After driving home from a friend’s house one Friday night, Jason Gasparik saw something on the side of a busy street that made him pull over.
“I noticed a vehicle stopped on the road and someone was running around in the grass median,” Gasparik shared with The Dodo. “I then noticed the dog (Roxy) running in circles in the road, confused and scared.”
Gasparik decided to jump in on the chase but the 70-pound chocolate Lab did not stop.
It wasn’t long before a police officer as well as another concerned driver were attempting to get the dog to safety but not even a treat would sway the lost doggo.
An hour later, Gasparik realized something:
“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.”
Gasparik then spent his weekend in the waiting room of a 24-hour vet clinic until a scan of the lost dog’s microchip came back as positive.
Unfortunately, the ID number was not registered to an owner.
It was then that Gasparik knew he needed to think outside the box if he was going to give Roxy back to her family.
When he was at home, Gasparik wrote up a lost dog post to Facebook and used PawBoost — a service that helps expand the reach of Facebook posts and connect to rescue volunteers — to help get his message out to the world as far as he could.
But Roxy was just concerned about getting lots of love and attention.
“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.”
So the next morning — Gasparik was determined to 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.
“Admittedly, I felt like a complete fool when I first got out of my truck and started walking to the corner,” Gasparik added. “I almost turned around because I figured everyone would ignore me thinking I was some scammer just looking for money or something.”
But Gasparik did not stop — but instead started to smile and wave at people.
He hoped that someone would recognized Roxy and point him in the right direction.
As the day continued — folks began to take photos as well as videos — while some cars even pulled over to talk to Gasparik.
“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 [a neighborhood-centric social network] as much as possible to help spread the word.”
As Gasparik had a business trip on a Monday, he knew he only had so much time to reunite Roxy with her owner. So on the Sunday before he had to leave town, both he and Roxy roamed the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, once again with the homemade sign.
But thankfully, he did not have to wait outside for too long.
“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 was able to connect Gasparik with Ed — Roxy’s owner — and they were able to schedule a place to meet.
Roxy was very happy to be back with her dad.
“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.”
After Gasparik checked all of Ed’s paperwork he had brought with him, he found it was a perfect match with the ID number on Roxy’s chip.
What is the moral of this story?
Gasparik says that he hopes Roxy’s story will encourage pet owners to double check to make sure their pets’ microchips are up to date.
“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.”
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