Lost Monroe dog’s reunion with owner ‘feel-good story’

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Jasmine’s saga started out as an age-old doggy dilemma, but ended with a joyful, modern twist.

Jasmine’s saga started out as an age-old doggy dilemma, but ended with a joyful, modern twist.

The 13-year-old terrier/poodle mix had apparently scampered off from her family’s home in Monroe County this summer after appearing ill. Her owners assumed she was dead until a video circulated on social media last month showing the canine’s rescue near the Detroit Boat Club. Soon after, dog and “parents” were happily reunited.

“It really was a feel-good story anyway you look at it,” said Joel Rockey, founder of Newport, Mich.-based One Last Treat. “It meant a lot for us to give an animal back to someone who loves them and is able to take care of them. It feels good to see her with familiar faces.”

His nonprofit dedicated to providing final “forever homes” for animals got involved with Jasmine’s case hours after she was found one day in early August.

The dog had been stuck on rocks near a channel when Mark Allan Webb came by after fishing at a nearby state park with a son-in-law, he wrote in a Facebook post that accompanied video of their encounter.

“Looked over and could barely see this pup in the rocks down by the Waters edge,” his post read. “…turned the boat around and went to find the nearest place to dock. Detroit Beach Boat Club. Rescued the pup from being trapped in the boulders by the edge of the water.”

Webb then turned Jasmine over to Devoted Barn, an animal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Newport, but they were full and unable to house her, Rockey said.

Rockey, whose nonprofit partners with the group, happened to be there about an hour after the drop-off and helped arrange to help out.

First the thin, dirty dog went to River Raisin Veterinary Clinic in Monroe to treat her health issues, including an eye issue, anemia and fleas.

Jasmine then was christened Verna and housed with a foster mom in Southgate, who renamed her Pearl. The plan was to have the canine live out her final days there. But after Webb’s video and One Last Treat photos of the dog quickly spread online, the news reached Tonya Chambo, the original owner who left Jasmine with her parents when moving out years ago, Rockey said.

Jasmine is reunited with Tonya Chambo, her original owner.

As it turns out, she was rescued not far from where the pair used to take walks. Chambo contacted the group and, only about a week after the dog turned up, reunited with her at the foster’s home.

After some awkward moments, Chambo identified the dog’s signature marks and, more importantly, got Jasmine to perform a handshake trick she taught long ago, Rockey said. “We know this was the exact same dog that had gone missing.”

Today, dog and owner are living together happily in Northville, Rockey said. “I just got a video the other day of her doing another one of the handshakes. They take her around, they walk her in a baby carriage. She’s doing really well.”

The wag-worthy reunion has delighted animal lovers who had been paying attention to the story.

“So happy she is home!!!” one user commented on One Last Treat’s Facebook page.

Another wrote: “love this story, such a happy ending.”