KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A therapy dog reported stolen is back with his owner a month after he disappeared from his Kansas City home.
Right after Jim Shope returned home in mid-May to find his door open and Bobby missing, he started putting up signs and looking for the sheltie. Pictures of the pooch were shared often online, and people organized searches.
“Every morning and night I would still drive around the neighborhoods, hoping to see him in a backyard or somebody would let him out the front door. But it never happened.”
Bobby not only helped Shope with a heart condition, he was also a blessing to hundreds each month through a program called Pets For Life. Bobby and his owner would help kids read and visit with patients at hospitals, hospice and assisted living centers.
This week someone called Shope to say he'd spotted the sheltie at the edge of the woods about a mile from Shope’s home.
“You just hope he’s in somebody’s house where it’s cool, and he’s getting fed. You never dream he’s been outside for almost a month, escaping from whomever took him," Shope said.
After about an hour, Shope spotted what he first thought was a deer.
“I get closer, and I said, 'Bobby?' To see him come and jump over those bushes with his paws out in the air like he’s flying and come run to me, that was so exciting," Shope said.
Bobby was covered in burrs -- and hungry. Fortunately, Shope and his wife brought a can of dog food with them, just in case they found him.
“While we’re in the woods, my wife opened it up, poured it in a bowl. Five seconds it was gone, and it was a big can," Shope said.
Bobby was checked out by a vet, who said he’ll be just fine. Shope said he’ll give him a little time to recover before he’s back to work, helping others.