When Dayán Reyes arrived at his house in Chillán, Chile, last week, he was met by a German shepherd dog who came up to him with great devotion. He initially ignored it, but after some time he began to sense something extremely familiar about the dog. And so it turned out to be his dog León, who had vanished into thin air five years prior.
Dayan finally found León after five years of looking as she was returning from the store with her two kids. Leon, is that you? she said after initially not recognizing him. They haven’t been separated since the dog came bounding towards her as though to say, “I’m back home, Mom.”
We spent a lot of time looking for him, stopping whenever we spotted a German Shepherd to check if it was him, but we were never able to locate him. Even though we already had our first son when he went missing, León was still a very significant dog to us. As time passed, we stopped looking for him, but we never forgot about him.
Dayán and Cristóbal Pino had lost their puppy in a field in 2012 when it was around two years old; they assume it was taken from there.
The dog was given a euthanasia recommendation after being diagnosed with canine distemper (distemper) at the age of four months. However, his family forbade it, so he battled to make a full recovery.
León had therapy in order to survive this illness, which left him paralyzed for months and had additional effects that were crucial for his family to recognize him.
“When he was ill, we treated him like a baby, including dressing him in diapers. After miraculously recovering from a serious illness, we began a comprehensive treatment to stimulate the muscles. He eventually developed into a large, healthy dog. He only had two remaining effects from the illness, one of which is that he limps on one leg when he runs and the other of which is that one hand hangs to the side.
León was welcomed back into the house by the family as if he had never gone.
The whole thing is like something out of a movie because when I saw him, he immediately recognized me and leaped on me, beaming with joy. That he’s returning is nearly incredible. We had our concerns at first, but after making him run, we noticed that he still exhibited the same traits and even the same reflexes, such feeding while lying down. He is just quieter now, but that is simply because he is getting older; he is still friendly and lively. Because he is properly taken care of, we firmly believe that someone had him.