DUBLIN, Ga. — A Dublin family is reunited with their dog after 7 months missing. Annie and Cobb Outlaw, Max's owners, say when he went missing, he'd just gotten groomed and didn't have his collar on. It was the beginning of a search that stretched more than half a year.
"Not knowing was the hardest. It would have been easier to have known all this time, even if he was with somebody else, just to know he was OK," Annie said.
Annie says the day Max went missing, their contractor was working on a covered area for him. The builder accidentally let Max out of their yard.
"Sometimes, you take pets for granted sometimes. You just make sure you live each day to the fullest with them," Cobb said.
The family put up hundreds of fliers. They posted all over social media. For seven months, people from all over shared possible sightings and photos, but none were him.
"People that I didn't really know really well would stop and ask me how it was going, had we heard anything, that they were looking for him, too. I had people on both sides of the county looking for him," Annie said.
But then they discovered a woman posted to a missing animals social page in Dublin-Laurens County, it was Max. Cobb Outlaw went to pick Max up.
"I opened up the back of the car, he jumped right in it just like old times. He was ready to come back home," Cobb said.
"There's so many little pieces that kind of came together. Now, if he could just open his mouth and tell us the story. I may or may not want to know. We are just glad he is home," Annie said.
Now that the Outlaws have their pup back home, "I just hope to have lots and lots more years -- like, years and years more. Once you've lost something and get it back, you just want to hold onto it," Annie said.
The woman who found Max only had him a couple of days, so the rest of the seven months remains a mystery.
While Max isn't talking about how he ended up so far away, the couple says they are eager to speak up and thank all of the people, including many they hardly knew that helped take up the mission to find Max.
The Outlaws say they're also thankful for whoever took Max in while he was gone because they say it was clear they took very good care of him.