There are few wounds that cut as deep as a pet going missing, their fate and whereabouts remaining a mystery. In one miraculous case, an Oklahoma man and his beloved dog were reunited after two years of searching (video below).
In December 2013, Julio Gascon discovered that his Great Dane, Duke, had disappeared from his backyard in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After weeks of tireless searching, the bereaved pet owner had to reckon with the nightmare scenario of never knowing what had happened to his beloved dog, according to Shareably.
Stories like this frequently do not have a happy ending, but fortune eventually smiled upon Gascon when Duke appeared on a stranger's lawn two years later.
In March 2016, David Walker stepped out onto his ranch in Navasota, Texas. To his shock, there stood a mysterious Great Dane.
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"So when I looked down I saw this Great Dane looking up at me and I almost jumped out my shoes," Walker told KOKH.
The strange dog was Duke, having traveled over 350 miles away from his home in Oklahoma. Over the course of two years, the missing Great Dane managed to make his way to Texas. Only he knows what had happened to him during that epic journey.
Walker, reasoning that the mysterious dog had an owner searching for him, took Duke to a local veterinarian to see if he had been micro-chipped. Later that day, Gascon received a phone call for the vet informing him of the joyous news.
Gascon promptly jumped in his truck, accompanied by his brother Sam, and made the 350-mile road trip to Walker's ranch.
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"On the way over there we were thinking is he going to remember us, I wonder how big he is," Gascon recalled.
As Gascon arrived in the ranch, Duke waited from him in Walker's garage. The Great Dane immediately recognized the sound of his owner's truck and became excited.
When Walker opened the garage door, the long-lost dog trotted into his owner's arms, his tail wagging as he instantly recognized his best friend.
"When I pulled that thing up it was a miracle, it was just so amazing," Walker said.
Gascon, after returning to Oklahoma with Duke in tow, is ready to make up for lost time.
"There's a lot of things that we're wanting to experience with him now that we feel like we didn't get a chance to... Memories that we're, we're going to start to make," Gascon said.
The relieved dog owner hopes his story encourages others to have their pets microchipped.
Veterinarians can implant a small microchip into pets so that they are easy to identify when shelters take dogs or cats off the street. In 2016, microchipping pets became mandatory in England, Scotland and Wales. By March 2017, those countries saw their animal shelter populations shrink by 30 percent, according to the Canton Rep.