In July 2012, the O’Brien family, ready for vacation, left their home state of California for a campsite in Parker, Ariz., with everyone in tow including their loveable four-legged companion, Meko.
Meko shared a special bond with the O’Brien’s seven-year-old daughter, Mady, and he frequently slept near both her and her younger brother Jayden when it came time to tuck them in for bed.
One morning during their vacation, the O’Brien’s woke up expecting to find Meko by Mady’s side, but he was nowhere to be seen. They found out soon after that he had been stolen, as someone had seen him in an unidentified vehicle driving away from the campgrounds. Devastated, the family searched wherever they could, putting up signs and praying that he’d return home safely, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Eventually, the O’Brien’s had to return home to California empty-handed. They never thought they’d see Meko again.
Ten months later, the family received another round of sad news: on May 28, 2013, Mady was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For the next few months, she endured an intense surgery and nearly 30 chemotherapy and radiation sessions.
While the family and their newly adopted companion, Joey, a deaf Queensland Heeler, remained strong for Mady during her treatments, it was an undeniably tough time for them all.
Then, on Nov. 12, 2013, the family received what they have deemed an “impossible prayer answered.”
Three hundred seventy five miles away in Prescott, Ariz., Meko was brought to the Yavapi Humane Society (YHS) after he was picked up on the side of a busy highway, YHS reports. Once the shelter staff found Meko’s microchip, they immediately phoned the O’Brien’s.
“We just kind of feel like this is the first good news we’ve gotten since she was diagnosed,” mother Dana O’Brien said via The Daily Courier. “We’re very hopeful that this is the beginning of good news and that hopefully next year will be a little better than this one.”
Discover Meko’s heartwarming reunion with Mady and her family below — 16 months in the making.
To help the O’Brien family out with Mady’s medical expenses, please consider visiting their YouCaring.com fundraiser page here to make a gift.
Image source: The Daily Courier