Elena Sardi and Ryan Hood were thrilled to surprise their four-year-old daughter Maia with the gift of her dreams: a tiny Labrador puppy. Maia was over the moon and totally in love with her new puppy whom she named Sasha. From the moment they brought Sasha home, Maia spent every waking moment with her new best friend. However, after an unbelievable week of bonding and excitement, Maia’s life was turned upside down when her parents discovered that burglars had broken into the house and stolen Sasha! Then, three days later, the unthinkable happened. Read here to find out the strange circumstances surrounding Sasha the stolen puppy.
A Child’s Wonder
It was the most thrilling day that four-year-old Maia Sardi could remember, and her young imagination was already running wild with excitement. Maia’s parents, Elena Sardi and Ryan Hood, had promised her the most wonderful gift possible, and the big day had finally come.
As she and her parents piled into the family car, she was brimming with joy for the prospect of what lay ahead. They were on their way to a life-changing decision. Maia had no idea that just a few short days later, all her joy would come crashing down.
The Sardi family were on their way to a dog adoption! Maia was trusted to review the litter of puppies. After all, it was up to her to choose which one of the tiny Labradors would become the newest member of her family.
Maia selected one eight-week-old pup that she just couldn’t say no to. Over the hill with joy, she took her new best friend home to their house in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon Hills. Little did she know their days together were numbered…
For their first week together, Maia and her puppy, named Sasha, became fast friends. As Maia’s proud parents looked on, watching the relationship develop, they saw exactly what they had hoped would happen: their daughter and their fur baby were practically inseparable.
Wherever Maia would go, Sasha was sure to follow, and vice versa. To Elena and Ryan’s amusement, their little Maia even had a cute habit of falling asleep in Sasha’s dog bed. But they were about to get a rude awakening.
Separated For Just A Moment
After an unforgettable week of wonderful bonding between a child and her puppy, Maia’s mom Elena took her little girl to their local doctor for a routine check-up. The day started out as a Monday morning just like any other.
As mom and daughter headed home after the doctor’s appointment, Maia obviously had one big thing on her mind: saying hello to her furry buddy, and playing with it. But what they found when they came home would turn their world upside down.
As Maia and Elena pulled up in their driveway and got out of the car, Maia was excited to get into the house to play with her puppy pal. Even being away for just a short trip to the doctor’s was far too long!
But as Elena turned the keys in the door to let the two of them into their home, something awful that Elena noticed made her gasp in horror. What they saw was nothing short of dizzying — and it would change everything.
Ryan, Elena, and Maia’s family house had been broken into and robbed in the time that mother and daughter were away at the doctor’s appointment, between 9:30 and 11:30 AM. Panicked, Elena whipped out her phone and called her husband.
As Elena frantically combed the house to see what was left, she discovered that the burglar (or burglars) had stolen an iPad, some treasured jewelry, their passports, and even an incredibly expensive laptop computer. Then they realized with a cold dread that something even worse had happened.
After taking account of what valuables were still in the house, they ran to check on their newest family member. But they were appalled at what they discovered. Sasha, the puppy who had been with them for barely a week, was nowhere to be found.
Terror seized the mother and daughter as they searched high and low throughout the burgled house, checking under furniture and in every possible hiding place, desperately calling the puppy’s name. But their efforts were in vain. Sasha just wasn’t there.
The Weight Of The Tragedy
As Ryan sped home and the family made sure to get the police involved in their case, they struggled to digest the fact that they had been robbed. But now an even more awful reality was at hand, making the home violation that much more painful.
Their beloved puppy, barely in their possession a week, was missing, and what’s worse, there were no signs as to where the dog could possibly have gone to. Perhaps she had been frightened by the burglars and had run away from home?
A Frantic Search
When he got home, Ryan assessed the grim situation. He saw that his daughter, Maia, was absolutely beside herself with grief and worry. He decided to take her to investigate the entire neighborhood, searching for their lost puppy. They were unsure of what they would find.
Sasha was very small, just eight months old. That meant she couldn’t run as fast or as well as an adult dog. If Sasha had in fact escaped, she couldn’t have gone far. Ryan and Maia looked everywhere, wandering all over Croydon Hills. Where would Sasha turn up?
Sadly, Ryan and Maia didn’t find Sasha on their quest through Croydon Hills. As the sun began to set and it got dark, Ryan knew it was time to call it quits. They were forced to return home, heads hanging low.
