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Visiting family reunites with runaway dog after five-day search

FORT MYERS, Fla.– A dog that was missing throughout the 4th of July holiday and Hurricane Elsa was found after an extensive five-day search. 

Jasper, a nearly two-year-old Australian Shepherd, has been living up to his nickname over the past week.

“His nickname is Jass**** because he is a little mischievous,” said Jasper’s mom, Jen Behm. 

Jen and her family are in town for the holiday to visit her little who was dog-sitting Jasper. 

He took the dog outside for a quick bathroom break. 

“I turn around for a minute and I turn back around and the man has disappeared,” said Steve Nelson, Jen’s brother. 

An early firework show on Saturday scaring the dog away and sending the family into a five-day search. 

“Your mamma bear instincts and you’re just like I’m not going to sleep, I’m barely eating,” said Behm. “I just gotta find him.”

They weren’t alone. A post on social media turned into dozens upon dozens of people coming out to help track Jasper down. 

“People would say they spotted him and by the time we would get there, he’s back into the woods,” said Behm. 

Even a volunteer dog trapper joined the search. 

The holiday came and went; and so did Hurricane Elsa. Jasper was nowhere to be found.

The search nearly turned into a tragedy, as Jasper was hit by a car Tuesday on I-75 and then again on Wednesday. 

Jen watched her dog get hit the second time as she was trying to coax him in. 

“I thought I was going to have to watch my dog die in front of me,” she said. 

He got up and ran to a canal just off the interstate. 

That’s where one final tip sent the family to the pup’s location. on.

“It’s Jesus jumpin’ jackfish! There’s that dog,” said Nelson. “Like I see him running right towards me.”

Without thinking twice, he jumped into the canal after Jasper. 

“As soon as I touched him, he snapped out of whatever flight mode he was in,” said Nelson. “The best victorious moment, because I’m the dude that lost him.”

His big sister forgives him for losing Jasper after he’s the one that found him.

“He got to be the hero and not have the big sister mad at him forever,” she said. 

While her brother is out of the dog house, Jasper still has some explaining to do.

“He’s definitely grounded forever,” said Jasper’s relieved mother.

Jasper spent Friday night recovering from a broken leg and a collapsed lung. 

He’s expected to be back at home with his family on Saturday. 

The post Visiting family reunites with runaway dog after five-day search appeared first on NBC2 News.

NBC2 (WBBH-TV)

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