By Brett Gillin
The feeling of losing a dog is one of the worst feelings you can have. When a dog which you’re watching for a friend or family member disappears, it might be an even worse feeling. This is exactly what happened to the Rivera family. Steve Rivera was watching over his son, Mark’s husky (named Rosko) while his son was serving in Afghanistan as part of the United States Army. Unfortunately, Rosko escaped through an unlocked gate.
“I was responsible for him,” Rivera told Bakersfield Now shortly after Rosko went missing. “I messed up and left the gate unlocked. It’s my fault.” So Steve began contacting his friends, neighbors, and any media outlets that would listen to try to get his son’s dog back.
Word came from a neighbor, who told Rivera that he saw a man in a red pickup truck, wearing a white cowboy hat, pick up a husky and put him into the van. When Rivera heard that news, he reached out to Bakersfield Now again, saying “I think someone picked him up and took the dog. I’m hoping they find it in their hearts to bring him back to me.”
Rivera realized that it’s rare that someone who picked up such a beautiful dog would bring him back to its rightful owner. So he began canvasing the neighborhood and local animal shelters to find signs of Rosko, but had no luck.
Little did he know that fates were conspiring, behind the scenes that would soon reunite Rosko with his family. Nearly a month passed from the time he went missing, when Adam Combs was approached by a Siberian husky. Combs, a ten year veteran of the Navy, claims that he knew right away that something was unique about this husky.
“There was just something about the dog,” Combs told reporters. “Vets, military folks, there’s a certain way we speak. That dog understood me.” With that feeling, Combs knew that someone missed this dog, and he knew in his heart that somehow, this dog belonged to a veteran. So Combs searched out and found out that the Rivera family was missing their dog.
“He called me and said, ‘Mr. Rivera, I think we have your dog,’” Steve told reporters. Steve rushed over to Combs’ house and was greeted by his son’s lost dog. “It’s just a miracle. I didn’t think we were going to see him again. I really didn’t” Rivera told reporters.
For his part, Combs said he only wants one thing in return for his role in getting the dog back to his family. “I’m glad that this dog’s reunited, and I want to shake that man’s hand when he comes back from Afghanistan.”