SAN ANTONIO – What a difference five weeks can make. Teddy Pooh Bear, a 7-year-old silver toy poodle, was found Monday exactly five weeks after being taken during a home burglary. But she now has bright pink ears and a tail to match, and her fur was shaved down.
“I really do believe that it was a way for them to try to disguise her, because people were looking, and they were on the lookout,” said Anna Prieto, Teddy’s owner.
Margarethe Valois said she certainly was.
The devoted animal lover, who has found and returned other dogs, said she’d gotten an automated call from Lost My Doggie, a national service that the Prietos hired to issue its own “AMBER Alert,” by phoning residents, pet stores and veterinary offices in the area.
Valois said she and a neighbor were walking their dogs when she saw the poodle sitting in someone’s front yard, only a few blocks away from where she was stolen.
She said the resident at that address told her the poodle wasn’t theirs.
“I was told he was there waiting for three days, and they didn’t take him in,” Valois said.
She said Teddy was shivering and looked miserable. Her eyes were matted, and she was covered with fleas.
Valois said they quickly took the poodle to the Prieto’s home.
Gus Prieto said he was about to take a nap when he answered the doorbell. He was asked whether he wanted to check whether the dog they’d found was his.
Prieto said he didn’t recognize Teddy at first, so he called her by name.
“She did kind of respond, slightly, but I guess she was still in shock,” Gus Prieto said.
“As soon as I peeked out, I saw him running inside, carrying a dog,” Anna Prieto said.
She said she’d even dreamed of a similar scenario, but there was no wagging tail or happy dance.
But they found some physical clues, and they rushed her to the Emergency Pet Clinic, where her chip was scanned, proving what they knew in their hearts.
Anna Prieto said thanks to so many words of encouragement to not give up hope.
“We just had to believe that somehow, some way, she would come back home, and thank God, she has.”
San Antonio police still have a Crime Stoppers reward available for information leading to whomever broke into the Prietos' home.
Gus Prieto said they’re about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary but without their wedding bands that also were stolen.
He said they left them at home when they went to the gym that night.
“It’s almost a small price to pay to have Teddy back,” Gus Prieto said.