Fayetteville family reunited with missing dog after four years

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – It’s one thing when an animal goes missing for a couple weeks and turns back up, but Stephanie Talbert from Fayetteville was ready to give up hope until she was reunited with her dog after she was missing for four years. 

Talbert got her dog, Sage, as a puppy and at 12 years old, the Husky-German Shepherd mix ran away after a fire they started at the house scared her off into the woods. 

“So I just thought about her, hopefully somebody had her, was taking care of her, you know, but then as the years passed, I was really worried that something had happened to her, and I was never going to get her back again,” Talbert said.  

Years passed and life went on as the hopes of getting Sage back dwindled. But then it was a post on Facebook that her sister, Kymberli Fitzpatrick, saw all the way in Phoenix. The post was made by her Fayetteville High School classmate, Charles Hunt, saying he found a dog at his home in Pax. 

“I just knew, you know?” Fitzpatrick said. “We had known her since she was a puppy and I just knew it was her and it was like you just got that feeling inside that you just knew. This is the aha moment, like there she is. All this time we thought she might be, you know, not alive anymore.” 

Although Sage grew older, Talbert also knew it was her when she saw the Facebook post for herself and was reunited with her 15-year-old dog after four years of uncertainty. 

“Oh, I just hugged her. I used to call her pretty girl all the time and she just stuck her head in my stomach and was just like rubbing her head in my stomach, and I just hugged her and I was just crying.” 

And although Sage’s side of the story will never get told, Talbert is overjoyed to have her old best friend back and introduce Sage to her new one, Talbert’s daughter, Emma, who was born while the dog was missing.  

If you had a hand in Sage’s journey from Fayetteville to Pax to back home, the Talbert family extends their warmest thanks. 

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com