MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- With an orange and blue collar and a bark his owner describes as a "gator chomp," doggie Tebow plays his way through his sweet homecoming.
"I feel like the most blessed, luckiest person in the world," said Tebow's owner Susan Wargo.
Tuesday is the first day Tebow has been able to play on his own turf since September 7. Police say that's when Brian Dolinger, 30, let Tebow loose by opening up the door to Wargo's van.
Wargo had been running an errand in Walmart that evening. Because it wasn't hot outside, she left the dog in her locked vehicle with the windows cracked. According to the report, Dolinger had "became annoyed" the dog had been barking and reached into her vehicle and then, a short while later, opened the door.
Wargo's been looking for him ever since, posting signs and converting her own van into a rolling billboard. She never gave up hope she'd one day be reunited with her pet.
And then it happened, the happy ending she'd been dreaming about.
"I started crying, and it was pouring down rain," Wargo described.
Turns out a shopper had found the dog sniffing at the front doors of Walmart soon after Wargo left that evening and took him home. Since then, Wargo says he had been looking for her just as much as she had been for him. But she said the good samaritan had trouble tracking her down because Tebow didn't have an microchip and wasn't wearing a collar at the time.
Monday night, Action News ran a story about the missing dog.
Tuesday afternoon, after the good samaritan saw multiple media reports, Tebow is now back home happily chewing his toys.
A happy ending for the Middleburg underdog with a winner's name.
"You just don't know sometimes what you have until you lose it," said Wargo.
Dolinger was arrested by the Clay County Sheriff's Office. He's now facing charges of grand theft and auto burglary.