Lost last month, blind dog gets home for Christmas

December 24, 2011 - 7:25 PM
Blind Dog Home For Christmas

In this Dec. 23, 2011 photo, Belinda Gutierrez sits with her blind dog, Stevie Oedipus Wonder, in San Antonio, after the two were reunited after a volunteer at the city's animal shelter found a Craigslist ad from Gutierrez's daughter looking for the dog. The cairn terrier mix pup disappeared from his home nearly a month ago, was reported dead and had almost overstayed his welcome at the shelter this week when his owner found him. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Helen L. Montoya) RUMBO DE SAN ANTONIO OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; AP MEMBERS ONLY

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A blind dog that was lost and believed to be dead is reunited with his San Antonio family for Christmas, thanks to Craigslist, a school teacher and an animal care agency.

Nearly a month after Stevie Oedipus Wonder disappeared — and was reported dead — the cairn terrier mix puppy is home for the holiday, the San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/unONGF .)

"This is my Christmas miracle," Stevie's owner Belinda Gutierrez said. "I actually thought I was going to have a sad end of the year and a sad Christmas."

Stevie, a dog born without eyes and apparently abused by a previous owner, was found early in 2011 by Gutierrez's daughter as he wandered near a city duck pond. Instantly, the dog became a part of the family, responding to their voices and dragging Gutierrez out for exercise.

Days after Thanksgiving, though, Stevie escaped — disappearing from the family's home. Days later, Gutierrez's landlord told her the dog was dead.

On Dec. 11, Stevie showed up at Animal Care Services. A collar and tag kept him alive for five days, Jeanne Saadi, the agency's live release coordinator, said. But with outdated information, the agency failed to find his owners and prepared to euthanize him.

That's when Brooke Orr, a high school teacher, saw the agency's ad seeking a home for the blind dog. She agreed to care for Stevie over the holidays, buying him a few more days.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez's distraught daughter posted a lost dog notice on Craigslist, hoping someone would see it and return Stevie.

Orr noticed the tag dangling on the dog's neck.

"I thought that he must belong to someone. So I went to Craigslist and went to lost and found and I put in 'blind dog,' and there he was," she said.

She contacted Gutierrez, who arrived at the Animal Care Services on Thursday uncertain the dog would be able to recognize her.

"All he had to do was hear my voice," she said. "I stood at the entrance of the kennel building and called out 'Stevie, Stevie.' And he started barking all over the place."

Now back at home, Stevie will awake Christmas morning to a stocking stuffed with doggy treats, rawhide chew toys and carrots, one of his favorites.

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Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com