(NEXSTAR) – On February 3, a four-year-old French bulldog named Brody vanished from his Northern California home.
“He kind of wandered out of the house one day, sniffing down the street,” said Audra Campbell, whose mother, Debbie Campbell, owns Brody.
“Then he vanished. There was no sign of him anywhere.”
The Campbells, of San Lorenzo and San Leandro, were frantic in their search. They posted photos on Facebook and asked friends, family and neighbors to share. One such post was shared nearly 400 times.
Out of the blue one month later, Brody suddenly reappeared. But he wasn’t where the Campbells expected him to be. Rather, Brody was in Tijuana, Mexico — about 500 miles away from home by car.
Good Samaritan Benjamin Gonzalez purchased Brody in Tijuana for $1,000. Gonzalez had been showing off his new French bulldog to family in the Bay Area, when they recognized Brody from the Facebook posts.
So Gonzalez reached out to Audra Campbell, who was able to verify the dog was Brody thanks to a tattoo on his leg, which he got as a puppy to identify him.
The Campbells paid Gonzalez back — though Audra Campbell says he never asked for money — and he sent the dog with his girlfriend to San Diego, California, where Campbell’s brother met them.
Now, after a strange, long trip, Brody is back home with his family.
“It was a very strange chain of events that ended with a small miracle.”
As for Gonzalez, Campbell says the animal-lover “has a heart of gold.”
French bulldogs have been the victim of theft across California in recent months. Just last week, two of musician Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs were stolen and her dog walker was shot near her Southern California home. The pups were later located.