Military Family Gets Emotional Homecoming From Beloved Pup They Thought Was Gone Forever

Someone please pass the tissues! In a different sort of military homecoming than we're used to, a family was reunited not with a deployed parent, but with a beloved pooch that they believed was gone forever. Zeus the wonder dog traveled 3,000 miles to find his way home to the family who was under the impression that he'd died years ago.

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Back in 2011, Ben and Melody, along with their two sons, made the difficult decision to leave their pet with family friends in North Carolina, after the military called them from Fort Bragg to South Korea. That way, they knew they'd be able to get updates on their treasured Rottweiler mix.

Several months after they relocated, they received the devastating news that Zeus had passed away.

Years later, the family (who has decided to keep their last name out of the press) moved back to the states, this time to Washington state. A couple of weeks ago, they got a phone call that they never dreamed that they would -- Zeus had been found abandoned and wandering the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina.

A Good Samaritan had brought the dog into Banfield Pet Hospital, where he was scanned for a microchip. They found the family's contact information on the embedded chip and called them up to give them the news that their pet was alive and being treated for common diseases found among strays.

The couple said, "There are simply no words to describe what we felt when we got that phone call. We were in complete disbelief. Once that brief second had passed, we were all crying. We were frantic with excitement and gratitude."

They wanted to fly Zeus home immediately, but couldn't, due to his deteriorated health. He had heartworms, and therefore was banned from flying aboard a commercial airline. That's when Rachel Overby, a manager at Banfield, decided to hit the road with the dog and drive him home to his family on the other side of the country.

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She said, "At Banfield, we believe in doing what is right for the pet each and every time. I feel incredibly lucky and honored to help bring Zeus home to his family -- it's only right that they get the chance to be reconnected after all this time." She called the experience "one of the highlights of my career."

Rachel documented her journey across the country with Zeus on Twitter, using the hashtag #GetZeusHome, and also posting pictures on Banfield's Facebook page.

The family was reunited with Zeus on August 14, just a day before Check Your Chip Day, which is an annual reminder to make sure your information is up-to-date on your pets' microchips.

This reunion was especially sweet, as this family has had to do a lot of moving around as active duty military. It's incredibly hard to leave people and pets behind when duty calls, so it's extra special that this family got their furbaby back. Zeus is one lucky dog to have so many people care about him.

 

Image via Banfield/Twitter

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