By Diane Purvis, Crooked Creek Animal Hospital
If you think miracles don’t happen, then you need to keep reading. This is a story that is over five years in the making. It’s a story about Derek and Darby Carroll, Rhonda Martin, and Crooked Creek Animal Hospital. Together, they all made a miracle happen.
Six years ago, Derek was living in Oxford, Mississippi, and decided he wanted a dog. He went to the local animal rescue and adopted a sweet Schnauzer puppy, naming her Darby. From that very day, the two become inseparable and were known to family and friends as Derek and Darby. One year later, Derek and his wife moved to Jackson with Darby and their three other dogs. Darby went everywhere with Derek, especially when playing golf. Darby would sit on the golf cart and cheer him on. Then in May, 2016, Derek let Darby and his three other dogs out to his fenced back yard. Fifteen minutes later, he let his dogs back inside his house with Darby not among them. For over a year, Derek searched for Darby, driving around the neighborhood, putting up posters, making social media posts, everything he could think to do to find Darby, with no success. Darby was gone, and Derek was left with a broken heart.
Fast forward to September 2021: Rhonda Martin was driving by a gas station on Highway 43 in Pelahatchie and noticed a stray dog walking on the side of the road. She pulled over and was able to get the dog to come to her. She could tell the dog was not homeless but was lost and missing from her home. She took the dog home, gave her food and water and comfort care. Rhonda made a social media post about the sweet dog she had found, hoping maybe someone would recognize her and claim her. But no one did.
The next day, Rhonda called Crooked Creek Animal Hospital, explaining she had found the dog and was wondering what she could do to possibly find the owner. Rhonda was asked if she could bring the dog to the clinic so she could be checked for a microchip. The dog did have a microchip with the information about the owner. Thinking the dog had only been missing for a day or two and a phone call was being made to the recent owner of the missing dog, a phone call was actually made to Derek Carroll. Derek was asked if he is missing a Schnauzer dog. Dumbfounded, he explained he has been missing one for over five years. Now everyone involved was in awe that a dog that has been missing for over five years has been found alive and in good health and is going home, home to her original family. Home to her first friend that loves her and has been missing her for five long years.
Derek was given directions to Crooked Creek Animal Hospital and was on his way to an uncertainty if Darby would remember him. A happy nervousness was sensed as Darby was placed in Derek’s arms. Derek, being overwhelmed with joy, had to take a seat and just soak the blessed moment in. It didn’t take long before Darby began to recognize she was being reunited with her very first friend. Derek was so grateful to Rhonda and Crooked Creek Animal Hospital and could not wait to get Darby home so he could spend time getting reacquainted with Darby. That afternoon was filled with lots of licks, hugs, and tears of joy. Derek and Darby were once again, Derek and Darby.
This is not just a story of a lost dog being reunited with her owner because the owner was caring enough to microchip his dog. This is miracle story which could have had a tragic ending or no ending at all. Darby could have never gone missing from where she was living. Darby could have not been found on the side of a busy highway. Darby could have not had a microchip. But Darby was found, and her ending is just the beginning of a long and happy life, with her Derek.