16-Year-Old Husky Makes It From Southlake To Philadelphia And Back

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.


One Comment

  1. CL says:

    thanks to Karen Belfi and Blind Dog Resue Alliance for great work……

  2. Rick Davis says:


  3. Common Sense says:

    Not to be an old curmudgeon or anything, but why would you not have tagged an old blind, deaf dog? And if he was tagged why would the shelter have not called? How does a person in Philadelphia know about a dog that’s about to be put down in Keller, when owners in Southlake who are searching have no clue? Things that make you go hmmm.

    1. schrodinger says:

      First, the dog wasn’t in Keller; he was in Philadelphia. Apparently, the foster and rescue network had him listed in their database. Second… collars and tags do get lost, fall off, etc. My cats lose (drop) their collars all the time– and they’re indoors only. A microchip is permanent and cant “fall off”.

      Please, everyone. microchip your pets.

      1. Grahawk says:

        schrodinger, perhaps the article’s written story line has changed when I read it. It does say the dog was in Keller and the lady in Phillie rescued it.

        I do agree to microchipping your pets.

      2. 2sister says:

        Grahawk, it says that they checked a shelter in Keller. It says that the shelter didn’t have him, but knew where he was. It doesn’t specify when the shelter in Keller figured out he was in Philadelphia. It’s possible that they did a computer check and found out he was in Philadelphia when the owners asked if they had him. You really can’t tell for sure by just reading it in the news.

  4. upchkn says:

    Some shelters will work very hard to find an alternative for a dog about to be put down…calling numerous “rescue groups”. Thank goodness for all involved in Kody’s journey.

  5. RoscoeRun says:

    I have a large dog that is an escape artist. I watch him very carefully, like you would a small child, and he isn’t allowed outside unsupervised. From time to time, my children forget. So we have a nylon collar with his name and our phone number written on it boldly with marker. Neighbors have been wonderful to return him when he does get free.

  6. CJ says:

    That’s why you should always have your pet micro-chipped.

  7. Bev says:

    Being a member of Blind Dog Rescue Alliance here in Philadelphia, I’m very happy for Kody and his family. He’s a very sweet old boy.

    Blind Dog Rescue had Kody micro-chipped before he left for his long trek back home.

    Good luck Kody and his family, who went above and beyond what some owers would have done. Blind Dog Rescue is proud to have been a part of Kody’s story and reunion with is family. This time we all had tears of joy instead of sorrow.

  8. Grace says:

    Someone at the Vet’s office needs to be replaced! Thankful for a happy and safe return of Kody.

  9. Anita Rosenberger says:

    Great job to Karen Belfi and her group of volunteers. Everyone please remember, almost all rescue organizations are run by volunteers and pay for the animals care out of pocket, supplemented by donations. If you want to encourage and help rescues, please think of them when you have a few extra dollars! The volunteer organizations (not the activists like HSUS and PETA who want to abolish pet ownership and who raise money to pay staffers and create anti pet bills) are the ones who need your support. So glad Kody is home with his family and so thankful to hear a happy ending. Thank you Blind Dog Rescue Alliance!

  10. Paul says:

    They should have just let him go. At his age and condition, they will likely have to put him down soon anyway, and this way he would have just walked out of their lives and they won’t have to face that decision when it comes time.

    1. Chris says:

      That is the most cowardous and silly thing I have ever read on the internet. Its that childlike mentality that makes shelters full of old dogs wondering where their family went and why they are in such a scary place before they are put to death. How about being a man who can take stewardship of an animal and be in the right mind to make a hard decision when the time comes. I hope you fall down some stairs and become infertile.

  11. Steph says:

    it is great insurance to located your pet through microchip, however not all facilities have the equipment to check for them

  12. PennyPA says:

    Where is Southlake and where is Keller?

    Paul, your comment is absolutely disgusting!!

  13. Miriam says:


    When you make the decision to get a pet, you agree to make every decision for that pet until the day that it dies. Responsible pet owners don’t leave that decision to someone else. I will be holding my dog and cats on the day they leave this world, just as they have always been there for me during my times of trouble. That is the agreement I made when I got 16 years ago. The character of a person is not seen in the easy things we do, it’t seen in the hard decisions that we have to make.

  14. Marcia says:

    As the owner of a totally blind dog, I am so so happy Kody was saved by Karen and reunited with his owners. However, its sad that a 16 yr old dog was put through this horrid ordeal, especially being transported all those miles. He must have been a nervous wreck. I think the veterinarian’s office should be ashamed of themselves for not finding out who the dog belonged to when phoned. I think I’d be finding another vet.

  15. J says:

    That’s wonderful to hear some happy news for a change. What a tremendous service the blind dog rescue performs. Thank you. If one of my 16 year old dogs got out I would ve been devastated. Mine are micro chipped. I think the family needs to find a different vet. Doesn’t sound like they tried very hard. Who was their incompetent vet?

  16. Evelyn says:


    Say what you may but this is just a wonderful and remarkable story.

Comments are closed.

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