Incredible reunion of owner and dog missing for 2 years
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
A miraculous reunion of a dog and his owner.
The Great Dane went missing from an Oklahoma City yard in December of 2013, but just a week ago he turned up more than 350 miles away.
They're known as man's best friend, but for Julio Gascon "best friend" isn't enough to describe his Great Dane Duke.
"Anytime we hopped in our truck he wanted to get in there and he wanted to go where we went," said Gascon.
Back in 2012 Julio and his brother Sam brought Duke home from a breeder at just 8-weeks-old.
"We knew he was going to be a fun dog because he would not stop. He was just running around in circles," said Gascon.
As Duke got bigger, his personality shined.
"He's a lot of fun, he's a goofball really, he's a big little kid," said Gascon.
That is until Christmas Eve of 2013 when Julio let out Duke and their other dog.
"Whether somebody opened it or they opened it they got out," said Gascon.
In the days, weeks and months following, Julio scoured the streets searching for his gentle giant.
"For a while I was really going outside of the area, hoping that, and driving slow and hoping that I could see his head pop up over a fence or something like that," said Gascon.
Fast forward to March 3rd of 2016. 350 miles away David Walker walks out onto his ranch in Navasota Texas.
"So when I looked down I saw this Great Dane looking up at me and I almost jumped out of my shoes," said Walker.
The dog seemed friendly so walker took him to the vet to see if he was micro chipped. He finds out the dog's name is Duke, missing for 2 years from Oklahoma City.
"I mean that's just ,that's just crazy," said Walker.
That afternoon Julio gets a phone call.
"Hey we found your dog, a gentleman out here found your dog," said Gascon.
As soon as they get off work, Julio and Sam jump in their truck for a 350 mile drive to bring their Duke home.
"On the way over there we were thinking is he going to remember us, I wonder how big he is," said Gascon.
The same pick-up truck that Duke came home in as a puppy, pulls up to the Walker's house.
"We had Duke in the garage and as soon as Duke heard the sound of their engine he jumped up and he got all excited," said Walker.
800 days later, Duke and Julio are reunited.
"When I pulled that thing up it was a miracle, it was just so amazing," said Walker.
"It was very emotional, but it felt very heartwarming to know that he remembered me and remembered my brother. Just his reaction alone was priceless to me," said Gascon.
After making the 4 and a half hour drive back to Oklahoma City, life is finally getting back to normal for Duke and Julio.
"He's still clumsy, he still likes to goof around a lot and I think, we think it's hilarious," said Gascon.
A new set of firsts ahead for the pair after two years apart. Julio says he's grateful, and ready for many more firsts now that his four legged better half is back home
"There's a lot of things that we're wanting to experience with him now that we feel like we didn't get a chance to...Memories that we're, we're going to start to make," said Gascon.
The vet says duke is pretty healthy, he just has a minor hip problem and needs to gain a few pounds. Thursday night Julio wants to thank David Walker for doing the right thing. He also hopes his story serves as a message to all pet-owners to get your dogs and cats micro chipped.