When a familiar face jumps out of the woods, the man slams on the brakes.

As she rode in the passenger seat along a foggy highway, Rian Feldman couldn’t stop thinking about Scout, a beloved local dog who’d gone missing a few days prior. Feldman was discussing Scout’s disappearance with the driver, Scooter Belasco, when they noticed someone running out into the street.

“At that very moment, she ran out of the woods into the street in front of our car,” Feldman told The Dodo. “We both gasped and realized at the exact same moment … Scooter slammed on the breaks, and we game-planned right there. There was no time to think, because she had been missing for three days and we knew we weren’t leaving without her.”

Feldman, who, along with Belasco, runs Uncle Neil’s Home animal sanctuary, had to act fast. Scout’s family was worried sick, and Feldman knew she might be Scout’s last hope.

“Trying to catch her was stressful,” Feldman said. “Her family was frantic and had no idea where she was. She ran from us at first, and I chased after her as fast as I could, while Scooter tailed me in the car. We eventually caught up to her and made sure to crouch low so she felt comfortable approaching us.”

Eventually, Feldman and Belasco got close enough to grab Scout’s collar and coax her into the car. Feldman felt a rush of relief as she watched the dog jump into the safety of their vehicle.

“Scooter picked her up and put her in our back seat,” Feldman said. “As soon as we shut the door, a huge weight lifted from our chests.”

Once in the car, Scout grinned and relaxed. It was as if she knew she was finally headed in the right direction.

“She smiled, she looked out the window during the ride, and we were cheering her on and telling her that she was on her way home,” Feldman said. “We passed her ‘lost dog’ signs, and I remember feeling so relieved that those signs could finally come down.”

Feldman was so pleased as she watched Scout return to her loving family. It was a beautiful moment for Feldman, who’d been so worried, and for Scout, who seemed to understand that she was back where she belonged.

“Scout’s family was ecstatic, so relieved,” Feldman said. “They hugged us and thanked us … They said that their entire year had been made now that Scout was back home.”

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