A Florida man was left brokenhearted when his truck was stolen only minutes into a Louisiana visit. It wasn’t the truck Stuart Trahan mourned, though. His beloved Labrador Retriever was in the truck at the time of the theft. But this tale ends with a happy ending in the shape of a reunion just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving!
Stuart and his wife had just arrived in New Orleans when his 2018 Dodge Ram 2500 was stolen from the city’s Gentilly neighborhood. Watching the truck speed away with his best friend Sam barking wildly inside left the dog dad heartbroken.
Happened So Fast
Just arriving at his daughter’s house after a ten-hour drive from Florida, Stuart left his truck running for Sam as he unloaded luggage and took it inside. Sam, short for Samson the Great, was in the extended cab Ram’s backseat, watching his dad work. Little did they know they were being watched by someone else.
Stuart locked and unlocked the door between trips, but on one trip back to the truck, as he unlocked the vehicle, a dark sedan sped up, someone jumping out of the car and into the truck. And just like that, the thief peeled away. Stuart couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw his truck take off with Sam inside.
“It didn’t seem real,” explained Stuart. “It was just kind of like, ‘Oh my God, what just happened?’ Then I’m like, ‘Sam, oh my God.’”
In a television interview about the incident, emotion washed over Stuart as he recalled thinking how scared and confused his best buddy must have been.
“He’s one of the family,” he said. “I held him when he was this big, and he’s this big now, you know, and he’s just a–he’s a lovable, lovable creature, you know. He’s part of us.”
And by everywhere, Stuart means it. Sam has his own work badge just so he can be by his dad’s side in the field.
‘My work badge was in the car, but he has his work badge. I can bring him to work and we both wear our work badges to work, and so he’s, he’s an awesome friend, and he’s one of my kids.”
A Man and His Dog Reunited
Getting Sam home again was Stuart’s only priority, with the devoted dog lover explaining, “I don’t care about the truck.”
And through the always impressive efforts of the rescue community and law enforcement, Sam and Stuart have been reunited.
Animal Helper, a rescue in New Orleans, reported details of Sam’s rescue on Facebook, “He was found in the 9th ward. He was curled on a blanket on a porch of an empty Katrina house. Someone called after seeing the story. Said dog was scared but on their property.”
The truck remains missing, but the Trahan family is whole again and thankful to be together this holiday season.