The thieves made off with a handful of valuables: a laptop, an iPad and the family’s jewelry, to name a few.
But none of those lost treasures was as gut-wrenching as losing Sasha, the family’s two-month-old Labrador. The puppy belonged to 4-year-old Maia Hood, of Croydon Hills, Australia, a suburb of Melbourne in the country’s southeast corner, local police said.
Maia described Sasha as her “best friend,” according to the BBC.
Searching for words to describe how much she missed her beloved puppy, Maia was at a loss for words, according to The Australian. The 4-year-old reached her arms out as far as she could stretch them and declared that she missed Sasha “this much.”
In fact, only one word could sum up her emotions, she told The Australian: “Sad.”
Thieves had plundered the family’s suburban home Monday morning, according to Victoria police. Investigators told The Australian that, for the thieves, grabbing the puppy had probably been an afterthought.
For the Hood family, though, it was anything but.
The story made national headlines in Australia, the BBC reports, when Ryan Hood and a teary-eyed Maia spoke to TV and newspaper reports and begged someone — anyone — to come forward with information that would help them track down Maia’s missing best friend.
And on Thursday morning, their hopes were buoyed when they found a pleasant, not-yet-potty-trained surprise waiting in the family’s backyard, Victoria police said.
“We didn't want to get our hopes up,” Ryan Hood told Australia Today. “And then this morning, my wife got up to make herself a coffee, walked past the sliding door, and noticed that there was a figure moving by the kennel.”
The family isn’t sure how or why the puppy ended up in their backyard, and back in their doting hands.
“We don’t know if they had a conscience or they got scared,” Ryan Hood said, according to The Australian. “We don’t care, we are just thankful to have her home.”
Mystery solved, right? A happy ending?
Well, not quite, authorities say.
“While the family is rejoicing, the investigation into the burglary continues,” police said in a statement.
But for what it’s worth, Maia doesn’t seem worried about the iPad, laptop, or the jewelry.
Potentially concerning, though, is the fact that Sasha returned with some questionable habits — namely, a “fascination for shoes,” Ryan Hood said.
Perhaps the corrupting influence of her captors?
Regardless, it’s a problem Maia’s more than happy to deal with.