Joni Leviner is one happy woman. After nearly two months of searching for her two-year-old Cocker Spaniel, she found him Wednesday night hiding under an abandoned home on Plum Street in the City of Dillon.
Chip went missing from her home in April after a contractor working on her house accidentally left a gate open, Leviner said.
Leviner was so desperate to find her dog that she hired Lost Pet Professionals out of Tennessee to search for Chip. It's a company that dispatches pet detectives to look for missing dogs.
A pet detective searched for Chip on Memorial Day and tracked his scent to an area in West Dillon near the railroad track surrounding Plum Street.
That's the same street where Leviner and her brother found him.
Leviner spotted Chip in the area a few days ago, but he always ran away.
She heard him barking Wednesday night and crawled under the abandoned home to get him while her brother held a flashlight for her to see.
"I said Lord please do not let anything bite me. Not a snake or a spider," said Leviner.
But as she got closer to Chip, he would back away.
So she got some food and put it out for him and that was what enabled her to get Chip back into her arms.
"He came up to me and he didn't resist at all," she said.
Her brother helped her get Chip from under the home and into her car. When they got to the house, she gave him a bath, fed him again and then he fell fast asleep on the couch he loves so much.
Chip's lost weight, Leviner said, and he has some wounds on his body, but otherwise he's ok.
"He seems happy. He'll go grab his toys and play. The only thing that I've noticed differently with him is he seems like she's more protective about himself around other dogs," she said.
Leviner said she took him to a pet groomer and plans to take him to a veterinarian Friday for a full checkup. She expects he'll get a clean bill of health.
She said she's so thankful to the pet detective who told her Chip was somewhere near Plum Street and he was ok.
Leviner said the detective's expertise helped her find Chip and she's eternally grateful.