Earlier this year, we reported on a viral story that touched hearts across the country: a woman reunited with her beloved dog, Nugget, who had been missing for 7 years and was finally found 1,700 miles away from home.
But in a bittersweet update to the story, Nugget has passed away just weeks after that reunion — but we can take solace in knowing that he died back in his loving home.
Nugget, lost and found
Seven years ago, Jessie Springer, from New Mexico, was devastated when Nugget, her pet Jack Russell/Pug mix, disappeared without a trace.
“I was devastated. I mean, that’s the original OG snug nug,” she told WXIA. “I was like well he’s microchipped. And so I called the shelters. I called the vet. I check that every couple of days and nothing.”
Years passed, and Jessie thought she’d never see her friend again — but then, she got a call she never expected.
On February 9, a woman named Jennifer, from South Carolina, was outside her home when she spotted a dog who was in poor condition.
“Not even two minutes after I sat down, I could see something, you know, coming down the road, wobbling really weirdly. I didn’t know, like, what it was,” Jennifer told 11 Alive. “I threw my shoes on, grabbed my phone with my flashlight and ran out and scooped him out of pitch dark, pouring rain, and brought him inside and got him dry.”
Jennifer took the dog to the veterinary hospital, and thankfully found a microchip, which revealed the dog was Nugget, now 16 years old — and 1,700 miles from the home he disappeared from 7 years prior.
Jessie was stunned by the news when she got the call.
“I’m like, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘What? What does the dog look like?’ And she said, ‘he’s a little..,’ I can’t even say it because I’m going to start crying, she said, ‘he’s a little yellow dog and his name is Nugget,’” she said.
Jessie flew across the country to reunite with her dog after so many years apart. When Jessie and Nugget saw each other at the airport, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight.
“My SnugNug is back!” Jessie wrote on Facebook. “Much much love to everyone involved!,” she added, thanking Jennifer and the people at Carolina Loving Hound Rescue.
Nugget – rest in peace
Nugget and Jessie were both thrilled to finally be reunited, and headed home to make up for lost time. Nugget was now 16, a senior in dog years, and was found in rough shape, but Jessie would give him a loving home for whatever time he had left.
Sadly, just weeks after their heartwarming reunion, Nugget has crossed the rainbow bridge.
Jessie shared the news on social media yesterday, writing “with a heavy heart” that Nugget “went home to be with the Lord.”
“The last few days had been a hard struggle. Despite me trying to give him whatever I could think of food wise, he simply said, ‘mama, it’s time for me to say goodbye.'”
His passing is bittersweet: it’s sad that their long-awaited reunion could only last a few weeks, but it’s nice to think that Nugget, in his final weeks, finally made it back to the home and family he loves before passing on. Jessie said she’s grateful for the time they were able to have together.
“I am forever grateful to Jen and Angela for getting him back home to me for his last final weeks,” she wrote. “This has been a painful and excruciating day for me, but in the end, it’s a positive message that comes from it all… God is good, ALL the time.”
“Nugget was a warrior and fought to make it back home… and when he did, he knew it was ok to just let go.”
Rest in peace, Nugget. It’s sad that you’re gone but we’re glad you got to finally make it home to your loving owner ❤️🌈
Please share this story to remember Nugget’s inspiring journey home.