(ANIMAL CONNECTION) Disappearing days after Thanksgiving, Stevie, a dog born without eyes, was assumed to be gone forever. Yet nearly a month after the cairn terrier mix’s disappearance, Stevie Oedipus Wonder, has returned home to ring in the New Year, thanks to an advertisement on Craigslist, as well as the help of a school teacher and an animal care agency. Read on to learn more about this touching tale. — Global Animal

Belinda Gutierrez sits with her blind dog, Stevie Oedipus Wonder, in San Antonio, after the two were reunited. Photo Credit: Helen L. Montoya/Associated Press
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A blind dog that was lost and believed to be dead is reunited with his San Antonio family for Christmas, thanks to Craigslist, a school teacher and an animal care agency.

Nearly a month after Stevie Oedipus Wonder disappeared — and was reported dead — the cairn terrier mix puppy is home for the holiday, the San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/unONGF .)

“This is my Christmas miracle,” Stevie’s owner Belinda Gutierrez said. “I actually thought I was going to have a sad end of the year and a sad Christmas.”

Stevie, a dog born without eyes and apparently abused by a previous owner, was found early in 2011 by Gutierrez’s daughter as he wandered near a city duck pond. Instantly, the dog became a part of the family, responding to their voices and dragging Gutierrez out for exercise.

Days after Thanksgiving, though, Stevie escaped — disappearing from the family’s home. Days later, Gutierrez’s landlord told her the dog was dead.

On Dec. 11, Stevie showed up at Animal Care Services. A collar and tag kept him alive for five days, Jeanne Saadi, the agency’s live release coordinator, said. But with outdated information, the agency failed to find his owners and prepared to euthanize him.

That’s when Brooke Orr, a high school teacher, saw the agency’s ad seeking a home for the blind dog. She agreed to care for Stevie over the holidays, buying him a few more days.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez’s distraught daughter posted a lost dog notice on Craigslist, hoping someone would see it and return Stevie.

Orr noticed the tag dangling on the dog’s neck.

“I thought that he must belong to someone. So I went to Craigslist and went to lost and found and I put in ‘blind dog,’ and there he was,” she said.

She contacted Gutierrez, who arrived at the Animal Care Services on Thursday uncertain the dog would be able to recognize her.

“All he had to do was hear my voice,” she said. “I stood at the entrance of the kennel building and called out ‘Stevie, Stevie.’ And he started barking all over the place.”

Now back at home, Stevie will awake Christmas morning to a stocking stuffed with doggy treats, rawhide chew toys and carrots, one of his favorites.

More Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/blind-dog-lost