I know, it sounds like some kind of creepy hoax, but it’s actually a true story. It begins back in 2011 when Ben and Melody Harworth adopted a one-year-old puppy from the Fort Gordon Veterinary Clinic in Georgia. The Harworths are a military family, and the couple was intending for the dog to grow up with their two sons. Unfortunately, their plans were put on hold when Ben was transferred to South Korea and the Harworths found out that their Rottweiler mix, Zeus, wouldn’t be able to come with them.
Ben said that was the only place where the family was stationed that wouldn’t allow pets. He said the decision to re-home Zeus was heart-wrenching and difficult for every member of their family. Eventually a friend of the family offered to take him while they were gone. Relieved, the Harworths thought they would be reunited with their beloved pet when they came home.
They traveled to South Korea leaving their canine companion behind, believing that he was in good hands. For over a year the family received long-distance updates about their dog, but in November of 2012 everything changed. They were told that Zeus had passed away on Thanksgiving Day after being diagnosed with cancer.
Ben says the family was devastated. They thought their beloved friend was dead, but he and his wife still felt that something wasn’t right. The Harworths never spoke with the people that they trusted to care for Zeus again. It just never felt right to Ben and his family. In fact, when they returned to the states in May of 2013, he tried to research the incident but continued to run into dead ends.
By the summer of 2015 they had come to the conclusion that they would never know exactly what happened to Zeus. Now, the family is living in Lacey, Washington, and they have adopted a Chihuahua. They may have moved on, but the family still fondly remembered their cherished pal Zeus. Until one fateful summer day, those memories were all they had. Then they received a phone call that brought their “dead” dog back to life.
Ben says the person on the other end of the phone told him they had his dog Zeus. Of course, he replied that it was impossible because his dog passed away 3 years ago. The caller told Harworth that Zeus had been taken to the Banfield Pet Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh was just a few towns away from where Zeus was supposed to be staying in 2011 when the family moved to South Korea.
A woman had found Zeus wandering around town and brought him to the veterinarian’s office. There, staff scanned his microchip and it was registered to Harworth. They sent him pictures, and sure enough it was Zeus. The family was amazed! Now they just had to figure out how to get him home.
Zeus seemed to be in good health, but was a little lethargic. After an examination by the vet it was discovered that the dog had heartworms. This meant he could not fly to Washington. Amazingly, Rachel Overby, a practice manager at Banfield Pet Hospital, volunteered to drive Zeus the three thousand miles home.
The Harworth’s were blown away. Zeus and Rachel began their cross-country trek on August 9, 2015 and made plenty of pit stops along the way. They told their microchipping success story to many veterinarians along the way. On August 14, 2015 they finally arrived at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Lacey, Washington for the much anticipated reunion.
The family is even more grateful that Banfield has agreed to cover Zeus’ treatment and get him a clean bill of health in the coming months. He is expected to be heartworm free in about three months. Of course, the family is now strongly advocating microchipping technology to their friends, family members, and neighbors.