After Petunia finished eating, the Pruitts let her out of their Fredericksburg, Virginia home. That was a few days after Thanksgiving 2003, the day the American Staffordshire terrier disappeared without a trace. The family feared the worst. With a chip in her ear, Petunia would surely have been returned — unless she had been killed or scooped up for a dogfighting ring.
Eight years later, Meg Eden called the Pruitts from California. The wildlife biologist had been had been walking her dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife Area in central California. She saw the stray and took the friendly dog home for the night.
The next day, Eden took the dog to the Yuba County Animal Care Services. Staff scanned the dog and discovered Petunia had a microchip in her ear, with contact information for Kristin Pruitt. They called her surprised owners in Virginia and made arrangements for the now 11-year-old dog to fly home for the holidays.