80 days later, strangers help unite family with beloved pooch

"Chester patrols" unite stranger and dog owner

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There's something about Maragaret Buchanan, dogs just seem to sniff up to.

"I love dogs.  My mom was a dog lover so it's in my blood.   That's the only answer I have," she recently told NewsChannel 5.

So perhaps it was no surprise that a 2am visit a few weeks ago came from none else than a four legged guest.

"I was lying on the couch and I heard a noise on our front porch and peeked out expecting to see a raccoon, but instead the face that turned around was a beautiful dog."

But this pooch was no stranger.

"I recognized him and told my son at that moment, this is the dog from those posters." 

Turns out Chester, the foxhound, had gone missing, 80 days earlier.  His West Palm Beach family had posted countless flyers around town. His big brother even taped a video pleading to the public for help.  In it, 7 year old Ross shows a picture of the pooch stating, "if you do find him and give him to us we will give you all of my money."  Ross picks up his piggy bank in the video that was posted on facebook, craig's list and other social media sites.

After nearly giving up home, Chester's owner received a 2am call from Margaret Buchanan, a complete stranger.

"I said well, don't get too excited because he's not here right now but he was at our house at 2am," she said.

"We thought, it's probably not our dog but we were elated.  At the same time we wanted to be appropriately skeptical, how could it be him after so long," asked Eric Kramer.

The phone call prompted an unlikely mission between these Buchanan and Kramer, whose only connection was a lost canine and a their equal commitment to find him.

"I was going out there at 3:30am/4 in the morning and I was staking out in front of her house," describes Kramer. 

"My friends and co-workers were like what do you mean you get up at 4:30 in the morning looking for this dog?  I said I can't stop," said Buchanan. 

After nearly three weeks of early morning "Chester patrols," this weekend a hired trapper finally caught up with the pooch at a nearby cemetery.  It's the same cemetery Margaret and Eric came to learn where Chester would sleep.

"Sure enough there he was and he's smiling.   I called my wife and said, honey he's coming home for Christmas!"

Margaret received word from Eric that Chester was found a few hours after the reunion.

"I grabbed Eric and hugged him and probably broke his ribs," she laughed.

Who would have guessed,  two strangers and one dogged pursuit would end so dog gone good!

"It was really cool to be a part of something so special," said Margaret.

"The ultimate message here is never give up and always have faith and believe in Christmas," said Eric.






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