Six years ago, the Bass family, of Reeds, Mo., brought home a puppy.
Taylor Bass, who was 11 at the time, named the little schnauzer mix Malachi. On Dec. 8, 2012, Malachi bolted from the family's home – unable to be caught.
“Her heart was broken,” said Taylor's father, Murrell. “She cried for days. All we did was drive around looking for him, posting flyers and making Facebook posts … He was our only pet, and I figured he would come back.”
On Dec. 22, 2012,
Linda Perkins, the secretary for the Missouri Southern State University's Communication Department, found Malachi. He was freezing cold at Casey's in Oronogo. Through her circles at work, she turned Malachi over to Chad and Laurel Stebbins so they could connect the critter to the Joplin Humane Society.
More pictures of Malachi were published on Facebook. It was at this time when a friend of Murrell's saw the pictures online and gave his friend a call.
“I had pretty much given up on him,” Murrell said. “Taylor had started to move on … He's so little, and it got so cold, I had thought the worst. It really means a lot to us to have him back.”
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Malachi made it home.
“We were a little ways away from home and he started bouncing around,” Murrell said. “He's happy to be home.”