FRESNO, Calif. - A Fresno man is reunited with the dog he loves on National Puppy Day. Steve's family waited six long days, not knowing where he was as they looked everywhere with no luck. The perfect combination of social media and good people spread the word faster than any flyer could.
Steve appreciates the simple things in life. Belly rubs and otter pops.
"He gets exited when you say the word l-e-a-s-h," said Nicholas Dodson.
And a nice, long walk. Since Dodson brought the pit bull home from the Fresno Humane Animal Services in 2016, life's been good for Steve until last Saturday when he wandered out the side gate. Dodson says Steve's dog tag had fallen off and panic set in.
"And I scoured every square block that I could all day. We put up flyers," said Dodson.
Still no luck throughout the Shields and Fruit area, Dodson says his family could not stop searching for Steve.
"It's hard. Because you feel like a parent and you feel like you let your child down when they get away," said Dodson.
On Tuesday, Dodson made his plea on Facebook, writing that Steve didn't mean to get lost, he misses hugging his parents and his bed will be ready for his return. The heartwarming post has gone viral with nearly 2,000 reactions and almost 12,000 shares. Dodson says animal lovers from as far as Canada reached out. Even a message from Belgium. The support kept the family focused on finding Steve.
"That was a real sense of inspiration to know that you have people behind you," said Dodson.
The determination paid off on Friday morning. Dodson got a call from a couple who says they found Steve on the street Sunday night.
"A neighbor told them about the post and as soon as they looked at it, they got my number and contacted me," said Dodson.
Steve is finally home with his dog tag back on. Neighbors are happy to see him. Dodson says Steve's story proves there is light in the darkest times.
"People will rise to the occasion for something that's good," said Dodson.
Steve will be at the Gazebo Garden cafe Saturday morning at 10 A.M. to say hello and thank everyone who has helped find his way home.