When it comes to this Candy, it was the sweetest experience one could ever imagine.
Jesus Menchaca, his wife, April, and their three children, Michael, Miranda and Mia, were reunited with their beloved half English bulldog and half boxer, Candy, after she had been missing for two years. The Porterville family was reunited with Candy on Wednesday.
“Very overwhelmed,” said Jesus about the moment he was reunited with Candy. “We both kind of teared up,” said Jesus about himself — and Candy — when they were reunited.
Jesus went on to describe the moment when he was reunited with Candy at the Porterville Animal Shelter. “She was just kind of sleeping in her bed,” he said.
But then Candy and Jesus were taken out to a grassy area. “She was just overjoyed, jumping all over me,” he said.
For the most part, Candy is already back to normal after returning to her home. “It's amazing,” Jesus said. “She hasn't missed a beat.”
He said Candy knows when it's dinner time, when it's time to go to bed and “she knows to go to the back door to use the restroom,” said Jesus about going to the backyard.
On her first night back, Jesus said Candy had a nice meal and got some rest. “She had a good tri-tip dinner and she passed out with me,” he said. And Candy also received a nice bath on her first night home.
Candy will need some nice meals as she lost about half her weight — 40 to 50 pounds — off of her normal 95-pound frame. “I don't know how she survived,” Jesus said.
Jesus said the reunion just as emotion as the ones that are seen on television when people are reunited with their dogs after being separated for a long time. “You really don't believe it until it happens to you,” he said.
Candy had been at the Southern California Edison Equipment yard at Tea Pot Dome for about three months.
Gilbert Campos, a security guard at the facility, alerted the Porterville Animal Shelter they were finally able to retrieve Candy.
“After close to three months of trying to catch her, we finally caught her,” Campos posted on Facebook. “I’m really surprised that she survived out here this long out here in the country.
“I’m really hoping that she gets the care, attention and love that she deserves. She’s been through a heck of lot. She deserves to live with someone that will give her the love and attention that she so desperately needs.
“She’s lost a lot of muscle mass and is limping, but, from observing her these past few days, she does, on occasion, walk on it. Please, someone step up and help this beautiful girl!”
Once Jesus saw Candy on the PVAC Shelter Facebook page, he called the shelter and in an understandably shaky voice said “I think that's my dog.”
And Jesus was understandably shaken by how much weight Candy had lost. “That was the only thing I was hesitant about,” Jesus said.
But Candy had one distinctive characteristic. The brown and white dog has a white strip across the top of her head and in the middle of the white strip is a brown spot. Jesus sent photos of Candy that matched her brown spot on her head.
When Jesus came to the shelter and saw Candy he exclaimed, “that's her.” The Porterville Animal Shelter posted on its Facebook page “She looked up at him, got out of her bed and was so excited to see her human. When she came in she was so sad and terrified and just laid in her bed, so to see her get up when she recognized him and his voice after 2 years was spectacular to witness.
“Jesus got down on the ground and sat there with her in his lap and hugged her along with his son. It was a very joyful and tear filled moment after not seeing her for so long. We are so glad you are now reunited with your best friend. So glad you are finally home Candy.”
The Porterville Animal Shelter also posted on its Facebook page: “We would also like to thank the people over at Southern California Edison Equipment yard and a security guard named Gilbert Campos for alerting us to this dog running around there. Thanks to them letting our animal control know that there was a stray dog there we were able to secure Candy.”
And Jesus was obviously thankful to Southern California Edison, Campos and Augie Gonzalez and Kaiao Fox at the Porterville Animal Shelter.
“They were the most compassionate, loving people I've met in a long time,” said Jesus about Gonzalez and Fox.
“It was heartwarming, very heartwarming,” added Jesus about the compassion Gonzalez and Fox showed. “I couldn't thank them more than enough. I just kept on telling them thank you, thank you.”
Jesus had plenty of documentation to show Candy belonged to his family. “I've got pictures, I've got papers, I've got everything that proves she is our dog,” Jesus said.
But the one thing Jesus and his family hadn't done was have Candy chipped, something the family has already taken care of since they were reunited with her. Jesus said he would “highly recommend” to anyone to have their pet chipped.
Candy's odyssey began when she jumped over the fence at the Menchaca family home.
As Campos mentioned in his post, Candy does have a hurt back left leg. Jesus has spent the last couple of days tending to details when it comes to having Candy back and Candy is seeing a veterinarian to have her leg examined today.
And even with the bad leg, the Menchaca family is taking no chances as they don't allow Candy to go outside by herself.
“She could jump a 6-foot fence right now,” said Menchaca about Candy's jumping ability even with a bad leg. “She's a very athletic dog.”
The response to the heartwarming story has been overwhelming. The Porterville Animal Shelter's post on the reunion has received 935 hits, 239 comments and 225 shares as of Thursday afternoon.