A San Diego couple’s dog went missing after the family crashed head-on in Northern Arizona, but after weeks of searching, their sought-after reunion made their Monday brighter.
Thomas Rodriguez, Andrea Mawby, and the couple’s black Labrador Retriever Obi were headed to the Grand Canyon on vacation when their car collided with another on Highway 160 near Kayenta, Arizona, on Oct. 14.
The driver of the other car was killed, officials confirmed.
When Rodriguez gained consciousness, he couldn’t find his dog. Obi was missing when rescue crews arrived.
Rodriguez and Mawby were seriously injured and taken to a Kayenta hospital. They were later airlifted to Flagstaff, Arizona, and admitted to the intensive care unit.
When emergency personnel couldn’t find Obi, friends and family jumped into action. Local rescue groups, Tuba Humane Society and Yavapai Humane Trappers Animal Search and Rescue, led the ground search. Support also came from social media – with a Facebook post about Obi being shared over 150,000 times.
After missing for 19 days, Obi was spotted in the town of Kayenta, Arizona, nine miles from the crash site. An EMS worker first saw him near the helipad and tow yard where the couple’s vehicle had been towed. Some searchers believed he was tracking his family, according to a Facebook post.
A man was able to catch him and called the Tuba Humane Society.
“He finally had enough, and something shifted in his brain. After running from people for the whole time, he gave himself up to this family. When we went to see if this was indeed Obi, we could not believe our eyes, and we started crying right away,” said volunteer Britt Kendall.
Friends of Rodriquez and Mawby said Obi was driven from Arizona to San Diego Monday, and the family will soon be whole again.