How far would you go to try and reunite a dog with the owner? One man, Jason Gasparik devoted a lot of time and maybe even a bit of embarrassment to try to find the owner of a chocolate lab that he found.
Jason was driving home on a Friday night from a friend’s home when he saw something moving on the side of the road. Jason explained, “I noticed a vehicle stopped on the road and someone was running around in the grass median. I then noticed the dog (Roxy) running in circles in the road, confused and scared.”
Jason took off after the dog in the hopes of getting her away from the busy road. But the 70-pound dog wasn’t interested in being caught. A police officer and a good Samaritan joined in the chase. But Roxy wouldn’t come close, not even when tempted with a treat.
Jason could have gone on his way with knowing that he at least tried to help the dog. But he didn’t give up. After about an hour he realized that Roxy would follow him if he ran.
“I noticed she would run after me if I lightly jogged. She was playful but very apprehensive,” Jason 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.”
It Was Approaching Midnight And Still No Owner
It was now approaching midnight as Jason found himself at a 24-hour vet clinic. He hoped that the vet could find a microchip in Roxy so that he could reunite her with her owner. The scan came back positive for a chip, but unfortunately, the chip was not registered. There was no way to trace the number to any person.
Again, Jason did not give up on Roxy. He could have dropped her off at a local animal shelter the next morning. But instead, he persisted to find her owner. Jason then made a lost dog post on Facebook using a service called PawBoost. The service would help the post to reach more people and also make connections with rescue volunteers.
While Jason waited and hoped an owner would be found, Roxy made herself right at home. “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,” Jason said. “She was excited but you could tell she was so confused and scared — but happy to be hanging out with me.”
“I Felt Like A Complete Fool”
With no owner found yet, Jason decided to get more creative. “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],” Jason explained. “Admittedly, I felt like a complete fool when I first got out of my truck and started walking to the corner. I almost turned around because I figured everyone would ignore me thinking I was some scammer just looking for money or something.”
At this point, Jason could have easily gone home and thought of another plan. But instead of backing down in embarrassment, he started waving and smiling at people to draw more attention.
Many people didn’t know how to respond. “Some were skeptical and wanted to check if I was serious,” Jason 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.”
The weekend was drawing to a close and Jason had a business trip set up for Monday. On Sunday Jason went to a new area with his sign and Roxy. This time though, Jason didn’t have to stand there 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 helped make the connection happen. When Roxy saw her owner, she was very happy.
A Happy Reunion
“As soon as we got near Ed’s truck, Ed shouted ‘Roxy Girl,’ and she was immediately wagging her tail and recognized Ed,” Jason said. “Roxy was happy to find Ed again.” Jason checked all paperwork work that Ed, Roxy’s dad brought along. Roxy’s chip ID number matched Ed’s paperwork.
Reuniting Roxy with her human would have been enough to call this a successful venture. But Jason also hopes it might have raised awareness for people to register their pets’ microchips online. “I could have returned Roxy two hours after I found her if Ed would have known to register his chip. It could have been just that simple,” Jason said.
With all of the bad things that happen in the world, it sure is inspiring and refreshing to know that there are people like Jason out there. He gave up a whole weekend of his time to help a dog find her owner. Hats off to you Jason. Thank you for being Roxy’s hero.