TEMPLE (January 21, 2012)--A dog that a Temple couple gave away four years ago in Mississippi is back with its original owners after a passerby found the animal on the side of a snowy highway.
Kevin and Amber Fletcher bought their blue shepherd, Maddie, a leather collar when they first got her six years ago in Mississippi, where they used to live.
And that collar is what led to the reunion because it included their contact information.
The Fletchers say they were thrilled when they got Maddie as their first pet after they got married.
"It didn't take her long to become part of the family," Kevin said.
But they had to give the dog to one of Amber’s students when they moved into a smaller apartment and then later to Texas.
"I kicked myself every day after we got rid of her," Kevin said.
The Fletchers didn’t remain in contact with the dog’s new owners and never expected to see Maddie again until they got a voice-mail just a few days ago.
"I didn't listen to the whole voice-mail…(I) just hung up and called her right back," Kevin said.
The call was from a woman in Mississippi who had found Maddie on the side of a highway on a day when four inches of snow had fallen.
It was apparent that Maddie recently had puppies, but the pups were nowhere to be found.
"We don't know how many litters of puppies she's had or how long she was on her own," Kevin said.
"It could have been years for all we know."
Maddie is being treated for parasites and heart worms that she picked up while she was on her own.
And the Fletchers are also getting her a new collar and making sure she'll be theirs forever.