Jason Gasparik was driving home from a friend’s house one Friday night when he noticed a bit of a commotion on the street side. Curious to know what was going on, he decided to pull over.
“I noticed a vehicle stopped on the road and someone was running around in the grass median,” Jason told The Dodo. “I then noticed the dog (Roxy) running in circles in the road, confused and scared.”
A driver who had pulled over was chasing after a 70-pound chocolate Labrador who was running around. Jason joined in on the chase, but it seemed like the dog didn’t have any plans of settling. After some time, another driver and a police officer arrived to help the pup get to safety. But even when bribed with treats, the dog wouldn’t let anyone touch him.
After an hour, Jason came up with an idea.
“I noticed she would run after me if I lightly jogged. She was playful but very apprehensive,” he said. “I decided to run around the parking lot nearby and after some laps around, she finally got tired, lay down and I was able to grab her neck scruff.”
It was midnight by the time Jason got Roxy, so he immediately took her to a 24-hour vet clinic, where they checked to see if the pup had a microchip.
The scan came back positive, the lost dog had a microchip, but the ID number wasn’t registered to an owner. Jason knew that he had to find another way to bring her back to her family.
When he got home, he wrote a lost dog post on Facebook and used Pawboost, a service that helps expand the reach of posts and connect with rescue volunteers, so that his message could gain more traction. Roxy, however, looked like she felt right at home with Jason.
“The first night I brought her to my home, she immediately jumped on my bed and landed right on top of me licking my face,” he said. “She was excited but you could tell she was so confused and scared — but happy to be hanging out with me.”
Jason devised an unconventional plan that could help him find Roxy’s owner.
“I made my sign with an old moving box and a tiki torch pole and decided to go to the corner [where I found Roxy],” he said.
Of course, he didn’t feel 100% confident about his plan, given that it wasn’t something that people nowadays do in the era of technology. But he knew that he had to take this extra step for Roxy’s sake.
“Admittedly, I felt like a complete fool when I first got out of my truck and started walking to the corner,” Jason added. “I almost turned around because I figured everyone would ignore me thinking I was some scammer just looking for money or something.”
Jason was determined. Brushing off his doubt, he tried attracting more attention by smiling at people and waving. He hoped that one of them would recognize Roxy and tell him who her owner was.
Eventually, more people started noticing, and they started taking videos and pictures. Some even pulled over to chat.
“Some were skeptical and wanted to check if I was serious,” he said. “Many of them were asking if we needed food or water or [if there was] anything they could do to help. I just asked them to post on Facebook and Nextdoor as much as possible to help spread the word.”
Jason had an upcoming business trip on Monday, so he knew that he had to bring Roxy back home before he leaves. So, on Sunday, the two stood on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina once again.
“At 12:30, I was again standing on the corner with my sign and I got a message on Nextdoor from a lady saying she found the owner of Roxy driving around several miles away trying to find her!” he said.
The woman connected Jason with Roxy’s owner, Ed, and they scheduled to meet that day.
Expectedly, Roxy missed her dad very much.
“As soon as we got near Ed’s truck, Ed shouted ‘Roxy Girl,’ and she was immediately wagging her tail and recognized Ed,” he said. “Roxy was happy to find Ed again.”
To be sure, Jason checked all the paperwork that Ed brought with him, and he saw that the ID number from Roxy’s microchip perfectly matched with what was on the documents.
With this, Jason hopes that pet owners ensure that information on their pets’ microchips is updated.
“I could have returned Roxy two hours after I found her if Ed would have known to register his chip,” he said. “It could have been just that simple.”
Without Jason’s initiative and thoughtful act, Roxy wouldn’t have been able to reunite with her dad. Surely, it was a happy ending for everyone!
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