Dog returned to N.J. boy with muscular dystrophy

PATERSON, N.J. — A dog belonging to a New Jersey boy with muscular dystrophy has been returned home, days after it went missing.

Jacob Rodriguez received his Shih Tzu puppy Brownie as a gift around Thanksgiving. His mother said Brownie helped the 7-year-old both physically and emotionally.

“[Jacob] was moving more, he was crawling with the dog, playing," said Jazmine Crespo, Jacob's mother. "He was very happy to have this dog.”

Crespo wants Brownie back before her son's next surgery, which is scheduled for February.

On Saturday, while Crespo was getting chemotherapy treatment for lupus, she thinks the puppy escaped through the gate in their backyard.

Crespo said she'd hoped Brownie would be home before her son's next surgery, which is scheduled for February.

She told PIX11 News that Brownie has returned to her Wednesday evening.

"I am truly blessed. Thank you all for your help," she said.

NorthJersey.com reports that the dog was found by a Montclair State University student.

The community had pitched in to find the puppy. A neighbor offered a $500 reward, and Paterson Animal Control reminded everyone that if you find a stray, bring it to a shelter.