We found our chihuahua, Bob Valdez, walking in the street by the woods when he was a baby, hairless and covered with mange and scabies. We rescued him and didn’t think he would live, but a long stay at the vet saved him.
He grew into a cantankerous cutie and was difficult to live with, but we loved him like crazy. When he was 6 years old he developed crystals in his bladder and couldn’t pee. We didn’t know it at first because he still went through the motions, but when he began to whine and cry in the middle of the night, we took him to the emergency vet. Once again, they saved him, and following was a long period of recovery requiring constant care and special food, but he eventually healed back to normal.
Exactly one year later, Covid was going strong and Fourth of July town fireworks events were cancelled, resulting in bigger and louder than normal neighborhood celebrations. When my husband took Bob Valdez and our Shih Tzu, Fergus, outside for a doggie break, the sky just suddenly exploded, and Valdez ran. This was completely unexpected because he had always been dependable, and if anything scared him, he would get closer to us. He unfailingly responded to voice commands, but this time he didn’t come back.
We searched and called for him all night long in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. I had posted his picture on my community Facebook page, and a neighbor called me in the morning and said she saw him standing in front of a house while she was driving home. She tried to pick him up but he was too mean, and she gave up.
None of my neighbors knew Valdez because he was too unfriendly to take for walks. I quickly made a bunch of flyers and spread them all over the area in which he had been seen. The next day, the lady that lives in the very house where he had been standing called me and said she saw two ladies pick him up in a car. That explained why we had not been able to find him, and I was partly relieved because at least he was off the street and had not been eaten by an alligator.
I spent the next 9 1/2 months searching for Valdez by spreading flyers all over town, searching through numerous websites, sending out emails to vets, pet stores and rescue organizations, posting on all the Facebook animal lost & found groups I could find, and visiting the Animal Control facility on a regular basis. There was even an article about him in a local newspaper. I was completely obsessed with finding him, and was determined to NOT give up. I knew that with his grumpy personality, I had a good chance of getting him back if I could just get the attention of someone that had seen him.
I received countless leads and went on lots of searches that led to disappointment. Finally, someone who knew him saw my flyer. He was in his third home since he left us because he just couldn’t get along with another pet or a member of the household, and he kept getting passed along. The lady that currently had him loved him immensely but couldn’t keep him, and was looking for yet another place for him. We cried when we went to pick him up. We were so happy to get him back, the lady was thrilled to send him to his original home, and Valdez was really excited to see us.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
To make this reunion even better after 9 1/2 months of being passed around, now that he is home, his personality is much improved. He is now chipped, and wears a collar with a contact information tag, but I don’t think he will ever need to be rescued again!
Story submitted by Sandra Sue Dent from Lake Wales, Florida.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →