A Rochester man was desperate to find his Havanese puppy, Benny after his car was stolen with little Benny inside. Eric Berg had just run inside a restaurant to pick up food. Within seconds, his car and his adorable little fluff ball were taken.
“I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Honestly, I don’t care what happens to my car. I just want to pretend this never happened and just get my dog back,” Berg said through tears on WHEC News.
A Nightmare Unfolded Just Beyond His Reach
Berg witnessed the car being stolen, and he tried desperately to get to Benny before the car drove off. Surveillance video captured Berg running with all his might and jumping over a snowbank into the middle of the road. Sadly, his valiant efforts were to no avail.
“I was out of the car for less than a minute. I pulled right up on the curb, in front of the restaurant like I’ve done before and I wanted to keep him warm, so I left him in the car and I had my lights on,” he said.
Unfortunately, some of the most life-changing events happen in the blink of an eye.
“I stepped in there and grabbed my food and when I walked out, I saw my car pulling off the side of the curb. I thought it was a nightmare. I jumped into the middle of the road, and it swerved around me and sped off.”
Berg quickly offered a $2,000 reward with no questions asked as long as Benny was returned safely.
“If they’re trying to sell my dog, I’ll give them more,” he pleaded.
A Stroke Of Luck Peeked Through The Waves Of Grief
His fatherly intuition was right: Benny was up for sale. Luckily, some good samaritans had been paying attention to the news.
“A gentleman said ‘I know where your dog is, it’s on sale for $500. I can go buy your dog for you,’” Berg said.
The man told Berg that somebody had offered shaggy 6-month-old Benny for $500. Initially, the man declined to buy the dog. Then his wife recognized that Benny was the missing dog she had seen on the news! After contacting Berg, the couple purchased Benny intending to return him to his dad.
“He said, ‘I got him, I have your dog, he’s here,’ I said, ‘Can you send me a picture?’ and I saw Benny in his back seat, my heart jumped, I grabbed the reward money and got in my car,” Berg said.
Berg kept his promise, and the two met in a parking lot behind a laundromat to exchange Benny and the reward money. The man has remained anonymous.
“My heart soared,” Berg recounted in a Facebook post. “He opened the back seat and there was Benny, so excited that he peed on this man’s seat! I grabbed Benny and handed the man the reward.”
The Best Stories End With Puppy Cuddles
Berg says he has learned many lessons since this nightmare first unfolded. However, there’s one lesson that might be the most important of all.
“I also learned that one thing that really unites people from all different backgrounds is a love for animals and compassion for other people who love them too,” said Berg.
Benny has been busy getting spoiled at home. Plenty of naps, cuddles, play sessions, and all of the boiled chicken his little shaggy heart desires!