The happy ending, as all happy endings do, came at the end.
But before that, Ash Holbrook, a young autistic woman from Sherman, Texas, shed tears.
Along for the ride - Holbrook's emotional support animal, a pigeon named Geraldine.
The pigeon was wearing a little pink diaper when she bolted from the family at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
Holbrook got the bird last year from an Oklahoma City vet who rescued the badly injured bird, KFOR reported. Holbrook nursed her back to health and the two grew close.
“I spend every waking minute with her and she's gone,” Holbrook told KFOR, which told her story to help find Geraldine.
The story of Geraldine's disappearing act made it all the way to Australia, where the pigeon-racing group, PIgeon Media Australia, featured it on its Facebook page.
Holbrook launched a full-on search on her own Facebook page, dropping a flurry of posts and pictures there, beseeching people to help her find Geraldine.
On Friday she wrote: "I'm very sad to say Geraldine got away from me today while we were unloading. Please if anyone sees a pigeon in a pink diaper. please let us know immediately and if anyone sees her please let us know.."
On Saturday: "Geraldine was spotted at McDonald's and at the motel 6 on Meridian. Her last sighting confirmed she's still had her pink diaper on at that time. Please everyone keep yours eyes open for a pigeon that may be behaving differently from other pigeons. She is going up to people for help ... her distinct markings are that on each wing she's got one white feather that stands out on both sides of her. And plus with the pink of her pants she is most likely wearing.. thank you."
On Sunday: "#BringGeraldineHome."
Then, on Monday, came good news.
Delores Chavez, who lives in south Oklahoma City, spotted a bird on her carport that somehow looked familiar.
The pink diaper wrapped around its bottom was a dead giveaway.
"I saw the news and there was that pigeon with a pink diaper," Chavez told KOCO in Oklahoma City, which had a crew at Chavez's house when Holbrook arrived and burst into tears, happy ones this time, whens she saw her found feathered friend.
Holbrook shared the good news - where else? - on Facebook.