In a turn of events that reads more like a made-for-TV movie, a Colorado dog named Patches, whom had been missing for close to four years, has been found nearly 600 miles away from home near the Mexico border. The dog's owner, Benjamin Baxter, was reunited with his childhood canine companion last week after believing he may never see her again, as reported by KETV.
The odds of this reunion were slim—after all, how often does a lost pet turn up after years, not just safe but healthy? Yet, Patches defied those odds, as Benjamin told KENS 5, "The best way to describe that day was just utter disbelief." Years of separation were erased in disbelief when Patches, brimming with health notwithstanding the circumstances, was discovered as a stray in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Lost in April 2020, Patches had escaped from a kennel while under the care of a family friend. The beloved pet went missing in the chaos of a move to a no-pets-allowed apartment in Nebraska for Baxter, who left her temporarily with the friend in Calhan, Colorado.
On an unexpected day on January 31, Benjamin's wife, Elizabeth Baxter, received a call from Benjamin's mother, delivering the news that could have easily been mistaken for a hoax. Multiple missed calls from a New Mexico area code claimed that they had found Patches. "She'd been getting missed calls from an area code in New Mexico saying that they had Patches, and she's like is this a scam, is this not? I don't know," Elizabeth said, according to KETV. Further confirmation through phone calls and verification of Patches' medical records soon assured the Baxters that the dog indeed was theirs.
Speaking to KENS 5, Benjamin expressed his eager anticipation of rebuilding lost time. "We've got lots of time to make up for, and I just want to give her a place where she can be at peace and be at rest in these last couple of years that we're going to get together," he said.
The story of Patches' disappearance and miraculous return involved a network of shelters and volunteers across states, prompting the Baxters to set up a donation fund to thank those who aided in the dog's safe return. Both Benjamin and Elizabeth extend their gratitude to those who helped bring their adventurous pet back home. "We're just really grateful," Elizabeth remarked. Those looking to contribute to the shelters and volunteers can find more information on the Baxters' fundraising efforts by clicking the previously provided link to KETV's coverage.