“Christmas Miracle” reunites trucker with her lost dog after weeks spent apart

A truck driver and her dog have been reunited after a traveling mishap left the dog stranded far from home. 

Melissa and her dog, Hope, travel the country together by semi truck; but a few weeks ago their travels came to a halt when Hope got lost during a traffic jam near Cortland County in upstate New York. 

Hope was in the car with Melissa’s friend when they encountered a road closure and had to pull over. Once stopped, Hope, who is described by her family as “a runner,” hopped out of the car and took off running down the freeway, evading all attempts at capture.

“The freeway was shut down and they had to pull over, and when they pulled over the dog got out. They say she’s a runner and they chased her down the freeway for some time,” said Emily Bach, Cortland County SPCA shelter manager.

After searching for quite some time, the friend was forced to give up looking for Hope and returned home. However, later that evening, the local SPCA received a call reporting a loose dog and went to catch the lost dog, who just so happened to be Hope. 

“She walked really well on a leash, and she could sit, so I knew she had someone who was teaching her something, paying attention to her and caring about her,” Kathi Maxson, a Cortland County SPCA law enforcement officer. “I didn’t want to get too close. It’s too hard to say goodbye sometimes.”

Two weeks later, Melissa was searching for any sign of Hope on various pet Facebook pages when she noticed Hope’s picture on the Lost Dogs of the Finger Lakes Facebook page. Relieved, she called the shelter and explained the situation, who agreed to continue caring for Hope until Melissa could make it to upstate New York from her home out west. 

Being a truck driver, it took Melissa several more weeks to arrange a route that would take her to upstate New York, but once she did, her reunion with Hope was nothing short of a Christmas Miracle. 

“It’s been an event, but we made it work,” Melissa said. “I appreciate you guys for taking good care of her.”

Now, Melissa says she and Hope can go back to hitting the road together. 

“For us, it’s kind of a Christmas miracle,” Bach concluded. 

“We were really excited. It’s a story unlike any we’ve seen here at the shelter.”