pup in the adoption ad was missing a leg, he knew without a doubt that “Miss-A-Toe,” as the shelter called her, was his Athena! He immediately called Gateway Pet Guardians, a shelter that’s about an hour from him in East St. Louis and left an urgent message.
Alisha Vianello, the program director at Gateway Pet Guardians, said Athena was rescued along with several other dogs from a neglect situation in December. While many of the other animals had gone without veterinary care and were in bad physical shape, she was struck by how well-cared-for Athena seemed to be. The pup had clearly undergone a big surgery, but it seemed highly unlikely that her neglectful owner would have paid for it.
Alisha received Dylan’s message late on December 30. She instantly called him back and they arranged a meeting.
“All the missing pieces really came together when I spoke to Dylan,” Alisha said. “The next day I contacted her foster family, who was thrilled for her and arranged a time for everyone to meet at the GPG facility.”
On New Year’s Day, Dylan got the best start to 2021 that he could have hoped for! It’s hard to say who was more excited about their reunion!
“I was so happy to hear that she was safe and doing well and being reunited with her was incredible,” Dylan said. “She is already settled back in at home and it’s like she never left. I am so appreciative of Gateway Pet Guardians for getting her back home to me.”
What a fortunate turn of events! Athena sure has been through a lot in the past 10 months. We hope she gets plenty of extra snuggles and treats now that she’s back with her rightful dad.
Share this story to remind people that anything is possible.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.