SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Sixteen-year-old Kody is exhausted. And, for all intents and purposes, the Siberian Husky should be; it’s been a long journey home.
“He just manages to find his way out of the yard,” said his owner, John Stephenson. “He got out. Couldn’t find him anywhere.”
His big adventure started two months ago, when a storm damaged the Stephenson’s backyard fence. It wasn’t the first time Kody escaped, but it was the first time he didn’t re-appear.
“After three weeks, we started to get discouraged, and we didn’t think we’d get him back,” Stephenson said.
His family knew it was unlikely Kody would find his way back.
With old age, he’d become both blind and deaf.
“It’s very distressing to lose a dog you’ve had for 16 years. It’s like losing a part of the family,” said Stephenson.
This week, a neighbor suggested the Stephenson family visit the one shelter in Keller they had missed in all their searching.
The volunteers there didn’t have Kody, but they did know where he was: 1,500 miles away in Philadelphia.
“He ended up with the right person,” said Stephenson.
Kody’s family learned the shelter had planned to put him down five weeks ago, but, it waited one more day, which was just enough time for Karen Belfi to find him.
“I said, I just had to foster this dog,” said Belfi, who runs the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance in Philadelphia. Through her contacts, Belfi found Kody and arranged his cross country trip.
“Having someone in Philadelphia save him, I find that amazing,” said Stephenson. “I think I might have thanked her many, many times, but I don’t know that you can actually put in words the gratitude that you have for that.”
Thursday, Stephenson flew north to reunite with Kody and drive him back.
The moment the Huskie stepped on the lawn, he seemed to realize he was home.
“His tail popped up – and his ears popped up and he knew where he was,” said Stephenson.