Deaf Dog Lost For A Year In Santa Fe Returns To His Family


Losing your dog in the outside world is a terrible experience and is something that I hope no one will ever have to go through. 

The paralyzing fear you experience in that moment and afterward is just horrible and you are never sure if your dog will return to you.

The family that we will talk about in this story had to go through the same thing with their dog, and their story is heartbreaking but optimistic in the end.

A Deaf Dog, Rufus

dog looking sad
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

Rufus was first introduced to the Martinez family in very tragic circumstances. When she was just nine, Marisa Martinez’s daughter died from pediatric cancer, and the dog was given to them as a gift to hopefully comfort the family in their time of need.

Rufus was a deaf five-year-old Blue Heeler who would go on to become the ideal companion to the family, and the owner even taught him sign language to communicate easier with him.

For a while, it seemed like things were slowly getting better until the dog went missing and the family couldn’t find him.

They continued their search for months after his disappearance, but there was no luck. The family never gave up hope, however, and continued trying to do anything they could to find him.

Rufus Was Found

man walking with dog
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

On July 3rd of 2023, a motorcyclist saw a dog on the road and stopped to help him. He took his picture and sent it to Team Frijoles to make sure that it really was Rufus. 

The group, whose job it is to find missing dogs, had followed all the clues about his whereabouts for a long time, and it looked like he was finally found.

Now, all that was left was to lure him using food traps and get him to safety. Because he was pretty hungry, he fell for it and the team was able to take him to the Santa Fe New Mexican shelter.

The shelter staff called the family on Zoom to make sure it was really Rufus, and the microchip scan confirmed it. The family was absolutely overjoyed to find out he was really alive.

A Reunion At Last

woman hugging deaf dog
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

When Rufus was finally brought before his family, he was a bit skeptical, as he hadn’t seen his family in a year.

But, then Martinez used a signal to say hello, and he immediately let his guard down and all suspicion was gone. 

He was so excited that he immediately tried to jump into his owner’s hands. Rufus gave Martinez many kisses. 

This scene would even make the onlookers tear up a bit. When the happy reunion was finally over, the family went home with their dog.

Martinez said: We want this to be a feel good story of a sweet dog with disabilities who is magical. Who had overcome the wilderness, being deaf, being a fighter, and helping a mommy in mourning.

She is so grateful that Rufus was returned to them, and she hopes that this story would serve as inspiration to everyone about not giving up hope. 

I think that is honestly a fitting lesson in this story and I wish the Martinez family all the best.