Local Soldier Returns Home To Find His Lost Dog

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

A soldier leaves home to begin his tour of duty in Iraq. Meanwhile, his dog goes AWOL. But tonight, this story has a happy ending.

Ok dog lovers, get your kleenex ready, because this story is just amazing. First we have Joey Gardner, serving in Iraq for the last year. His best friend - a German Shepherd mix named Sadie - ran away just days after Gardner began his yearlong service in Iraq.

"My son come home one night from work and said we had a strange dog in the yard," said Linda Faubion. "He said 'Mom, where'd this dog come from?'"

That was two weeks ago. The Faubions found the dog on their rural Douglass property. As Linda nursed the frail and skinny dog back to health, she also began trying to find its owner.. She had no luck.

When the dog began causing problems for the family's cattle, they had almost decided it was time to go to the pound. But then Linda thought to check for a microchip. A quick call to a vet and, suddenly, she had a name and a phone number.

"This young man said hello and told me he just got back from Iraq and his dog had been gone for a year," said Faubion. "Her coat was real dull and you could see her ribs."

Enter Joey Gardner, who lives in Northeast Wichita with his wife and young daughter. It's a good 45 minute drive from Douglass. As he left for Iraq, he took some comfort in knowing that his dog Sadie would provide extra security for his family.

"It was just nice knowing there would be an extra pair of ears to listen out for anything," Gardner said.

But now, with Sadie missing for a year, he returned home this month hopeless. That is, until Linda Faubion called and invited him to her home.

"It's just something you never really hear of... the dog coming back, especially after this long," Gardner said as Sadie came running up to him. "This is really exciting."

Faubion began to get tears in her eyes, as Gardner and Sadie were reunited.

"That was the most wonderful God thing that I've heard of for a long time," she said. "It's just a miracle that the young man had just come home from Iraq to find his dog that had been gone a whole year."

Sadie is now back home with the Gardner's, who say she'll have a playmate to have fun with now. They had gotten a new dog since they never expected to see Sadie again.

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