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Family reunites with missing dog after 71 days

Family reunites with missing dog after 71 days

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- A Kalkaska dog, missing since before Thanksgiving, was reunited with his family after 71 days on the run.

“I had about given up. I mean I didn't totally give up, I left the deck lights on every night just in case he came home during the night time then the lights would be on for him,” said Barbara Ryan, Ralph’s owner.

Barbara Ryan and her son, Scott Matley, are having better days now that their beloved dog Ralph is back home.

“He was out in the yard and a propane truck pulled in and scared him to death and he took off and never came back,” said Barbara.

Ralph ran off two days before Thanksgiving, something he has never done.

Barbara tried to call him back and look for him, but he never returned home.

Normally months of joy, celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, Barbara and her family were just hoping their Ralph would come back home.

“I was always looking out the window checking in the driveway checking out the back windows. I kind of had a fear of maybe a hunter got him or he froze to death out in the woods because some of those days were mighty cold,” said Barbara.

That’s when Kalkaska Animal Control gave them a tip about a dog found at the Missaukee Humane Society.

When they arrived to see the dog, they realized it was Ralph, more than 30 miles away from home.

“He has lost 30 pounds and you can see, if he didn't have all of this fur that his bones are protruding pretty good,” said Scott Matley. “But all of his vitals were good, we just have to feed him puppy food until he gains weight back.”

Ralph's owners may never know what he faced being gone for so many months or how he managed to survive, but they do know they will keep Ralph much closer from now on.

“I'm just glad that he came back and we got him back two days before my birthday, so that was probably the best birthday present that I ever had,” said Barbara.

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