TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — It was a rainy Thursday night in Upstate South Carolina on Feb. 9 when a woman by the name of Jennifer was cleaning her house and decided she was going to step outside under her metal carport for a few minutes to sip on a cup of tea and listen to the rain.
"Not even two minutes after I sat down, I could see something, you know, coming down the road, wobbling really weirdly. I didn't know, like, what it was," Jennifer explained.
"There was kind of cars flashing their lights on him. And and so I saw him start to get past my house and I threw my shoes on, grabbed my phone with my flashlight and ran out and scooped him out of pitch dark, pouring rain, and brought him inside and got him dry."
Jennifer said the little Jack Russell, Pug mix was in bad shape. She rushed him to the emergency veterinarian hospital where she said they immediately checked him for a microchip.
RELATED: Just 2 days after being found across the country, dog missing for 7 years reunited with family
His microchip came back to a woman more than 1,700 miles away, across the entire country, in New Mexico. The little guy's name is Nugget and he is 16 years old.
The vet tried calling his owner but it was late out west, so Jennifer knew first thing in the morning she was going to reach out to Nugget's owner, Jessie Springer.
On Feb. 10 Jennifer reached out and Springer described her response.
"I'm like, 'What?' And I said, 'What? What does the dog look like?' And she said, 'he's a little..,' I can't even say it because I'm going to start crying, she said, 'he's a little yellow dog and his name is Nugget,'" Springer said.
As you can imagine, Springer said she started crying. She couldn't believe after all these years, her "ride or die" as she described Nugget showed up across the country.
"It's a godsend. God is good," Springer explained.
While Springer was still trying to wrap her head around the fact her Nugget had been found seven years later, Carolina Loving Hound Rescue and Jennifer were getting Nugget up to date on his shots and getting him looked over to see how is health was after being found on the streets.
"His his nails were really long. His ears were disgustingly dirty. There was an infection. He has a double ear infection, which is very common, especially if he was out in the elements," explained Angie Gschwind with Carolina Loving Hound Rescue. "He has some atrophy in his back end where he has some muscle loss in his back legs. He has a luxating patella. But those are all things that are typical for a 16-year-old dog."
The big question was if he would be cleared to travel back with Springer on a plane. The vet gave Nugget the green light and Carolina Loving Hound Rescue has arranged for Springer to fly in this weekend to pick up Nugget to bring him back home.
'It's a once in a lifetime kind of rescue, honestly," Gschwind explained. "This is everything we work for, you know, to reunite these guys."
Springer couldn't thank Jennifer and the team at Carolina Loving Hound Rescue enough.
"God bless them and that rescue," Springer said.
Gschwind said it's been an amazing feeling to be apart of this reunion.
"Hearing it. Reading about it, you're like, Oh, wow, that's so awesome. I bet they feel great doing it. We have been going from crying to it's I cannot explain it. It's hitting every cylinder of rescue, you know? I mean, this is like a dream come true. When I told my team today what we're doing this, that we were helping there wasn't a single dry eye," Gschwind explained.
Springer said she never thought she find Nugget but can't wait to bring him back to New Mexico She adds her daughter who was just a couple years old at the time he disappeared is just as excited as she is to have him home.
This is a great reminder to make sure your pet is microchipped. It's also important to note that if you do find a lost pet to immediately take it to a vet and have it checked for a microchip. Also, don't forget to update your microchip information if you move or change numbers. In this case, for Springer and Nugget, she hadn't changed her number in seven years.