There’s no companion like a dog. When times get rough, it’s always good to know you can count on your faithful pet being by your side.
But it can be heartbreaking to find out your dog is gone. Which is why after a horrific accident threatened their loved one’s life, one family scrambled to reunite him with his beloved companion.
Stephen Mason, from Indiana, loves his pet husky Jack more than anything. He’s known to call his rescued dog “his boy.”
Jack is always at his side—and he was with him on March 12, when Stephen was driving from Indiana to his lake house in Southeast Missouri.
But suddenly, he got into a terrible accident in Wright City, Missouri.
Stephen had a diabetic episode on the road, and the collision left Mason with brain trauma, two broken arms, and a broken leg, and he was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur in critical condition.
But sadly, his dog wouldn’t be there with him:
Jack ran off after the accident.
Stephen was in a coma as his family arrived on the scene of the accident two days later, searching for Jack in the nearby fields. He was nowhere to be found.
They continued their desperate search, hoping that the dog would be there when Stephen awoke in the hospital—not wanting to have to deliver even more bad news.
“We just ask that people pray for him, and that we find Jack,” Stephen’s wife JoAnn told FOX 2.
Nearly a month went by, and still no sign of Jack.
But then, the family got some promising news: they got word that a dog resembling Jack was found by an animal shelter in Bloomington, Indiana.
The bad news: the dog had just been adopted.
“We got onto their site, and we were going through all of their March adoptions, and there he was,” JoAnn told FOX 2.
There he was, indeed … posing for a photo with his new owner.
The man was Zack Pauley, who had visited the Bloomington shelter with his girlfriend looking to adopt a new pet. He was immediately drawn to Jack … or as he named him, Bryzzo.
“He was a perfect dog whenever you were around him,” Pauley told FOX 2. “Super sweet, good around all the people.”
Over the next week Pauley soon began to form his own bond with the dog, even taking him to work.
But then, he got an unexpected phone call telling him that Bryzzo was actually Jack, the dog who had been missing for a month.
It broke Pauley’s heart to have to give up the dog he was already growing to love … but knew he had to do the right thing and “make that family whole again.”
He gave the dog back to the Mason family.
“There was no real option other than to give him back,” Pauley said.
JoAnn was thrilled to have the dog back, and grateful that Pauley understood the difficult situation.
“I was joyful, I was happy, I was grateful… I was sorry for Zack at the same time because he’s losing his newfound friend,” she said.
“He kind of got a little emotional giving him back, and I gave him a big hug. I said he’d never know how much I appreciated what he’d just done.”
It will be well worth it once Stephen is reunited with his dog—who may be the key to his recovery.
Stephen is still in the hospital, suffering from memory loss and difficulty speaking, but when his wife showed him a photo of the dog, he reportedly came to life and said “Jack!”
His thrilled family has now covered his hospital room with photos of Jack, and can’t wait to see these two reunited for real.