Lifestyle & Human Interest

Samaritan Reunites Elderly Man with Missing Dog by Standing on Corner with Sign for 3 Hours


Dogs are pretty well known for their chick-magnet capabilities. Want to seem trustworthy, responsible and kind? Get a dog. Want to seem approachable and fun? Get a dog.

Want people (especially the female sort) to run up to you and effortlessly engage in conversation? You see where this is going. But these effects were unintentional for one man.

Jason Gasparik of Charlotte, North Carolina, has a soft spot for dogs. He’s active in trying to get pups home to their owners, even when it means going the extra — and unusual — mile.

On March 1, he helped detain a chocolate Labrador who was scurrying across a busy street. Several other people had stopped to try to catch the wandering dog, and when they eventually caught her, Gasparik volunteered as tribute and took her to get scanned for a chip.

While the dog was chipped, the chip was unregistered (here’s your reminder to make sure your pet’s microchip is updated!), so he posted photos online in hopes of finding her owner.

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A friend, Becky Richardson, did some sleuthing of her own that helped them narrow their search.

“Becky was able to track the chip to the breeder in PA,” Gasparik commented on his post on March 2. “The breeder than gave us the name and # of the lady he gave the dog to.”

“After many calls to her today, she contacted Becky and I. She does recall selling a Chocolate Lab to Charlotte 4-5 years ago. She does have records of all of her sales nationwide. Only downside is she is on vacation for one more week and cannot access her records.”

“So, let’s hope by next weekend we might be able to reunite the dog with her owner here in Charlotte at the latest. I’m really hoping to get a hit here locally tonight or tomorrow.”

“Thanks to everyone for their help & support thus far. I’m doing everything I can to get her back to her owner(s). I’m sure they miss her. She is so sweet and such a great dog.”

Doing everything he could involved breaking out some supplies and crafting a sign that read “Do you know this dog????” Gasparik then stood on a street corner with his sign and the dog, and waited for three hours.

“Saturday morning I was sitting there with her thinking what else could I do?” he told People. “So like a total dork I made my sign and went to stand out on the sidewalk with her.”

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People spotted him, and soon there were photos of him everywhere because a local photographer had seen him, captured the heartwarming efforts, and posted the picture online.

A network formed, and eventually a woman was able to connect owner and dog. The owner, an elderly gentleman with a bad back, had been out driving and calling out for his dog Roxy — who, of course, was the chocolate lab Gasparik had.

“As soon as Roxy saw him her ears perked up and she ran to him and he had all the paperwork to show that he was the owner,” he said. “And of course he had tons of pictures of her on his cellphone.”

Dog and owner are happily reunited, and Gasparik promised to check in on them to see how they’re doing. One unintended side effect of his efforts, though, is that plenty of women found his heroics swoon-worthy, and he’s been barraged with messages since his picture and story went viral.

“That’s when it skyrocketed,” he said. “I was getting pinged left and right. I couldn’t keep up with all the messages I was getting.”

Gasparik tried to keep the focus on the dog, revealing only that he’s recently gotten out of a relationship and is “taking things slow,” according to People, but that hasn’t stopped friends from jokingly asking if he’s been contacted by producers of “The Bachelor” yet.

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