They were now certain that Sasha hadn’t run away from home. An even more frightening situation was at hand. The same people who had robbed the family home and taken their valuables had nicked one last item on the way out. They had stolen the tiny dog.
Panic Sets In
Though the other items that were stolen were very expensive, at the end of the day, they were technically things that they could save up to replace. But there were some things that no amount of money would be able to recover once lost.
The family’s stolen puppy Sasha was so dear to them that frankly everything else just lost its level of importance. Everyone was terribly worried for Sasha. And it wasn’t just because of the little dog’s teeny size. There were even more serious risks.
Puppy At Risk
Sasha was so little that the family hadn’t even been able to vaccinate her yet. If the stolen puppy came into contact with other dogs, or any number of Australia’s dangerous wild animals, or who knows what conditions, Sasha could get seriously sick.
As Ryan tried to take charge of the situation and report to as many authorities as possible in hopes of raising awareness about the stolen puppy, behind the scenes he had an equally difficult challenge. Back home, both he and Elena had a terrible task ahead of them.
Assessing The Damage
Explaining the situation of a stolen puppy to a four-year-old in ways that she could understand was incredibly difficult. Maia’s innocence had been shattered. The little girl began having nightmares, traumatized by the violation of her home and the theft of her new best friend.
The shock took its emotional toll on the grown-ups of the family too. From the moment she had discovered the home intrusion, Elena herself couldn’t stop shaking. They had to do something — fast. All of them had to find a light at the end of the tunnel.
Spreading The Word
The family printed flyers that they put all over town. They took to social media, asking for help to locate their stolen puppy. Another plan of action was to scour local animal shelters, because Sasha was microchipped and had possibly shown up there.
To their dismay, despite the microchip, their beloved fur baby did not turn up at any of the animal shelters in Melbourne. But now their misfortune had made local news. As they were interviewed, the Sardi family had one huge ally in their search.
On The Hunt
The police in the Sardi family’s Australian state, Victoria, got onboard almost instantly. They decided social media would be an excellent platform, and they tweeted out pictures and a video report of the stolen puppy and as much information as possible on the Victoria Police Twitter.
Through the police, the Sardi family urged the culprit to give their stolen puppy back, even anonymously, and even if they don’t return their other stolen items. They also warned that Sasha was microchipped, so they could potentially be traced. Would it work?
No matter how much effort they put in, and how many people were aware of the Sardi family’s situation and trying to help, nothing worked to retrieve their stolen puppy. With each passing day, the worry and sadness in the household increased.
That Wednesday night, the three went to sleep feeling heartbroken. They had been overwhelmed by the support they had received, but they were tired of searching, sick of the uncertainty, and drained from reporters. But they were not prepared for what was about to happen.
Early that Thursday morning, just past 7:00, mom Elena woke up and quietly went into the kitchen to make herself some coffee. It was the sort of morning routine she often went about without paying much attention to her surroundings.
Ryan and Maia weren’t awake yet, and in the stillness of the morning, their home was perfectly quiet. But even as Elena went about the simple action of stirring her coffee, something suddenly caught her eye — and her heart skipped a beat. What was it?
Elena had been looking through the kitchen window at the backyard. There was nothing special about her perusing the area, just something we do without realizing it. Her gaze happened to take her to where the stolen puppy’s kennel was.
Something was lurking out there, a brief shadow, a sudden movement. Elena, already unnerved from the upsetting experiences of the week, was immediately on edge. Was it a wild animal? Even worse, maybe the burglars had returned? She went outside cautiously to investigate.
Because nobody had been apprehended for the crime, not to mention the stolen puppy, it very well could have been that the criminals had returned for a second go. Even though it could have been something potentially very dangerous, Elena trusted her instinct.
Elena opened the door and cautiously peered into the yard. If there really were burglars lurking around outside, they could have been armed. But she took a bold move and tried something else. She called out the first word that came to her mind: “Sasha?”
A Rude Awakening
Ryan and Maia woke up in their bedrooms with a start, hearing the sound of screaming from somewhere by the living room. Jolted out of sleep, they leaped out of bed and ran to where they heard the noise, coming from the backyard.
Already tense from the week’s events, it was a frightening way to start the day. It was only natural to expect the worst had happened. But when they came to the living room, what they saw there would bring them to their knees.
