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Miraculous return of dog lost for three years

Rick, a dog who strayed from his 65-year-old owner Vladimir three years ago in central Russia, has been reunited with his master. The adventure cost Rick a leg, and caused a grieving Vladimir to have a heart attack.

In the Volga region of Russia, one tale of a beloved pooch and his master has grabbed the attention of local and national media.

For Vladimir Ermakov, “man’s best friend” also proved to be one man’s biggest heartache, after going walkies one day and not coming back.

The master’s shouts for his beloved animal fell on deaf ears. Most likely he ran after a female dog, but Vladimir said that some people were just baiting Rick to catch him.

The trauma of it all was so bad that it even gave the 65-year-old a heart attack on the street.

“For three days I wandered around looking for him, hoping he would let out a bark, I would have recognized it,” Vladimir recalled.

Later he got a new dog, as, he says, “a house without a dog is not right.”

Luckily, the dog escaped the thieves, but life on the streets was rough and he lost a limb after being hit by a car. Then Pyotr Tulayev, Culture Minister of Russia’s Republic of Mordovia, took him to a vet where the dog’s leg had to be amputated, and gave him shelter for 18 months. However, Rick then took off in search of his real master.

After three years of painful separation, Vladimir had all but given up hope.

Yet never underestimate the loyalty of man’s best friend. It turned out Rick was waiting patiently at a nearby church where the pair used to walk past. Passers-by took pity, feeding him treats, but it was thanks to a local news channel story of a stray begging for food that the two were finally reunited. After spotting Rick on the TV, Vladimir rushed to the church to find his faithful friend.

“When I called out ‘Rick’, he lifted his head up and immediately recognized me, and started to limp towards me straight away,” the happy man said.

“After that we came home together, but I still can’t clean him up.”

Vladimir now keeps a close eye on Rick, who has perhaps learned never to let curiosity get the better of him again.

“Are you going to make grandpa worry and traumatize? Are you going to? You know its bad,” Vladimir said, scolding his beloved pet.

“Never do anything like this again, grandpa can’t be worried!”