Every moment the Hill family has spent with their dog, Max, has been a reminder of just how special his friendship is.
"He's part of the family, maybe some people can't understand that but he is. He is part of the family, and it was a nightmare. It wasn't the same," Keri Hill said.
Last Saturday, as storms began to roll through, Max and their other dog Maggie were in the backyard. However, as the family tried to leave for dinner, "I saw Maggie but I didn't see Max," Hill said.
A nearby storm spooked Max, and he had jumped their six foot fence and taken off.
"I probably drove around the neighborhood for an hour, just trying to find him," Hill said.
The Hill's first clue came from a neighbor who said they saw him at a nearby gas station, but that's when the story got interesting.
Surveillance video captured the moment when Max was taken by a woman who was known to store clerks as a regular.
"She also said she lived on Fort Campbell, so we knew that he had to of been at Fort Campbell," said Hill.
So that's where the family headed. Once there soldiers, who were complete strangers, were ready to help. They knew where the woman lived, but for reasons we won't disclose, she was been banned from the post and was on her way to Indiana with Max in tow.
"I saw their garage come up, and I just had this picture in my mind that he would come running out and he didn't and I was heartbroken, I was heartbroken," Hill said with tears in her eyes.
That's when Clarksville police put out a BOLO for the woman and her car. Officers in Indiana were ready to help.
"We got a call Tuesday night at 9:30 from an officer in Evansville. He said, 'Mr. Hill, I have your dog,' and we just could not believe it," said Hill.
The next day the Hills packed up and headed north. They captured their reunion with Max on a cell phone.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are forever grateful, forever grateful," said Hill.
The Hills would especially like to thank the following people who helped find Max:
- Clarksville Police Department
- Officer Arthur McCrary
- Fort Campbell Military Police
- Detective Keith Luntz and Sgt. Ward
- Tiny Town Animal Clinic in Evansville, IN
- Evansville Police Department and Officer Johnson
- The countless strangers and neighbors who were actively posting on social media