Earlier this month a San Diego-area man made headlines because he refused to quit searching for his dog. Now, former Marine Fernando Quandt is in the news again because he has been reunited with his precious pup after searching for her for four months.
"I'm just really happy to have her back," Quandt told KNSD News on Thursday after officials at the San Diego County Animal Shelter brought the two back together.
The dog, named Nahla, is Quandt’s therapy dog and helps him cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Marines.
She ran away from the veteran’s Chula Vista home on Christmas Eve while Quandt and his wife, Vivian Quandt, were out of town visiting a sick relative.
KNSD had just run a news story on April 18 about the couple’s persistent search to find the soldier’s beloved companion.
According to that story, the Quandts hired a pet detective, started a Facebook page, and posted signs throughout their neighborhood hoping to find Nahla.
The San Diego Sun Times also reported their story.
The couple said they had spent thousands of dollars trying to find her, and Fernando Quandt said at the time he might never stop looking.
“I don’t know if it would ever go away,” he said. “It’s always on my mind. Always present. It’s playing itself out somewhere inside my mind.”
Vivian Quandt said she could hardly believe it when they got the call that Nahla had been found.
She and her husband traveled with KNSD reporters to the animal shelter to pick up their dog.
"Since we got the call we feel like we actually need to see her,” Vivian said before the reunion.
And when they finally did, Nahla greeted her owners with a wagging tail and lots of kisses.
Now that the three are back together, Vivian said she feels very protective and wants to make sure they don’t lose Nahla again.
"I almost feel like we're not going to work tomorrow," she said. "We have to stay home and make sure she's still home.”
The couple said Nahla is slightly emaciated and has fleas and some serious skin problems but is expected to make a full recovery.