The flea-bitten, matted St. Bernard stray that showed up last week near Festus, Mo., had quite a tale to tell.
Someone stole her five years ago from the Mahaffey family of Pueblo, Colo.
The Mahaffeys were devastated. Mom Brenda Mahaffey adopted the St. Bernard, then just 1-year-old, to be a companion dog for her daughters with special needs, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Then someone stole Missy from their fenced yard. The family posted a memorial photo of her on Facebook.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Only Missy knows how she wound up the worse for wear in Jefferson County, Mo., nearly 900 miles away.
“She was kind of ratty, had a lot of fleas and stuff, but she had a chip,” Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller told Denver7.
“She’s just a cute dog. A fun-loving St. Bernard like you see in the movies. I guess miracles do happen, even for this loveable dog.”
When the shelter folks took Missy to a groomer, the groomer found the ID chip. The name of Missy’s owner was misspelled on the chip and the information was outdated. But Brandi Cross, a friend of the groomer, started poking around on Facebook and found the photo the Mahaffeys had posted in memory of Missy.
“We got a hold of the owner and they couldn’t believe the animal was still alive,” Waller said.
It’s taken a team effort to get Missy home. The Mahaffeys can’t travel easily because of their special needs children. So a friend of Cross, Melissa Wideman-Morton, volunteered to drive the dog home. A local Enterprise donated a car for $10 a day. The county waived the shelter fees.
Treats, long walks and trips to the doggie park await Missy when she gets home this weekend.
“I’m really excited, my daughters (are) excited. I just want to cry I’m so excited,” Brenda Mahaffey told KMOV in St. Louis.