Oregon Dog Reunited with Owners in the Heartland

Oregon Dog Reunited with Owners in the Heartland
By: Holly Brantley

Imagine spending 15 months searching for your lost dog.  But here's the catch: you live in illinois while your pet is thousands of miles away on the west coast!
In September of 2006, Desiree Hummel moved from Lebanon, Oregon to the Heartland.
She temporarily left her dog Rudy behind with a friend.  The friend ended up not being able to care for the dog and gave Rudy away.
That started a chain of events that would lead to an unbelieveable search and eventually a happy ending.
If Rudy could talk...oh the story he would tell!!  As he plays with his owners Desiree and Kevin Hummel, it's hard to believe Rudy's been separated from them for more than a year
"I felt really terrible leaving him behind and coming out here," Desiree said.
It all began when Desiree moved from Oregon to Illinois and had to leave Rudy with a friend.  Little did she know the friend would give Rudy away before she could return for him
"I was absolutelly heart broken because friends don't do that," she said.
It would take fate and the help of a few strangers to bring her companion back to her
"I knew that if I could find him, we would definitely get him here," she said.
"I didn't think it would ever happen," Kevin said.
Turns out Rudy was being passed around in Oregon, eventually ending up at the Safe Haven no kill shelter for seven months.  That is, until the shelter put an ad in the local paper, the Albany Democrat-Herald, their Christmas wish: to find a home for Rudy and two other dogs.
"My other friend Tammy said 'Hey that's your dog.  I know that's your dog.'" Desiree said.
But there was still a problem.  How do you get a dog 2300 miles from Oregon to the Heartland?
Winter weather made driving nearly impossible and flying was expensive.
"$1600 dollars to fly the dog out...just wow!" Desiree said.
Enter the paper again, after seeing Rudy's story locals put up more than enough money to get rudy home by New Year's.  Rudy flew into St. Louis.
"I tried hard not to cry when I saw him at the airport in front of everybody," said Desiree.
The Albany Democrat-Herald chronicled Rudy's story from the beginning to the happy ending.  It makes you wonder if Rudy knows he's become a celebrity of sorts, one with a whole lot of people looking out for him.
"The world's full of Santa Clauses when some things happen and this guy has got some angels," Desiree said.
Rudy is almost 14 years old.  Desiree says he's the best friend she could have.  They also have two of Rudy's sons.
The hummels are very thankful to everyone in Oregon who helped get Rudy here, especially the staff at Safe Haven and the couple who flew along with Rudy from Oregon to St. Louis.