On the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2003, Kristen Pruitt let her pit bull, Petunia, and her other dogs outside for a pre-breakfast airing.
Ten minutes later, Pruitt’s other dogs returned, but Petunia was gone.
Fredricksburg.com reports that Kristen and her husband, John Pruitt, posted signs and called local pounds, but the shy, people-loving Petunia seemed to be gone forever.
“She’s gregarious enough where she would just jump in the car with you,” Pruitt explains. “Why that individual didn’t turn her in or read the paper or see the poster, who knows?”
Just last Thursday, Petunia was found wandering around in the Spenceville Wildlife Area in rural Yuba County, California.
“Eight years, and she’s across the country,” Pruitt says. “Wow. Quite frankly, John and I just figured somehow she had gotten killed.”
A dog trainer from Oregon found Petunia and took her to the Yuba County Animal Shelter. Petunia’s microchip reunited her with her long-lost Pennyslvania family.
Yuba County Animal Control officer Debra Luis said Petunia is in fine shape, though “there are signs the animal had not received enough nutrition in recent months.”
The Huffington Post reports that the shelter is working with the Pruitt family to bring Petunia home for the holidays.