WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After searching for her dog for over a year, a West Sacramento woman is going to have him back home in time for Christmas. 

After 14 months of looking for her dog, Sandra O’Neill received a call about the whereabouts of her beloved companion, who was found approximately 1,600 miles away. 

“When they told me he was in Kansas, I was shocked,” O’Neill said. 

Zeppelin, a German shepherd mix, went missing in October 2021.

A woman in the rural town of Louisburg, Kansas, found Zeppelin on her property, took him in her home for the night and took him to a veterinarian’s office the next morning. It’s unknown how Zeppelin ended up in Kansas, but the veterinarian clinic discovered through his microchip that he was miles away from home. 

Before he went missing, O’Neill said Zeppelin would go to an area near her house that was full of construction workers. Those workers would often give him food, water and treats. O’Neill said she would either pick up Zeppelin or he’d return home on his own. One day, Zeppelin was nowhere to be found. 

The night before she got the call from the veterinarian’s office in Kansas, O’Neill said she drove by the area he was last seen, wishing for him to come home. 

“I would always think about him and say something when I drive by there occasionally and say ‘I miss you, Zeppelin, I hope you come home someday, and I hope you’re happy, safe and healthy wherever you are,’” O’Neill said. “The next morning, I got the call. I was very excited and really flabbergasted that he was found and very grateful and blessed to be getting the dog back.” 

O’Neill owned Zeppelin for 18 months prior to him going missing. Zeppelin is about 3 years old. She named her beloved dog after the band Led Zeppelin. 

Zeppelin began his trip back home from Kansas on Sunday. He is being driven back to West Sacramento by a woman named Mary Hastings, who volunteered to take him back home after she visited her daughter in Kansas.

Prior to finding a way for his return, there were discussions on different ways to get Zeppelin home. At one point, bringing Zeppelin home on a military airplane in coordination with Pilots N Paws was a possibility, O’Neill said. 

The drive from Kansas to California is approximately a 23-hour drive, and Zeppelin is expected to return home sometime this week, days before Christmas.

“We’re very blessed and thankful for all the people involved,” O’Neill said. “There’ve been numerous people working on this tirelessly, trying to get all the legs of the trip handled.”

“I’m just grateful for all the people that put time and energy into this and who have taken care of Zeppelin and loved him where he’s been,” O’Neill continued.