CUMRU TWP., Pa. (WFMZ) - As yet another winter storm pounded Pennsylvania, Juan Mendez of Texas said flying north, he had only one thing on his mind.
"Just wanted to be with her, wanted to pet her, take her home," Mendez said.
Her, being Juan's 7-year-old dog, Geno, whom he hasn't set eyes on in about nine months.
"We left her outside, just like we usually do, went outside (and) she was not there," Mendez explained, with tears in his eyes.
Geno ran off in Juan's Fort Worth neighborhood and was eventually picked up by another family. That family since moved to Pennsylvania, never realizing their supposedly stray pet, belonged to someone else.
"(It was my) first dog, through college. So moving away by myself, she was my buddy," Mendez recalled. "I spent so much time with her, I never could leave her alone. If I would visit my parents, I'd bring her with me. If I was going on vacation, I'd bring her with me. She's been there every step of the way."
Even after nine months of searching, Juan said he never gave up hope of finding his buddy.
"Kept going back and forth between every time I would come home," Mendez said. "I would take a different route, just scouting the neighborhood, just seeing if by any case somebody happened to be walking her, or if she was nearby."
It wasn't until Geno's new family took her to the vet in Pennsylvania that they found out she has a microchip. Reading Police then contacted Juan about his lost dog being halfway across the country at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) in Cumru Township.
"I was really shocked," Mendez said, "… because it's a long way up here."
This week, after nine months of searching, he finally got his wish. Juan picked up Geno at the ARL on Wednesday. As Juan walked in the room, Geno immediately ran up to his owner, and began frantically wagging his tail.
"Meant the world to me," Mendez explained. "… I just had to get her, had to come get her."
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