It’s never easy when a dog goes missing; after searching everywhere, you begin to fear you’ll never see your companion again.
But it is important not to lose hope: sometimes dogs are discovered months or even years after they have vanished, in the most unlikely places.
This was the case for a dog named Nugget, who was discovered across the country seven years after he disappeared.
New Mexico resident Jessie Springer was devastated when her Jack Russell/Pug mix, Nugget, vanished without a trace.
“I was devastated. I mean, that’s the original OG snug nug,” she told WXIA. “I was like well he’s microchipped. And so I called the shelters. I called the vet. I check that every couple of days and nothing.”
Jessie believed she would never see her friend again, but then she received an unexpected phone call.
On February 9, a South Carolina woman named Jennifer was outside her home when she observed a dog in poor health.
“Not even two minutes after I sat down, I could see something, you know, coming down the road, wobbling really weirdly. I didn’t know, like, what it was,” Jennifer told 11 Alive. “I threw my shoes on, grabbed my phone with my flashlight and ran out and scooped him out of pitch dark, pouring rain, and brought him inside and got him dry.”
Jennifer brought the exhausted dog to the veterinary hospital, where the staff discovered the dog’s microchip. The veterinarian determined that the dog was Nugget, who was now 16 years old, 1,700 miles from home, and had been missing for seven years.
The veterinarian contacted Jessie, who was stunned by the news.
“I’m like, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘What? What does the dog look like?’ And she said, ‘he’s a little..,’ I can’t even say it because I’m going to start crying, she said, ‘he’s a little yellow dog and his name is Nugget,’” she said.
After many years apart, Jessie flew across the country to reunite with her dog. When Jessie and Nugget saw each other at the airport, not a single tear was shed.
“My SnugNug is back!” Jessie wrote on Facebook. “Much much love to everyone involved!,” she added, thanking Jennifer and the Carolina Loving Hound Rescue volunteers.
Jessie is currently returning home with Nugget. Although the dog is older and was discovered in poor condition, she is happy to have him home, and the two will undoubtedly make up for lost time.
And for Nugget’s rescuers, the reunion was truly remarkable.
‘It’s a once in a lifetime kind of rescue, honestly,” Angie Gschwind of Carolina Loving Hound Rescue told 11 Alive. “This is everything we work for, you know, to reunite these guys.”