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Sacramento-area dog is reunited with owners after a myserious 700-mile journey

February 19, 2011 |  7:24 pm

A dog that vanished from a Sacramento suburb Tuesday afternoon was reunited with its owner Saturday after turning up more than 700 miles away, unharmed, in Washington state. 

The dog, a 2-year-old Patterdale terrier named Bear, was last seen playing around the family construction business where its owner, 32-year-old Bryan Rapozo, works with his father. 

“Bryan is with Bear every day,” said his father, Bret Rapozo, 51. “It’s like his son. Everywhere Bryan goes, Bear’s with him.” He added, “He was very upset. He told me it’s like someone snatching up one of his kids.”

Bear is “an itty bitty guy,” Rapozo said -– black with a white chest, 20 pounds and 15 inches tall -- and they weren't sure they'd ever see him again. 

On Thursday, they received a call from the Humane Society in Tacoma, Wash. Bear had turned up in a local neighborhood and someone had brought him in. A microchip confirmed his identity.

“He was just overwhelmed,” Bret Rapozo said of his son. “I got goose bumps.”

The Rapozos hopped in the car for the 740-mile drive to Tacoma. On Saturday night they were on their way back home, driving south on the 101 with the dog curled comfortably in his favorite jacket, asleep.

How the dog traveled more than 700 miles in two days is a mystery. The Rapozos think someone snatched him, because his collar and tag were missing.

“Somebody wanted him and was planning on keeping him,” Rapozo said.  “There’s no way he got from there to here on his own. He had to have help. I know he didn’t walk up here.”

-- Christopher Goffard

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