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8 Years Later, the Dog Came Home

8 Years Later, the Dog Came Home

Editor’s Note: This post is a Care2 favorite, brought back by popular demand. It was originally published on January 2, 2012. Enjoy!

After Petunia finished eating, the Pruitts let her out of their Fredericksburg, Virginia home. That was a few days after Thanksgiving 2003, the day the American Staffordshire terrier disappeared without a trace. The family feared the worst. With a chip in her ear, Petunia would surely have been returned — unless she had been killed or scooped up for a dogfighting ring.

Eight years later, Meg Eden called the Pruitts from California. The wildlife biologist had been had been walking her dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife Area in central California. She saw the stray and took the friendly dog home for the night.

The next day, Eden took the dog to the Yuba County Animal Care Services. Staff scanned the dog and discovered Petunia had a microchip in her ear, with contact information for Kristin Pruitt. They called her surprised owners in Virginia and made arrangements for the now 11-year-old dog to fly home for the holidays.

Petunia was hungry and thirsty, but in good shape when she was found. She has no way of telling the story of eight lost years, but her adventure is the best possible advertising for microchips. About the size of a grain of rice, the tiny implants are inserted under the skin. Coded with identifying information about the dog and its owner, they allow shelters to reunite families with their pets.

As for Petunia, it appears she has a yen for adventure. Writing about her eight-year sojourn for the Washington Post, Susan Svrluga wrote:

“She does seem to be the kind of dog who loves to wander, Kristen Pruitt said. Sometimes, Petunia will stop outside and just stare off into the woods.”

Watch a video of Petunia shortly after she was found, here.

Washington Post created a slideshow of Petunia and the Pruitts here.

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Photo of Kiva the Pit via stock.xchng

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7:55AM PST on Nov 4, 2014

great ending, thanks for sharing :)

2:39AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Thanks for the beautiful story.Love happy endings

6:32AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

We have two rescue cats. We didn't want two rescue cats. We adopted Titus from a local shelter where they automatically microchip all adoptees. As a kitten, he was so curious and loved to play on the half walled-in balcony and while we were working around the condo, we could keep an eye on him. After three months, one day he disappeared from the balcony, which had no openings, except over the high wall covered with potted plants and planter boxes. How could we have let this happen? We searched the entire neighborhood day and night, put out posters and fliers and posted notices online but no luck. We were broken. So, after another three months and following up on numerous disappointing bogus sightings, we decided to adopt again. The day we went to the shelter they were fresh out of cats. As we were leaving someone brought in two kittens, just found. We brought Lucas home and watched him like a hawk, as he too loved the balcony. A week later just before Thanksgiving, we get a phone call from a shelter over fifteen miles away, over the hills and valley and sprawling, congested metropolitan area. Someone had turned in Titus who had been seen in a local park for about a week. All thanks to his microchip. I swear by them. Seven years later we are better parents now, as we have two healthy, thriving rescue cats. We didn't want two rescue cats. I think we were meant to have two rescue cats. We also realized, they rescued us.

6:18PM PST on Jan 20, 2014


1:21PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Woah eight whole years? I couldn't imagine the upset that would cause me if that was my dog. Microchips are really good. They always find their way back home again eventually. Maybe this has given hope to owners with lost dogs. I am very glad that they were reunited after all that time. Thank you for sharing this article.

1:04PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Very fine happy endings. Good luck to them !

3:26AM PST on Jan 17, 2014

Happy ending!

12:13PM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Amazing story......makes one wonder how a dog gets from Virginia to California. We will never know.

I guess one of the morals of the story is to never, ever give up. The second moral is to microchip all your pets.

10:02AM PST on Jan 15, 2014

I am so happy for you Petunia, please do not go wandering again.Stay with your family ,we love you! Thanks for the beautiful story.

2:50PM PST on Jan 14, 2014

thank you - that really made my day :-) I love it!

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