Dog lost during camping trip thunderstorm reunited with owner two months later

All About Animals

POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 6:04am

On a stormy night more than two months ago, a dog named Romeo ran out of his owner's tent in New Mexico's Hyde Memorial State Park.

Mike Stotts looked for Romeo for several days, worried he may never find his best friend.

"I assumed he was dead. It was like someone rising from the dead," Stotts said.

After searching for Romeo for three days, even commissioning other hikers, rangers, and making signs and posting them all over Hyde Memorial State Park, he drove back to his home in Austin, Texas.

He eventually had to accept that Romeo would not show up and started looking around Austin shelters for another dog.

"Unfortunately, every time I went there and looked at them, they just weren't Romeo," he said.

Everything changed on Sunday when Stotts got a call from a California area code.

He said at first he thought it was just a solicitor.

"I didn't really understand it. I thought it was some high-tech microchip company from California, and they said, 'Somebody's found Romeo' and I said, 'Romeo? Somebody's found Romeo?'" he said.

A couple hiking in the area near Stotts's campground found Romeo in a restricted area of the forest.  He had lost a third of his body weight and was 50 percent anemic, but he was alive, as unlikely as it was.

The couple called the number of Romeo's microchip collar and the company then called Stotts. They then took Romeo to a vet clinic in Santa Fe to wait for Stotts to pick him up. Ted Eudy was the vet who cared for Romeo. He said the microchip that helped to locate Romeo should be in every dog.

"Be aware that microchips work and they get your animals back," Eudy said.

Microchips cost around $50, Eudy said.

As for Romeo, he drives back to Austin on Wednesday, and will be on vitamins, high protein, and carbohydrates to build up his strength.  

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