Esther Atkins is a former first-place finisher in the USA Marathon Championships for 2014. She also got a spot on the World Championships Marathon Team for 2015. Recently, she and her dog, Grace, had an interesting encounter. They were on their morning walk in Greenville, South Carolina, when they saw a stray pit bull. Most people have seen stray pit bulls and other dogs and tend to ignore them. Instead, our hearts were warmed to how the championship runner reunites a missing dog and his family.
“I figured it was a neighbor’s dog, so I called him over,” Atkins said. “He was a little sheepish, but he followed me home.”
Esther kept asking everyone along her way if they knew the dog but no one did.
So, once she got home with her dog and the stay pit bull, she started looking on social media.
When after a couple of hours there was still no luck, she tried a new strategy. She got the pit bull to a vet and found out that the dog was chipped. Unfortunately, the contact info wasn’t up to date, but the vet still put Esther in touch with the humane society that had chipped the pit bull. And bingo – that worked!
The humane society put out a social media call of their own and they quickly found the dog’s owners through their network. Ratchet, as the pit bull turned out to be named, had been missing for a full year. What’s more, he was 68 miles away from home. It’s a mystery what adventures the poor pooch had had over that year, but what’s important is that on the very next day he was reunited with his family.
“[Ratchet’s] tail went double-speed as soon as he saw them,” Atkins said.
“His heart just burst.”
Ratchet is now safe at home with his loving family who is ecstatic to have him back. So, next time when we see a stray pit bull, it’d be nice to remember the story of a runner reunites a missing dog and his family. Maybe that pit bull also has a loving family somewhere that miss him.