It's probably one of the most unique surprises anyone can get on Christmas after being separated for nine months.
A Valley family is now a little more complete with their four-legged friend back at home.
The husky dog was a special guest expected at Sky Harbor International Airport Saturday night.
"I just wish dogs could talk. I wish I knew what happened", said his owner Leanne Saunders.
Saunders said she believes someone took her dog named Kane from her Phoenix backyard back in April. After an endless and exhausting search for nine months, she had nearly given up. Saunders said she posted flyers, posted it on Craigslist, called the local animal shelters and never found Kane.
It wasn't until Wednesday that she got a call from the Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter in Pendleton, OR. Kane was brought in after someone found him dragging his leash down the highway more than a thousand miles from home, according to Saunders.
The animal had a microchip and that led the volunteers at the Oregon shelter to call Saunders.
But money is tight for Saunders and once she found Kane, she couldn't afford to pay for his return. So, as an employee of a Phoenix Petco, she put it on the company's Facebook page. With the help of their staff in Oregon, Kane was cleaned, fed and driven to the airport by Petco staff there, according to Saunders.
A combination of financial help from Petco, Blue Mountain Rescue, and the Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter, Kane took a flight home to Phoenix and arrived just before 7 p.m. Saturday night to welcome home balloons and open arms.
"I couldn't ask for anything more. It's the best Christmas present ever," said Saunders.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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