The owners of Capone, an 11-year-old dog living in the mountains of Colorado, say it's not uncommon for him to wander off for a second or two. But it is not common for him to be missing for more than 30 minutes.
"That's when I knew something was wrong," owner Kyle Aprill said.
Aprill admits he made a mistake Sunday night by not keeping Capone close to him outdoors when he was quickly moving some cars around in a parking lot before bed. When he finished, Capone was nowhere to be seen. That was the start of a 2 day constant search for Capone .
"I wasn't going inside, sleeping or eating until I found my dog," Aprill told CBS News Colorado's. It was clear the man had not rested during the interview.
During his mad search for his dog in the surrounding area near the KFC in Frisco, Aprill was able to get a notice out to the nonprofit Summit Lost Pet Rescue, who helped explain the steps he should take for the best outcome, like getting flyers up in local businesses and laying out dirty clothes to help the dog find its way back home. The organization said it has teams for all the towns in Summit County and "activated" its group of volunteers, who went running to help search as soon as they got word.
"People, they see the lost pet and everyone's gutted because everybody knows that pets are family," Melissa Davis with Summit Lost Pet Rescue said. "They just want to bring that reunion."
Two full days and nights of searching later, with several false leads, Aprill was looking over some areas that he had checked before and on a whim, called out to his dog.
"I gave him one quick 'Capone!' and he gave me a quick 'Dad!' right back, just one bark," Aprill said. "That's when I knew it was him."
Aprill said his dog had gotten stuck after getting its leash frozen to the ground, only providing him with a few inches of movement. Aprill dove through the brush and through feet of snow to get to his lost pet.
"I don't even know if I can describe it," Aprill said. "Between like, the release of stress, just immediate stress release and just pure joy. I mean, for all day Monday, tears were running down my face as I ran through town handing out fliers and knocking on doors... but when I got confirmation of his bark back, just one single bark, I knew it was him and couldn't have been happier."
Aprill said he was surprised to see his dog still alive, conditions in Summit County had dropped to around 20 degrees with nasty windstorms while Capone was lost.
"I've seen him shiver in bed when it's warm, I'm like, how the hell did you do this!?" Aprill said.
Capone was checked out at the vet's office and given a clean bill of health. Now Aprill wanted to make sure he thanked folks like Sarah, Teresa, and Sam, all members of the Summit Lost Pet Rescue Frisco Team, as well as founders Brandon Ciullo and Melissa Davis for their help searching for Capone.
"It was just incredible just how many people... my phone was ringing all day and night the last two days," Aprill said. "'I think I saw him here,' 'I'm getting off work early,' 'I'll spend 2 hours helping you... we don't have to meet up I'll just go walk my dog and keep an eye out.'"
Capone is now home with Aprill, snug as a bug in a rug. Aprill still can see the moment his fears vanished all too clearly.
"I ran faster through two feet of snow than you could ever imagine, dove under two bushes, swam through snow to him, and he was the same, just as ecstatic to see me," Aprill said. "Might possibly be the best feeling I've ever had, combined with a lot of other emotions. Deep down I've never been so happy to see anyone or anything. "
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