August 12, 2009

Pug’s missing 4 years a mystery

A California man who was reunited with his beloved pug said while the dog seems to have had a rough four years on her own, she is adjusting to home life.

Richard Rodriguez, 56, of Santa Ana, said he and his wife, Josie, were heartbroken when Pearl the pug puppy disappeared from their yard five years ago and, as time went on, they spent less time looking for their beloved puppy, which they assumed had been stolen, the Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Wednesday.

However, Rodriguez said he received a shocking phone call this week from an animal shelter in Riverside, Calif., that had picked Pearl up as a stray and used an implanted microchip to track her to the Tucson, Ariz., pet store where Rodriguez originally bought her.

It was just the bond, you know? I had to go get her, he said. If they told me my dog was in Arizona, I would've taken time off work so I could go get her.

Rodriguez said he has no idea where Pearl has been for the past four years, but she bears a scar on her hear and her jaw appears crooked as if it had been kicked. A worker at the Riverside shelter said Pearl may have been used as a breeding machine.

The dog owner said Pearl is adjusting to life at home, and is now much cleaner and seems happy to play with the family's other pug and have her belly rubbed.