VIDEO: Lost for a year, Kansas City dog reunited with owners for Christmas

KANSAS CITY — A stray dog who was found hungry and injured was reunited with his owners on Christmas Eve after being missing for more than a year, thanks to the efforts of two good Samaritans and emergency caregivers at BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

The 9-year-old Labrador retriever, named Brodie, was found by Rodney Stean and Judy Purcell in Shawnee, Kansas. They had spotted the dog running along the road near their home a couple of weeks ago but the dog wouldn’t come close.

Then, on Christmas Eve, Brodie wound up in their yard. He was hungry and had open wounds on his paws.  Stean immediately decided to take the stray to BluePearl, because he had previously brought dogs there for treatment and was impressed by the care they received. He knew that as an emergency hospital, BluePearl would be open around the clock, even on the day before Christmas.

Doctors at BluePearl Veterinary Partners treated Brodie for wounds to his feet. It's not known how Brodie got the injuries.

Doctors at BluePearl Veterinary Partners treated Brodie for wounds to his feet. It’s not known how Brodie got the injuries.

“We knew BluePearl is a good place when you have an emergency with your dogs,” Stean said.

At BluePearl’s Overland Park hospital, the staff found that Brodie had a microchip implanted for identification purposes. Everyone was astonished to learn the dog had been missing for more than a year, and that his owners live about 25 miles away near Liberty, Mo.

“This is the first time I’ve ever worked with a dog who has been missing for so long, and it’s nice that we have such a great ending to the story,” said Dr. Richmond Aarstad, a BluePearl senior clinician who treated Brodie on Christmas Eve.

Aarstad noted that Brodie was somewhat thin and had a wound on the top of his left hind paw and smaller wounds near his right hind paw. He bandaged the paws and began antibiotics. It’s not clear how Brodie got the injuries.

Brodie’s journey began in the summer of 2014, when he wormed his way out of his fenced-in yard, losing his collar in the process.

Only Brodie knows what happened in the year and a half since then. Troy Petersen’s family put up signs, spoke to animal rescue organizations and searched for weeks, but never found their pup.

man posing with dog

Troy Petersen with his dog Brodie, who was missing for more than a year

When BluePearl called Petersen on Christmas Eve to say Brodie had been found, he didn’t believe it at first.  But then he realized BluePearl identified him through his embedded microchip.  “It was like a little miracle,” he said.

The Petersens are overwhelmed by the generosity of Stean and Purcell, who rescued their beloved dog in time for Christmas. And they are grateful to the staff at BluePearl, for giving excellent treatment and advice. Petersen brought Brodie back to the hospital on Christmas Day so the staff could change Brodie’s bandages.

“The way BluePearl treated us, the way they treated Brodie, I just couldn’t be happier,” Petersen said.

Aarstad, the BluePearl veterinarian, said he was happy to be part of such a heat-warming story, and said it’s a great reminder of the benefits of microchipping pets so they can be identified later.