CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Rick Walker knew something was wrong when only two of his three dogs came to eat breakfast around 6 in the morning Tuesday. He has three Portuguese water dogs and Eragon was missing.
"Someone had opened the back gate, which we never use so we think someone was after the two dogs or someone opened the gate. There has been a history of people stealing dogs certain times of the year. That was my worst fear," said Rick.
He told his wife Melanie, who was working in North Carolina, and she immediately got scared.
Rick frantically started searching for Eragon, his concern growing as the summer day got hotter and hotter.
"Stress level was at a high because it was 90 [degrees] at that point, so I got to find him pretty quick or I'll never find him," said Rick.
Thanks to social media, word quickly spread Eragon was missing. Someone spotted him on the highway and there was a viral video on Facebook of a Chesapeake Police officer "escorting" Eragon along the highway.
"I knew it had to take him 8-10 minutes to get from one exit to another. I couldn't imagine the cars... 'we're stopping for a dog?'" laughed Rick.
Shortly after that, Cindy Cahoon followed Eragon into the woods and contacted the Walkers with a location where they could find Eragon. Rick and Melanie both credit social media for reuniting them with Eragon.
"It's amazing how far and fast it moves. Social media kicked in and then police found him on the highway, got him off the highway. Without that, we wouldn't have found him. He'd be dead," said Rick.
All of Eragon's paws are raw and burned from running on the hot asphalt. Rick believes he was on the highway for about a mile. Eragon is still dehydrated but other than that, he's okay and back home where he's being pampered more than ever.