LIVIONIA, N.Y. -- A nationwide journey for one German Shepard has come to an end. The four-footed traveler fell into the arms of a woman trying to help him find his way home.
“He’s just a big puppy is the best way to explain it,” says Tonja Hynes, an office worker at Perry Veterinary Clinic.
Hynes says she was on her way to work when she noticed the dog apparently standing in the middle of the road.
“I saw one thing sticking up and nothing over here (his ear sticking down), so I was like, 'it looks like a dog,' so I thought I’d better go up there," she said. "It’s a busy road and I didn’t want the dog to get hit.”
A microchip scan at the Clinic in Livonia where she worked gave her answers.
“The first thing we do if we have a lost or found pet is we scan their microchip. I kind of really didn’t expect anything to beep because a lot of people really don’t microchip their animals," Hynes said.
To her surprise she learned some of the friendly dog's data with a call to the microchip company. His name is Max, he's 21 months old and his home, 2,200 miles away in the small town of Hereford, Arizona, is just miles from the south Arizona-Mexico border.
“Maybe 10 minutes later, I got a call from a woman named Janet and she said 'I understand you have my dog? My dog went missing a year ago,' and I’m like, 'you’re kidding me,'” says Hynes.
Max was a Christmas present from registered owner Janet Escarcega for her, now, 14-year-old son. He disappeared mysteriously after six months.
“We thought maybe somebody had thought he was lost, picked him up and he ended up here," she said.
Now with nearly $800 raised, with the help of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Max is preparing to catch a flight on a cargo plane back home.
Hynes says that she believes everything happens for a reason and that day not only opened her eyes, but her heart as well.
“Honestly, I believe he was put in my path because he needs to go home," she said.
Escarcega says after giving up after months of searching, she is grateful for her new found friend.
"We keep in touch, I told her; I will never have enough words and I cannot express my gratitude," said Escarcega.
A GoFundMe page was set up by the family in order to raise money to help get Max back home.
"She’s got a family, I’ve got a family, and I get it. If there’s good people out there that want to help, let’s come together, let’s do it,” says Hynes.
For the rest of this tale of adventure of how Max ended up trekking so far away from home -- that will likely remain a mystery known only to Max.