Sometimes the family dog is too curious for its own good. Nosy pups occasionally let their adventurous innocence get the better of them and end up wandering too far from home.
Ryan Brady, a father in Greenwood, Nebraska, wasn’t initially worried when his St. Bernard-Mastiff mix went missing. The 70 pound cuddly behemoth had disappeared before, but he’d always found his way home.
Brady first realized his dog Nigel had gone missing on March 27.
The family wasn’t sure how Nigel had managed to escape from their fenced yard, but they were confident he’d return on his own. Though as the days passed and they searched the surrounding area, he was still nowhere to be seen.
The dog’s heartbroken owner started calling local veterinary clinics and shelters to see if anyone had turned him in, but found no luck. He posted fliers locally and started the “Where in the World is Nigel?” Facebook page devoted to finding his dog.
Brady, who has a history in law enforcement, knew that the more time passed with no word of his pup, the less likely it was they would find him. He warned his kids Nigel may not return.
However, just when things seemed the most bleak, the phone rang. An employee at the Cubby’s convenience store two miles away from Brady’s house spotted Nigel the night he’d gone missing.
The Cubby’s employee said Nigel had been picked up by a trucker who thought he was a stray.
The trucker who spotted Nigel thought the dog was homeless, and decided to try and find him a home. He purchased the dog a leash, some food, and loaded him up in his truck before driving away.
“He is no dummy. He wants more donuts, so he goes right back to the Cubby’s if he gets a chance,” Brady said to KMTV.
Brady managed to convince the Cubby’s store employee to give him the name on the credit card the trucker used to make the purchase. He then started calling trucking companies and searching online for someone who would match the description.
“Obviously I think the trucker thought he was doing a good thing by taking in a stray dog,” Brady said to 1011 NOW.
But what once seemed like the lead that would reconnect the dog and Brady quickly turned cold. Despite Brady’s efforts, Nigel had been missing for more than two weeks, and his return appeared unlikely.
On April 8, their phone rang again. Only this time, the call came from 1,300 miles away.
A veterinary clinic in Las Vegas scanned Nigel’s microchip and contacted Brady.
“They said hey, we just scanned a microchip that was in a dog brought to us for licensing. Are you missing your dog?” Brady said.
A family had taken Nigel in for a check up. They claimed they got Nigel from a trucker friend, who got the dog from another trucker who found him in Nebraska.
With the help of the Big Red Rescue of the Heartland, which is where the family had adopted Nigel four years prior, Brady hopped on the first flight to Las Vegas to pick up his beloved pup. He said the entire experience was a whirlwind.
“We are just these country people from small town Nebraska, we lose our dog and then all of the sudden people from all over the country want to help us find him,” Brady said. “It is almost like it was my dog’s idea to go to Vegas.”