COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - When their dog disappeared, they feared they might never find her again. But now, three months and four states later, Jazmine is finally home.
It was an emotional day for Bill and Dawn Shaffer, and their family, that made for a few different reunions, more than a thousand miles in the making.
Back in October, they were on their way to their cabin and made a stop. Shaffer says when he dropped his phone, they think Jazmine must have jumped out of the truck, hoping to play fetch.
By the time they realized she was gone, they couldn't find her anywhere.
Because it was hunting season, they had switched out her collar with a bright orange one, so she didn't have her normal tags. Despite their searches, no one seemed to have seen her.
"We start scrambling, backtracking, can't find her anywhere," explained Shaffer. "We start posting on Facebook, call the pound, we're doing everything trying to figure out where is. We thought she was gone forever."
It wasn't until almost three months later, that the Shaffers heard from the Larimer Humane Society in Loveland, Colorado.
It turned out, a family from Colorado had picked up Jazmine while they visiting Idaho and they took her with them.
When she escaped from their house, she ended up in the shelter. Her microchip became her phone call home.
"If it wasn't for the chip," Shaffer said, "we never would have seen her again."
But even from there, they still had to get Jazmine halfway across the country. That’s where Annell Grant and Big Rig Animal Transport came in.
"Our objective is to get shelter animals to safety," Grant explained. "But very occasionally we have a lost animal that's hundreds of miles from home, and we also enjoy doing those."
Grant is the group's transport coordinator, and she's based in Wyoming. But with connections all around, she got the ball rolling.
She got Jazmine out of the shelter and into a foster home and then got a vet to clear her for traveling under federal guidelines.
Through Grant's networks, she found 10 volunteers, who drove 14 legs - each about an hour and a half. They went from Colorado, into Wyoming, through Montana, and to Idaho.
One by one, they passed her off, getting her safely on her way.
"All these people were all really excited," Shaffer explained. "They picked her up, they bought her toys, they spoiled her the whole way. It was just awesome. Such a neat deal that people will do that for other people."
They made it through the rough weather in Wyoming, and Jazmine even got to spend a cushy night in a motel.
At that point, Dawn Shaffer and two of their kids decided they wanted to join the final leg home, so they drove out to Montana for their first reunion.
"She had made a sign, welcoming Jazmine to see her mom. It was great," Dawn Shaffer recalled. "It really was an amazing journey."
Bill Shaffer was still at home though, waiting to see the dog he had rescued as a 10-week-old puppy when he found her alone in the woods on a hunting trip.
Finally, after three months, Jazmine pulled up in their driveway, and couldn't have been more excited to be home.
Now, she's back to playing Frisbee, surrounded by her family.
With the epic trip behind her, it's one everyone is hoping she'll never have to go on again.
"We were missing part of the family," Bill Shaffer said. "We didn't know where that part went, but she's finally home, so it's pretty awesome."
If you’d like to get involved with the road-tripping efforts, like one that brought Jazmine home, the best way to connect is to search your state, with the words "animal transport" on Facebook, and then join the groups for your area.
And of course, the big lesson we’re all learning from this journey is the importance of microchipping your pets.