Lost puppy reunited with NU family

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz


The black, white and tan Jack Russell that was believed to be have been stolen when his owners stopped at a Dry Ridge gas station a couple of weeks ago is now safe and sound in New York.

After reading about the missing dog in the Aug. 8 issue of the Grant County News, Amber Gray of Williamstown stepped outside her home and hollered for Rusty.

The little, bouncy fellow perked up his ears and came running.

That’s what Gray told Casey Crupper when she called her at home in New York on Aug. 12 to let her know she had found the dog chasing cars in Dry Ridge. Gray said she brought him home because she didn’t know who he belonged to and he was a nice dog.

“I couldn’t believe it but I was so happy,” Casey said.

Casey and her husband, Josh Crupper, were headed back to New York on Aug. 2 after spending time with Josh’s family in Grant County when they stopped to put air in their tire.

When they got out of the car, Rusty was inside but when they got back in the car and got on Interstate-75, Josh realized Rusty was gone so he quickly returned to Dry Ridge and spent the next three hours searching for the dog.

They placed ads in the region and appealed to friends and family on Facebook to help them bring Rusty home. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation because Josh believed someone removed Rusty from their vehicle.

Casey made the 10-hour drive back to Grant County and was reunited with Rusty on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

“It was like I was complete again,” she said. “We can’t have children so our pets are our children. I didn’t let him out of my sight last night. I slept with him in my arms.”

Casey said she spent the days without Rusty crying, while Josh stoically kept his feelings hidden.

“Josh barely talked last week and when I got off the phone, he was grinning from ear to ear,” Casey said.

Josh will be leaving next month for a second tour in Afghanistan. He bought Rusty for Casey to keep her company while he’s away.

Rusty, a 6-month-old Jack Russell, with brown spots sprinkled across his face, was headed back to New York on Aug. 15.

“I’ve got him back and he’s going to stay with me,” Casey said. “I’m going to tie his leash to a seat belt so that when I stop he won’t be able to escape and anyone trying to grab him will have to work to get him.”

When he got to the couple’s home, Rusty attacked Josh.

“I picked him up and he just kept licking me,” Josh said. “I just held onto him for awhile. It was a relief to get him home.”