A Nebraska family is lost for words after their missing dog, who disappeared four years ago, was found alive nearly 600 miles away from her home. Undoubtedly, this reunion is nothing short of a miracle.
Missing dog found as a stray in New Mexico
Benjamin Baxter had owned his dog, a Houdini named Patches, since childhood. They had made lots of memories together, and he had no doubts that Patches was indeed the furry love of his life.
While speaking to KSLA News, Baxter shared: “I would be hunting, rock climbing or whatever, and she’d be right there. She was the only dog I’ve ever been around that actually loved rock climbing.” Continuing, he added, “But she’d always have this big, goofy grin on her face the whole time.”
When Benjamin had to move to Nebraska in 2020 for a new job, as reported by KETV News, he made the tough decision to leave Patches with a family friend in Colorado. This was because the apartment wasn’t dog-friendly. In fact, the apartment’s policies prohibited residents from keeping pets at all.
All was well with Patches in Colorado until the unfortunate incident happened a few months later. The pup escaped her kennel and disappeared without a trace.
Initially, the Baxters were optimistic they’d find Patches sooner than expected. “She’s a Houdini, so she loves wandering and we’ll get her back fast,” he recalled his first thoughts. “But, the days go by, weeks by. Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing.” He added: “By day seven, I started realizing that we weren’t going to find this dog, and I was devastated.”
Then, news they never thought they’d ever receive reached them on Jan. 31 this year, four years after Patches’ disappearance.
An animal shelter in New Mexico had found Patches as a stray. She likely had a microchip that enabled the shelter to trace her owners. The shelter shared Patches’ photos, documentation, and even past medical records through phone calls and emails with the Baxters.
Benjamin and his family never thought they’d ever see Patches again. As years went by since her disappearance, they assumed she’d found a new adoptive family, died from old age, or worse, killed by predators.
Thankfully, the shelter and other volunteers in New Mexico organized for Patches’ transportation to her family.
“I’m just excited to get my dog back,” a happy Benjamin stated. “We’ve got lots of time to make up for, and I just want to give her a place where she can be at peace and be at rest in these last couple of years that we’re going to get together.”