The internet had been on red alert since a YouTube-famous kiteboarding dog went missing from its family last week.
Zeus the 7-year-old Jack Russell terrier has made something of a name for himself, after his 16-year-old owner Cameron Maramenides began posting videos of the dog kiteboarding on social media.
Cameron, who will compete on Team USA for the 2020 Olympics in the new event of kitesurfing, was at an event in St. Petersburg, Florida when his pup was allegedly stolen by an older man in a grey sedan.
Meanwhile, Miguel Comacho, an electrician’s apprentice, had just finished studying in West Tampa park and noticed a news story in his social media feed about the missing dog.
Intrigued by the story, he started reading and continued through the article, and then looked up and saw an older man in a grey sedan with a Jack Russell terrier that looked just like Zeus—with black spots over his eyes.
Comacho snapped a photo of the pup and sent it to Cameron’s phone number, which was listed in the news article. Sure enough, the Olympian responded saying that the dog was indeed Zeus.
They didn’t know whether the man was armed or dangerous, and police officers were not allowed to intervene unless the owners were present – but Cameron, who had been searching for the dog for five days, begged Comacho to at least keep an eye on his dog to make sure it was okay.
Comacho immediately hopped into his car and started following the sedan until suddenly, the man pulled over, walked over to Comacho’s vehicle, and asked why he was being followed.
“I believe that dog isn’t yours,” Camacho told him, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m on the phone with his owner right now.”
After some discussion with the man, who said he thought the dog was lost, Comacho walked up to the sedan and called Zeus’s name only to have the 7-year-old pup answer dutifully and run over.
The electrician then brought the dog to his car and left the scene. Later, he met Cameron’s family in a sporting goods store parking lot for an emotional reunion. The electrician was delighted to learn that there was a $3,500 reward—a prize, in this case, well deserved, that he will partly spend on Christmas presents for his kids.
“We are feeling completely exhausted, yet elated and we are still pinching ourselves to see if we are dreaming,” Helen Trotman, Cameron’s mother, told the Times. “We are so fortunate Miguel was there and was willing to put himself into a possible dangerous situation to get our dog back.”
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