The Hamilton family was preparing for an outing with their dog, Albus, in their hometown of Truckee, CA, earlier this week, when someone stole their Dodge Ram pickup right out of their driveway.
The worst part of the ordeal, though, was that 6-year-old Albus was inside the truck at the time.
“We just put him in the truck in our driveway, came back in to say goodbye, and literally turned around and the truck was gone,” Carolyn Hamilton explained to FOX 40.
The Truckee Police and California Highway Patrol were immediately notified and were involved in a pursuit of the vehicle on I-80 later that night, but called off the chase when things got too dicey to continue in the city of Reno.
Three days passed. The Hamiltons, aided by concerned volunteers, searched diligently for Albus and their missing truck. Truckee Police, too, were involved.
“There was some hope in it, and some urgency,” Carolyn recalled. “And I think that’s a magical equation.”
Relief came Tuesday night, when police discovered the truck in a Reno neighborhood with Albus still inside. Though weak and dehydrated, he was otherwise in good shape.
Albus (named for beloved wizard Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series), police said, appeared to have been in the truck the entire time. He endured warm afternoons and cold nights in a sealed vehicle.
Hamilton said it was a learning experience, comparing their worry and grief over Albus to that of the wildfire victims not far from her home.
“We tried to always compare our grief to the larger grief,” Carolyn recalled. “And I think what happened is that we were able to just be a little more compassionate for people who experience loss.”
Albus came home Wednesday, following a vet checkup. Truckee Police officers popped by for a visit.
“They had a tenderness about them that you don’t attach to police officers, but we should from now on,” Carolyn concluded.
The investigation into the theft is ongoing. Tips may be called into the Truckee Police Department.