Losing a dog is like losing a family member. When they pass, you go through the same stages of grief as you do with a person. What if they are stolen, though? Dog-napping, believe it or not, is a common occurrence in many parts of the world. That’s just what one family in Turkey found out when their beloved dog Leo went missing.
The Araç family was completely crushed when they couldn’t find their dog anywhere. Though they searched high and low for Leo, after months had passed with no sign of him, they were forced to admit defeat. He was gone.
As fate would have it, though, Leo may have been gone, but not for good.
The loving family dog had gone missing in April earlier this year. When the Araç family had searched their city for two months, they finally called it quits. The family had to move on with their daily lives, even though they were devastated.
Then, not long after the family had given up hope, Sertaç Araç, Leo’s human brother, made his way into a neighboring city for work. The drive was over 60 miles from his own neighborhood, which is why he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
While he was driving, a big ball of familiar white fur caught his eye. Sertaç was jolted by the striking resemblance the dog had to his parent’s dog, Leo.
On second glance, Sertaç was even more unsure about it. The dog he saw lying in front of a café appeared to be a stray. He was dirty, his coat matted, and he looked downright exhausted. Nothing like the bubbly, bouncy personality of his family’s dog.
Still, the resemblance to Leo was uncanny. Not knowing what else to do, Sertaç snapped a quick photo.
“I took a picture and sent it to my mother and father. I was in doubt,” Sertaç explains in an interview with The Dodo.
In addition to the unfamiliar condition of the dog, Sertaç just couldn’t believe that their Leo would have ever been able to travel the 60+ miles to the city. Or, at least not on his own.
Though the odds were definitely not in their favor, Sertaç’s parents decided to make the drive into the city so they could be 100% certain it wasn’t their pup.
Sertaç decided to record his dad as he approached the “stray” dog in the same spot that he’d seen him the previous day. Just in case, by some miraculous twist of fate, this dog was, in fact, Leo.
As the video below shows, the moment that Sertaç’s dad was within sniffing distance it was immediately clear that the dog was Leo.
The dog goes absolutely bonkers when he sees his dad. He can’t stop running in circles around him, rubbing on him and loving him. He was thrilled that his forever family had come to find him.
The loving family piled into the car with their big ol’ furbaby and made the 60+ mile trip back home.
Now Leo is finally back with his humans, and they take special care to shower him with love every single day. In addition to spoiling him, they keep an extra watchful eye over their dog these days.
While finding Leo certainly made them happy, it also did something else for the family; it offered them hope.
As it turns out, Leo was not the only dog they’ve lost. The Araç family are the loving owners of not one, but three, dogs. The other two dogs in the family also disappeared into thin air, close to the time when Leo went missing. With no proof or evidence, the family can only assume that their furbabies had been dognapped.
At least with Leo being discovered in a different part of town, there is hope that their other two dogs are still out there somewhere, too.
“We’re so happy Leo is home. I will look carefully everywhere I visit in hopes we find [the other two dogs]. My father and mother will continue to search as long as they can, because they see them as their sons and love them,” Sertaç proclaims.
To see the touching video of the Araçs’ reuniting with their dog Leo, watch the video below.
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