When Elena had gone into the backyard, hesitantly calling the dog’s name, Sasha had come running! The stolen puppy had finally come back home. Everyone was in disbelief, but they soon fell upon the puppy, hugging and kissing it, and crying with the purest joy.
It appeared that whoever the burglars had been, whether from fear of being tracked through the microchip in the dog, or of a simple change of heart, they had returned it. But now, despite their overwhelming excitement, they had to act fast.
After the initial rush of emotions from seeing Sasha again, the family rushed their dog to the vet immediately. There was no way of knowing where the stolen puppy had been or what it had been exposed to, so it was extremely important to have a checkup.
Not only that, but as a precaution, the family decided it was high time that the puppy should go through a round of vaccinations — why wait any longer? Once that was done, they returned home. Was there hope to see their other missing belongings?
A True Miracle
None of the family’s other stolen belongings were returned to them. But thankfully, their most precious belonging, their fourth family member, the formerly stolen puppy Sasha, had turned up unscathed. Even if the thieves had not been caught, the family could breathe a huge sigh of relief.
The local police constable was stumped as to just how Sasha got back home. Ryan thinks the culprits had a change of heart and dropped the dog over the fence. But if that seems ludicrous, what happened to one man’s puppy in England defies all logic.
You’ve Got Mail
On the other side of the globe, it was a day like any other at Richard Guttfield’s beautiful home in Marsworth, Buckinghamshire, England. He and a friend of his were playing pool in his barn, while his puppies Fred and Wilma played outside.
Richard had no reason to be suspicious. He was expecting a package in the mail, a parcel of dog food that he had ordered through Amazon. When the delivery van showed up in Richard’s driveway, he didn’t go out to greet him. But what happened next would change everything.
When Richard came out of his game and went outside, he saw that the delivery truck driver had left him a parcel in the drop box he had by the side of the driveway. But while he’d received one thing, something else was missing.
He realized his one miniature schnauzer Fred, was all alone. His other dog, Wilma was absolutely nowhere to be found. Horrified at the idea that she had run away, he immediately called Amazon. But it wasn’t for the right reasons.
Who’s To Blame?
At first, although he was understandably in a panic, Richard kept his composure. On the phone with Amazon, he had no accusations. He just wanted to know if perhaps the delivery man who had brought the dog food had seen her.
Perhaps she had run away even before the delivery man had arrived, or he had accidentally let her out of the yard. But the company was practically unresponsive. Slowly it dawned on Richard: somewhere out there was a driver with a stolen puppy.
Launching The Campaign
Richard and his family members were deeply appalled. It absolutely boggled the mind to imagine why a delivery man would see their schnauzer puppy and simply decide then and there to take off with her. They began searching for her in earnest.
Richard and his family went into battle mode, posting flyers and starting an Internet campaign to locate the puppy. After all, puppies like Wilma can cost £1,200! But what happened next was a game changer. Richard’s sister Lin had a wild idea.
Lin, like the rest of the family, was fed up with not receiving any answers. She decided that the best course of action was to do something no one else had even considered: to go straight up to the top of the chain of command.
In order to find their stolen puppy Wilma as quickly as possible, she figured it would take more than some phone calls. She managed to locate one key email address online, and together with Richard, penned a letter explaining their situation. Who was it?
One Bold Email
Lin and Richard’s email about Wilma went to none other than Amazon’s CEO himself, Jeff Bezos! Ordinarily, it was the type of interaction that they would never have dared to initiate. But with a stolen puppy out there somewhere, they were desperate.
It had been several days with little help, and their hope was fading. They were no closer to finding the whereabouts of their stolen puppy. Writing the CEO was a last ditch effort. But to their complete surprise, Richard suddenly received a phone call.
A Crazy Reunion
Rob Levy, the manager of local logistics for Amazon in the area near where Richard Guttfield lived, phoned him up. He reassured Richard that his one assignment that day would be to locate Richard’s stolen puppy Wilma. And he knew just how to do it.
Through GPS, Levy located the truck that had been at Richard’s home, and within a few hours, the stolen puppy was returned to her dad’s arms! As the driver was from a different service provider employed by Amazon, relations were terminated. Maybe now the dogs will be suspicious of the mailman — like, well, a dog should be!
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