Half-deaf, half-blind Rottweiler found after 7 months

After being lost for seven months, Ruger the dog found his way home. Jeanne and Alan Reid had all but given up on finding their dog, but are now celebrating his homecoming. Alan kept repeating, “I just wish he could talk so he could tell us where he’s been.”

NEWARK, Ohio — It seemed the story would not have a happy ending.

Ruger the Rottweiler was lost. His parents searched for months, but when summer turned to fall, then to winter, Jeanne and Alan Reid assumed Ruger was gone. He’d either been taken, they figured, or he’d wandered into the woods to die.

“A month goes by, and you go, ‘We’re never going to see him again,'” Alan said. “I was trying to keep (Jeanne) calm, but I really didn’t think we were going to find him.”.

Ruger disappeared July 3 from his Mount Vernon Road backyard. On Thursday, he was found on a nearby street and returned to the Reids. He’s emaciated and exhausted, but he seems largely OK, Jeanne Reid said.

They have no idea where he’s been, but the important part is, he’s home, she said.

“I still don’t know if I’m dreaming,” she said. “It’s a miracle.”.

Ruger is 14. He’s half-blind and half-deaf, and he was acting a bit strange the week or so before he disappeared. That’s why the Reids thought maybe he had gotten confused and wandered off.

There also was some random vandalism going on in the neighborhood about the same time, so they considered the possibility Ruger was stolen.

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The Reids called police and the dog warden. They made posters and went door to door looking for Ruger. Jeanne used to drive the alleys around her home, thinking maybe she’d spot Ruger chained up in someone else’s backyard.

She posted Ruger’s picture to the Lost and Found Pets in Licking County Facebook page, and for a while, there were frequent Ruger sightings. Each turned out to be a false alarm, but there were enough people looking that Jeanne was confident Ruger would be found.

The more time passed, though, the more she started to think he was gone for good. When winter set in, she told herself he was dead because better that than picture Ruger alone and miserable out in the cold.

“I thought, ‘Oh, God, he better be dead,'” Jeanne Reid said. “For self-preservation, I had to think that he was dead. … I just can’t even believe he’s here.”.

She describes Ruger as a “mechanical” dog. He’s not particularly excitable, and he likes to stick to his routines. He loves children and being outdoors.

The Reids also have a black lab named Ez. When Ruger disappeared, Ez cried for months.

“She cried for at least four months, all day and all night,” Jeanne Reid said. “She was traumatized by his loss.”.

On Thursday afternoon, Ruger and Ez looked as if they’d never been apart. They lay side by side on the floor, no space between them. Jeanne knelt beside them, petting them both and moaning at Ruger’s now-protruding bones. She plans to take regular pictures of his recovery to post on Facebook for everyone who helped look.

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“You’re a trouper, Ruger,” she said. “You are a trouper.”.

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