Hot Dog 

Stolen boxers returned to East Memphis family.

One morning last March, health-plan manager Judi Jones received a call from her alarm company. The police were at her house, and though no one had broken in, her two dogs had been stolen from inside her backyard fence.

"Rufus actually belonged to my husband's ex-wife," Jones says of the male boxer. "She was getting her porch screened in, so he was visiting our house when he was stolen. That was upsetting."

Rufus was about a year old; Darcy, Jones' female boxer, was about nine months old.

"A neighbor said they had seen someone carrying them down the street, because the dogs wouldn't come out of the yard," Jones says.

The Joneses put up flyers and searched their East Memphis neighborhood, but no luck finding the dogs. They eventually adopted a new dog that looks like a shepherd mix.

Then, three weeks ago, Jones' daughter was about to let their new dog out into the yard when she began screaming.

"She said, 'You're not going to believe it. Darcy and Rufus are in the backyard!'" Jones says. "They were hopping around like deer, like they knew where they were."

The dogs were inside the fence, and the back gate was latched. Jones called police, and a dispatcher told the family to wait inside the house until a squad car arrived.

"The officer got there and said, 'That is the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. ... You had a better chance of winning the lottery than getting your dogs back.'"

It had been more than 10 months since the dogs disappeared. Jones took them to the vet the next day, and they were in fairly good shape. They were infected with three types of worms, and Darcy had been bred, but they were back home.

"You should have seen them. They looked at you like, oh, I love you so much," Jones says.

Though they've been returned, Darcy and Rufus won't live in East Memphis for much longer. The Jones family is moving to Mississippi.

"Now that was have three 50-pound dogs, it's a good thing we're moving to the country," Judi Jones says. "They'll be happy."

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