Lexi has reunited with her Tucson owners. (Source: ADOT)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A pet dog that had been missing since Christmas Day from his owners vacationing near the Mogollon Rim was discovered 10 days later by a state road crew driving in central Arizona.
After wandering in the forest near Wood Canyon Lake, Lexi, a German Shepherd mix, was found 10 miles from where she disappeared.
Steve Maynard and A.J. Gonzalez of the Arizona Department of Transportation were traveling west along State Route 260 toward Payson on Jan. 9 when they spotted Lexi on an overpass.
Maynard and Gonzalez work in the ADOT Materials section and drive all over the state measuring the smoothness of road surfaces in a specially equipped vehicle.
The pair said they saw the dog almost get hit by a truck in front of them. Acting quickly, they turned on their vehicle emergency lights and jumped out to call Lexi over to their vehicle.
"The dog was growling a little at first but she eventually came over to us," said Gonzalez.
They took her into Payson to the local ADOT maintenance yard and gave her treats they bought from a local pet store.
Lexi had collar tags and they discovered she was registered in Pima County. With help from the Pima Animal Care Center, Maynard was able to contact the owners in Tucson to let them know their dog had been found.
"The owners were so happy," said Maynard, who took Lexi back to his house in the Phoenix area.
"They had pretty much given up hope of finding her, so to call and let them know their dog was alive was a great feeling," Maynard said.
Family members of the owners were able to pick her up.
"Words cannot express how glad we were to receive that call," said Michael Bauschka, Lexi's owner. "We are so appreciative that they went out of their way to rescue our dog."
Gonzalez said it was a happy ending for all involved.
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