When Brody the French Bulldog wandered out of his home in the Bay Area of California on February 3rd, his family worried they might never find him again. Brody acts as an emotional support animal for Debbie Campbell, and he’s very important to her. So the family performed an exhaustive search for the missing Frenchie, posting his photos everywhere.
In the moment, this may feel like a futile gesture, but social media and the internet have really changed the way families locate their missing pets. Several weeks went by without a sign of Brody. Then, Campbell received a call from someone all the way down in Tijuana, Mexico who had seen those posts and, he believed, the missing dog.
An Amazing Coincidence
No one knows how Brody somehow made it over 500 miles away from San Lorenzo, California to Tijuana. He may have been stolen since French Bulldogs are among the most stolen breeds due to their size and popularity. It’s beyond lucky, however, that he ended up with Benjamin Gonzalez, the caller.
Gonzalez purchased the dog from a street vendor for $1,000 after haggling down the price. He has family in the Bay Area, and when he showed off the pup, they recognized him from his photos going around social media. Gonzalez told East Bay Times:
“My brother said, ‘It looks like the dog that’s missing from here.’ I said, ‘There’s no way.’”
But as it turns out: yes way. The dog Gonzalez purchased was, in fact, the missing Brody pictured all across the web. Campbell identified Brody by a tattoo he had gotten when he was bred in Mexico years before (a common practice there.) Choking up in simultaneous disbelief and relief, Campbell told ABC:
“It took my breath away when I saw my dog playing on his couch.”
Brody Is Back Where He Belongs (And Who He Belongs With)
Campbell’s son traveled down to San Diego to pick Brody up after Gonzalez’s girlfriend brought him back across the border. The family then reimbursed Gonzalez the full amount he paid with a $1,000 reward. He told reporters he never asked for money, but the grateful family insisted.
Much like the rest of us, Gonzalez still can’t believe the odds.
“He’s from the Bay. I’m from the Bay. It was just weird. I guess he was just meant to go back.”
Gonzalez could also tell something was amiss while he had Brody in his possession. He knew this dog already belonged to someone. He just didn’t know how far away that someone was.
“When the dog was with me, it was not happy. Something was wrong. Then I saw the videos when it got back to the Bay Area. Now I know it’s home.”
Not all lost dogs are found, but as we learn more about tracking and locating them, we end up with happy endings like this one. Brody’s return might be due to a dedicated search and a kind person, but it sounds like fate played a role, too!