HENRICO, Va. -- A week ago Stacy Moses got a phone call that brought her to her knees: the voice on the other end said, ‘We've found your dog Otto!’
Otto was stolen two-and-a-half years ago from her backyard in the West End. But then she learned he’d been found, safe, more than 350 miles away in Kentucky.
That length of time would add up to about 17 dog years.
"It did get discouraging but I never gave up," said Moses, who said Otto was taken from her fenced-in back yard.
"I do believe he was stolen,” said Moses. “Someone out there that isn't very nice, didn't see him as a family member, but a price tag. A quick buck to flip."
Moses still has a hard time believing just how far Otto has traveled. "I just dropped to my knees and tears rolled down my face. A voice said, ‘I have your dog,’” Moses said. “It was so surreal."
A foster owner in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, 351 miles away, was about to put Otto up for adoption. But a woman from an organization in that small Kentucky town, called Love of Paws, offered the use of a scanner to check Otto one last time for a microchip.
"It was just dumb luck," Moses said. "The scanner identified me as the long-lost owner of Otto."
Fresh off a reunion Sunday that was full of tears, Otto is now home and playing.
"He trotted up to the door with his tail wagging," Moses said, smiling.
She said he picked up his play toys right where he left off and although he's about 10 pounds heavier, Moses says it's just more to love. "We’re playing lots of fetch, lots of snuggles. Whoever had him definitely didn't have him on a healthy dog food regimen."
Moses says she and Otto will visit the vet Friday.
She also says the search for whoever snatched her dog isn't over and if she gets information, she will press charges.