Missing Service Dog, Owner Reunited In Berks County

Missing Service Dog, Owner Reunited In Berks County

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WYOMISSING, Pa. -

In Berks County, it's a happy ending to a "tail" of lost and found: Finley, the golden retriever, is back with his companion.

"It was, relief, like, I can't believe it," 46-year-old stroke victim Denice DeAntonio told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon Friday, while seated on the couch of her Fleetwood home, with her service dog by her side.

Volunteers, including handlers with tracking dogs, had combed wooded areas in nearby Wyomissing in search of the 2-year-old golden Retriever since his disappearance Tuesday evening.

Around 9 a.m. Friday, a woman living about half a mile southeast of the search zone called to say Finley had turned up in her backyard.

"I think definitely my first reaction was...prayers were answered," said DeAntonio.

First stop was the Oley Valley Animal Clinic, where Finley was checked out and found to be in good shape, though a few pounds lighter.

"Diagnosis is he's going to be just fine," says Dr. Nicole Hart. "I told them, 'Go home, give him small, frequent meals today just to ease his stomach back into eating, since he went for a couple of days without eating.'"

Denice says she'll let Finley rest and recuperate for a few days.

Then, they'll resume the training, the practice, the bonding that had just begun when the pair were separated.

Denice says her stroke four years ago left her in a dark place, but that the kindness of strangers – in person and online – has her re-examining her life.

"Finley is home, we can move in the direction that we were headed, but I think that a bigger lesson is learned: that ... just how good people are," she said.

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