Even though her dog had been missing for 14 long months, Sandra O’Neill never stopped praying for his safe return.
In fact, the night before the call came in that a veterinarian in a faraway state had found her German shepherd mix, Sandra had driven by the last place the dog was seen and offered up a sad yet hopeful cry to the universe.
“Just the other night my husband and I were driving past the old construction site and I said a little prayer,” Sandra told NPR. “‘I hope you’re somewhere safe.'”
The very next day, a call came in saying her beloved pup had been found.
The year before, Sandra’s dog Zeppelin had been roaming around his usual haunts in her rural Sacramento, California neighborhood. She has no idea how the dog wound up sniffing around in Heather Reichart’s pasture in Louisville, Kansas, but she theorizes that someone at a construction site Zeppelin used to frequent took a liking to the dog and stole him.
“This dog has never met a stranger in his life,” Sandra explained. “He’s a very outgoing, loving dog. So every day he’d go down there and either he’d come home on his own or I would go out to get him.”
No matter what, she’s incredibly grateful that Heather spotted him and brought him to veterinarian Aaron Stohs to have the dog’s microchip scanned. She couldn’t believe it when the microchip company let her know that Zeppelin was alive and well… and 1,624-miles from home!
“I was floored,” she admits. “Just shocked when they told me.”
Sandra has since gotten the chance to FaceTime with her friendly pup, and the vet’s office began arranging for volunteers to help drive Zeppelin back to California.
“I am just so grateful for all of the good folks along the way who have helped in trying to get this puppy home to us,” said Sandra.
Back at home, Zeppelin will finally get to be a dog-dad to the two puppies she kept from the only litter he sired. The puppies were just a few weeks old when he went missing, so he’s got a lot of time to make up for!
Share this story to thank the volunteers making it possible for Zeppelin to get home.
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