NASHVILLE – About 13 years ago, a teen boy watched in horror from the kitchen as a man in a red Dodge pickup truck pulled in front of his family’s house and scooped up their little dog from the front yard.
The teen and his mom, veterinarian Karen Fox, jumped into their car and chased the red pick-up truck. But they never caught up with it that day in 2008, Fox said.
Their Yorkie, named Connor, was a rescue dog they’d gotten two years earlier from one of the veterinarian’s clients.
Fox knew her husband, Timothy, would be particularly devastated.
Timothy Fox loved sitting in his recliner after work, putting the eight-pound dog on his chest and brushing the Yorkie’s fur.
“He would sit there and brush and brush and brush,” Fox said.
For weeks, Fox drove around the neighborhood, looking for her dog and that red pick-up truck, but she found neither.
The family’s hope of ever finding Connor faded more with each year.
Timothy Fox died four years ago, never knowing what happened to his beloved Yorkie.
Then on March 4, Karen Fox got a voice mail message from the company that owned the microchip she’d put in her dog 15 years ago.
She got another one from Metro Nashville Animal Control saying they had Connor. Fox and one of her staffers at her veterinary practice went to animal control the next day to get Connor.
“It was pure, utter amazement!” Fox said. “I’m still amazed!”
The dog, now 16, walked slowly onto Fox’s lap and licked her face.
Fox pictured her late husband in his recliner, brushingConnor.
And she wept.
Connor has his challenges — bad teeth, infected eyes, a sore leg. But Fox knows a pretty good veterinarian.
Metro animal control staffers said Connor was brought in by a woman who’d seen the Yorkie wandering around her Bordeaux neighborhood last month. The woman kept him for a week and put “Found” posters online and around her neighborhood before bringing him to animal control.
That’s where they found Connor’s microchip and, subsequently, his long-lost owner.
Connor follows Fox around the house quite a bit, and the dog seems to remember his old house, she said.
Fox, 61, said she’s happy to have the pooch back, whether he lives two more weeks or two more years. And she’s especially happy to be reconnected with memories of her late husband blissfully brushing that dog.
“The most emotional thing for me,” Fox said, “is how much my husband would’ve loved for him to have come back home.”
Follow Brad Schmitt on Twitter: @bradschmitt.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Stolen dog reunited with owner after more than a decade, but a member of his loving family is missing