"This is literally a Christmas miracle," said the rescue dog's owner
•Utah Jazz player Kelly Olynyk and his wife, Jackie, found a lost dog in a Texas parking lot in December
•After discovering the dog had a microchip, the couple called, emailed and even traveled to the address listed, but the dog’s owner no longer lived there
•When they finally heard from the owner, it turned out the dog, named Harley, had been missing for four years
Utah Jazz forward-center Kelly Olynyk and his wife, Jackie, embarked on a rescue adventure this past Christmas.
The couple discovered a lost dog roaming around a San Antonio parking lot. When they took him into their care, they searched across the city for the dog’s owner, who had been separated from the missing dog for four years.
Ahead of the Dec. 26 Jazz v. Spurs game, the couple traveled to Texas to spend their holiday together. While they were searching for a bite to eat in downtown San Antonio, they noticed the wandering dog, and quickly, Jackie was ready to take him into their care.
“My wife is a huge, huge dog person,” Kelly told The Salt Lake Tribune. “She loves all dogs — anytime there’s a dog, she has to go pet it. She’s one of those people. So when she saw [this dog], she was all in.”
“She was like, ‘We’re finding some place for this dog, and if we can’t find a place for this dog, we’re keeping this dog,’” the basketball player shared.
Once they took him in, they drove to several different animal shelters to search for shelter, but — due to the holiday — each was closed. The couple then headed to an emergency clinic where the veterinary staff discovered the dog had a microchip.
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After they received the owner’s phone number and email address, they received no replies. So, the two trekked out to the owner’s home. However, the dog’s owner no longer lived there, and the new tenants didn’t know the dog, leaving the couple with the dog for a bit longer.
Jackie then reached out to the woman via social media and again received no response, and soon after they were turned away from boarding the dog. The couple then brought the dog to their Christmas dinner and mulled over what to do next.
As they headed back to their hotel, Jackie received a message from an acquaintance who lived in San Antonio and was willing to take the dog for the night. Once they arrived at the acquaintance’s empty house, they left the dog in the backyard and drove away. But then Jackie told Kelly they “couldn’t leave” the dog and they should "take it back to the hotel."
Quickly the couple welcomed him back, when they discovered the dog was in the middle of the street. Once they began to drive back to the hotel, Jackie received a call from an unknown number.
“She picks it up and the person was like, ‘Hey, I got a message that you might have found my dog,’” shared Kelly. “She’s like, ‘This is a crazy situation! The dog’s name is Harley?’”
“We go to the house and she opens the door, and the dog is jumping in her arms, and it’s so happy,” said Kelly.
During the reunion, the couple learned that Harley had been missing for four years. “‘Yeah, I used to work downtown, and I dropped her off at a dog sitter, and I went back after work to get her, and she was gone. The dog sitter was gone, blocked my number, and just stole my dog,’” Kelly recalled the woman’s explanation for The Salt Lake Tribune.
“We were like, ‘What? So four years ago, someone stole your dog?’ She said, ‘Yeah, this is literally a Christmas miracle.’”
"We reunited them after four years of being separated!” shared the basketball player.
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