PATTERSON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Nearly eight months after disappearing, a 3-year-old dog is finally back with his Stanislaus County family.
Charlie, a playful and energetic chihuahua mix, had stolen the Delgados' hearts.
“My cousin, it’s actually her dog, she was like sad about it and she thought it wasn’t going to return back,” said Greg Corona.
Corona said Charlie is also known to be curious. Almost eight months ago, Charlie wandered away from his Patterson home.
Eva Delgado told FOX40 in Spanish that a neighbor spotted her daughter’s dog and dropped him off at a mechanic nearby. But Delgado said the business owner denied ever seeing Charlie and that’s when she gave up hope.
That is until this past Friday when they saw a woman walk in front of their home with a dog that appeared to be Charlie.
“Hey, Charlie, come here.’ I said, ‘That’s mine,’ and she said, ‘No, it’s my dad’s,’” Delgado explained.
Delgado said she called for Charlie and he responded but the woman claimed the tiny terrier was her father’s.
So, Delgado followed her and found herself back at the mechanic’s, who again denied the dog was Charlie.
“He says, ‘I don’t have the papers on me, I have them in my house.’ I said, ‘No, you can’t have them,’” Delgado said.
She said his story kept changing and he claimed he adopted the dog.
“I don’t think that’s like fair. It’s not your dog. You have no right to keep him if he has owners,” Corona said.
But Delgado had proof — Charlie had been registered and microchipped.
“That’s when my aunt got the contact with the police,” Corona told FOX40.
That's when a former marine, Deputy Wilson, and a Modesto police officer found the dog at a Modesto home and confirmed he was Charlie. Within an hour, he was back in the loving arms of his family.
The family also said they have not yet decided whether or not they will press charges against the family who had stolen Charlie.