Morgantown, WVA After nearly two days of searching for his missing dog, Bruce Ross found him sleeping, safe and sound.
While many were preparing to end their work week and gear up for Fourth of July weekend, Ross put their plans on hold immediately when their rental car, with their dog sign, scuttled onto Monongahela Boulevard at Sheetz. It was stolen from the parking lot. Near Star City Bridge on Wednesday. Icon, a 13-year-old golden retriever who is also a retired service dog, was inside the car with the engine and air conditioner on at the time, due to temperatures in the mid-90s on Wednesday.
The key to the ignition was also the factor that made Ross’s car so easy to steal.
Ross explained the incident on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” saying, “The car’s all the way back up, you know, I’m looking at the car like a hawk.” “Turned around to get my coffee, poured it, turned around and at that time the car was disappearing from the parking lot. I mean we are talking three to five seconds,” he said.
After the initial setback, Ross called the authorities to report the stolen rental car and, more immediately, sent an alert to Icon, who is also a senior dog with arthritis. Considering the current weather conditions and the emotional distress of his canine companion, Ross explores every possible way to find the icon. This included placing passengers, contacting multiple news media sources, and searching throughout north central West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania.
“Almost all the way to Pittsburgh, but I took every exit,” Ross said. “And I asked around, did you see anything, someone reported a dog, can I post this flyer, and they were like, ‘Oh yeah of course.’ You know, ‘Give me a couple I can city them I’ll post around,'” he said.
Despite Ross’s persistence, he admitted in radio interviews that feelings got the best of him at times during the search. So after a night of searching and no updates on the icon, on Thursday afternoon he was greatly relieved when he got a call saying that the icon was found somewhere along Route 19, far from the place where he was taken. I went. When Ross found the icon on a porch from where it was initially located, the reaction was what you’d expect from someone who had lost a best friend.
“And I come around the corner and there goes this porch there and the icon is sleeping there,” he said. “And he looked up, the minute he saw me, I mean he hugged me, he just jumped up and ran to me and was crying and jumping up and down,” he said.
Now, along with his friend Icon, Ross intends to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend in style as he continues his journey around Morgantown. Ross, a California native who worked for Southern Airways at Morgantown Airport for three years, spoke much about North Central West Virginia’s attempt to find his dog. This included every viable source from social media, news media to simple word of mouth. So now with his partner, Ross is incredibly grateful that the icon was found and for the community effort that helped reconnect man and dog.
“Your radio station made such a difference, covered so much air, and people mentioned they heard it on the radio,” he said. “And when I went upstairs to interrupt the flyer to post the flyer, a guy came and said ‘Hey, is that the dog I heard about on the radio?’ So God bless the radio,” he said.