HOUSTON -- Ace the hunting dog is home again. And his best friend couldn’t be happier.
"He don’t look too bad," said his owner, Will Baker. No worse for the wear."
Indeed, just looking at the dog wandering around his backyard, it was hard to tell that he had just returned from what was apparently a dangerous adventure that lasted 10 days.
Ace jumped into the bed of his owner’s pick-up truck on September 20, embarking on yet another hunting trip with the man who’s owned the black Labrador for a dozen years. Baker stopped at a hardware store, leaving Ace with his truck. When Baker walked out of the store, he discovered a thief had stolen his pick-up, his guns and his dog.
"He’s a good dog and he doesn’t bite," Baker said the day after Ace disappeared. "He won’t hurt you. "I just don’t want him to be hurt."
Baker showed pictures of Ace on KHOU 11 News, telling stories about their hunting trips together and appealing for the dog’s return. He didn’t get his hopes up.
But on Monday morning, he got a phone call from a man who said he found a dog resembling Ace wandering around in traffic. The dog was discovered in a street near the IKEA store on the Katy Freeway, more than 20 miles from Ace’s home.
"He just told me, he said, ‘Man, I’ve got your dog. I’ve let several folks look at the pictures and look at the dog.’" Baker said. "And he said, ‘Man, it’s your dog.’"
Allen was skeptical. He had braced himself for a wave of false alarm calls. Then the Good Samaritan emailed photographs.
"I said, ‘Whoa, okay, yeah, pretty sure it is,’" Baker said. "So I jumped in the truck and went over there."
Ace wasn’t exactly emotional. Baker said the Labrador licked his hand and wagged his tail, but not much else. After all, he’s an old dog.
By Monday afternoon, Ace was back in his own backyard. He seemed a little tired and a little anxious, but otherwise he looked fine.
As long as he can jump into the flatbed of a pick-up truck, Baker said he plans to keep taking Ace on hunting trips.