It has been 18 months since Lesmore Willis last saw his daughter’s beloved blue-eyed Husky, Sinatra. The dog went missing after Zion Willis died in a tragic gun accident.
The grieving dad feared he may never see Sinatra again. Then, out of the blue, he was contacted by a Florida family 1100 miles from his home in Brooklyn, New York.
13-year-old Rose Verrill came across Sinatra earlier this month in her hometown of Seffner, Florida. She brought the dog home, and with the help of her family, began searching for his rightful owner. Sinatra has a microchip, but the registered name appears only as “Willis Les” and the attached phone number is one digit short.
Armed with this partial info, a friend of the Verrills scoured social media for a match. She came across Lesmore Willis on Facebook and sent him a message. To the shock of everyone involved, he replied that he was indeed Sinatra’s owner!
Friends of both families volunteered to help transport the 5-year-old dog back home to New York. On Monday afternoon, Willis tearfully reunited with the dog that once meant the world to his daughter.
“I think Zion brought him home,” he told the New York Post. “That’s where he belongs, he belongs with us.”
Willis credits his daughter’s spirit with keeping Sinatra safe and helping him stay calm during the long car ride. According to the New York Post, the dog calmly hopped out of the car at an exit off the New Jersey Turnpike and walked straight into Willis’ arms.
“His smell is reminding me of a time when [Zion] was here with him,” Willis remarked, choking back tears.
How Sinatra ended up in Florida is still a mystery.
Featured Screenshot via ABC13