From Kansas to California, missing dog has come home for holidays

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 4:43 AM CST
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) - Santa is bringing one California woman a Christmas present a few days early, not from the North Pole, but from Kansas.

Her lost dog somehow ended up there, and some kind-hearted people helped make sure he got home for the holidays.

“I’m so excited to see him. I’m just overwhelmed,” dog owner Sandra O’Neill said.

If you ask her if she believes in Christmas miracles, with no hesitation, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

O’Neill has been dreaming of this day since her dog Zeppelin disappeared in October of 2021, some 14 months ago.

“We figured he’d come back home on his own later that day, but that didn’t happen. So we continued to look for him on a daily basis,” O’Neill said.

Word traveled around social media, but she couldn’t find her four-legged friend.

“I had always thought that maybe if he got away and somebody checked him for a chip that he might come back to us. So I hadn’t given up completely now,” O’Neill said.

Meanwhile, Heather Reichert in the Heartland found Zeppelin wandering around on her Kansas pasture earlier this month.

She took him to Wildcat Vet in Louisburg, Kansas, where staff scanned his chip and discovered he was a lost California boy.

“Emotional. I’m happy for the family. It’s crazy to me,” Reichert said.

“I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t ask anybody. I just did it,” said Mary Hastings.

While visiting her daughter in Kansas, she heard Zeppelin needed a ride home.

The long road trip ends in West Sacramento. Wrapped in a big blue bow, Zeppelin is home just in time for Christmas.

“This is an amazing gift. I mean our whole family is blessed to have him coming home,” O’Neill said.

Zeppelin was found more than 1,600 miles from where he disappeared. How he got there is a story only he knows.