Diesel the dog is back.
Diesel's Australian owners, the McDonald family, last saw the dog when he was just a pup. They came home one afternoon to discover the six-month-old Staffordshire terrier had run away.
"We spent a solid month looking for him after work, after school, at weekends. The boys were resigned to the fact that he was gone for good," owner Samantha McDonald said.
"The pound had my number and I was still calling them three to four times a week. We thought about buying a new pup but we also didn't want to show our boys that pets are just replaceable."
On Sunday night, the McDonalds received an unexpected phone call from the Animal Emergency Service: Diesel had been found on the side of the road in Southport, Queensland.
"I was overwhelmed," McDonald said. "I began to get emotional…I had to pass my phone over to [my fiancé] Dean to finish the conversation."
Since the family last saw the dog, they moved from the Gold Coast to Mackay. A microchip implanted beneath Diesel's skin helped reunited the dog with his original owners. Vets believe someone cared for Diesel as a pet for the last two years.
"He had no injuries and was healthy — he had fleas, which we treated, but he was over all in a good condition," said clinic receptionist Solange Newton. "It was very lucky someone who loves animals picked him up."
"The anonymous lady who spotted Diesel yesterday afternoon, we don't know who she is, but thank you," McDonald said on Monday.
The McDonalds will be reunited with Diesel on Wednesday.
"After an 'overwhelming' community response on Facebook, the staffordshire bull terrier will be driven to Brisbane Airport by Surfers Paradise Limousines tomorrow and then flown with help from Jet Pets to his owners, who now live in Mackay," Goldcoast.com.au reports.
"Thanks to total strangers for their support and reuniting Diesel with our family," McDonald said. "It just restores my faith in humanity."