CHESTER, Va. -- A Chester family feared they'd never see their dog Brody again after he disappeared in the midst of New Year's Eve fireworks.
Owner, Corinne Lewis, and close friend, April Harshman, said 8-year-old Brody had never run away before.
"We have a dog door," said Lewis. "He’s pretty much got free range. He comes and goes whenever. He stays in the yard most the time.
But New Year's Eve was different. Lewis said Brodie has always been scared when it comes to fireworks.
"Usually he would just crawl under something and shiver," Lewis said.
But Tuesday during the thick of it, Lewis said the entire family was away.
"Dad said he got home and he (Brody) was no where to be found," Lewis said.
Lewis said they searched night and day -- still no Brody.
"We felt just like helpless," said Lewis.
That's when she said her dad made a Facebook post, asking for help, which ended up getting more than a thousand shares.
But even with all those people on the look-out -- Brody found a way home all on his own.
"Around 7 o’clock this morning walked in," said Harshman. "That was the big update."
Brody slipped in through the doggy door -- a little dirty, but happy to be home.
"I was asleep and my dad screeched and I woke up. And I came out to Bro-Bro!" Said Lewis. "He was like covered in soot head to toe -- couldn't event tell it was him."
Lewis said it was a happy reunion -- but they plan to avoid any scares in the future.
"Probably keep a collar on him is the number one thing -- and definitely be prepared if there’s going to be fireworks or something," said Lewis.
Christie Chipps Peters with Richmond Animal Care and Control, said they see more runaways this time of year due to fireworks. She said the best thing you can do for your pet is have a way to find them.
"Microchipping is a full proof way to prove ownership and to make sure to identify your pet as yours and give it back to you," said Peters.
She said microchipping insures that your dog can be identified -- even if its collar has fallen off or been stolen. She also said although the adoption center is closed on New Year's Day, Richmond Animal Care and Control is always staffed to take calls.
If you are missing your dog, Peters recommends you come in to your local shelter and shelters in surrounding counties. She also said to visit the Richmond Animal Care and Control website, which will link you to the Lost and Found section of their site.