HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Rambo, an autism therapy dog who disappeared from outside a Hanover home Friday afternoon, mysteriously returned home early Wednesday morning much to the delight of his buddy, seven-year-old Conner and Conner's family. Conner's mom Christie said they discovered a clean and warm Rambo waiting for them outside their Montpelier home at about 6 a.m.
"I got up at 6 a.m. to let our other dog out and heard scratching at the other door," Christie Brennan Acton said. "I saw Bo through the window and just started screaming. It truly is a miracle and there just aren't words to describe how thankful we are to everyone who help get him home."
She believed someone swiped the harlequin Great Dane from outside their house last week. She hoped news and social media coverage of the missing dog and the impact it had on her son helped convince whoever took Rambo to return him.
"He isn't dirty and wasn't even cold," she said. "His jacket is missing and his collar has been taken off and put back on at some point. He wasn't there when my husband checked at 5:15 a.m., but just happened to show up before 6 and he was warm."
When Bo came back inside, Christie said her son's prayers had been answered.
"[He] just fell to his knees, wrapped his arms around him, and started crying," she said. "His 8th birthday is tomorrow and we were praying for a miracle like this today."
“It was rough…yup…he didn’t want to go to school, he didn’t want to get on the bus,” Christie said about her son, who struggled when his best friend disappeared.
“He thinks Rambo is here to protect him so without him here he’s pretty scared,” she said.
Although there are thankful Rambo is home, Christie said he has lost 11 pounds since Friday.
“He seems scared of something,” she said about Rambo upon his return home. She said she still believes someone may have taken him.
“He had his collar on it was taken down a notch so we know at some point it was taken down a notch and put back on,” she said.
Christie said with her family now all back together, they would change their routine which included leaving their pets outside to go to the bathroom.
"I would definitely want to extend a warning to pet owners," she said. "You just can't leave them unattended to even use the bathroom. It's sad."