Roscoe was returned with a shaved patch with stitches, covered in glue.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a story that's hard to believe, a mystery surrounding the Louisville owners of Kentucky Derby runner and Preakness runner-up Ride on Curlin. But this mystery has nothing to do with the horse, it involves one of their other animals, a beloved golden retriever that disappeared and reappeared with one big difference.
Lori Dougherty and her family love their dogs as much as their horses.
Being second at the Preakness Stakes with Ride On Curlin was the most incredible thing to happen to the Louisvillians, or at least they thought it was until they got home from Baltimore.
The Doughertys have four golden retrievers: Puppies Sammy and Hudson, 11-year-old Chloe and 13-year-old Roscoe.
"He's like the neighborhood mascot," Lori Dougherty smiled referring to Roscoe.
Every morning for years Roscoe has had the same routine. He leaves at 8 a.m., sniffs around at the neighbors and returns home an hour later.
"Around 9:30, 10, I started worrying," Lori Dougherty said, "Eleven (in the morning) a little bit more worried, at noon I started looking."
Everyone in the Dougherty's tight-knit neighborhood knows Roscoe and neighbors helped search in their cars and even in gators around the woods. "We were calling his name and screaming," Lori Dougherty remembered. Her daughters were extremely upset. "One was crying hysterically that he (Roscoe) was going to be in the road or under a tree somewhere!"
Finally at 8 p.m. Monday, some 12 hours later, security cameras captured Roscoe slowly coming up the driveway. The other dogs and the family arriving after searching were thrilled to see their boy!
"It was a tearful reunion no question about it," Lori Dougherty said, "I couldn't believe it until I saw what he had been through."
What he'd been through? Major surgery. An area of Roscoe's leg had been prepped for anesthesia. Then she explained, "There's a very large shaved area on his right hip with a minimum of ten stitches."
Surgery in the same area where the dog had a quarter inch hot spot that has been treated on and off for years.
After calling all the vets in the area, no one had performed the surgery covered in glue. After putting Roscoe in goggles for laser therapy to heal the wound, his vets were stumped.
"They had never seen anything like this in 28 years," Lori Dougherty said of the mystery. The vets also didn't see any reason a surgery was needed unless someone thought the hot spot had to be taken care of their way.
Lori Dougherty said it's the strangest thing that has ever happened to the family.
"For someone taking someone else's dog and giving them surgery?" She questioned, "and I don't know if he was dropped off in our driveway or if he was meant to be taken by someone and he got away and came home."
After giving Roscoe a full once over and antibiotics the Dougherty's veterinarian said the dog should be OK. From now on, the family says Roscoe won't be leaving their sight. If anyone can solve their mystery, the family would love to know what happened.