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Fayetteville family reunited with missing dog after four years

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FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – It’s one thing when an animal goes missing for a couple weeks and turns back up, but Stephanie Talbert from Fayetteville was ready to give up hope until she was reunited with her dog after she was missing for four years. 

Talbert got her dog, Sage, as a puppy and at 12 years old, the Husky-German Shepherd mix ran away after a fire they started at the house scared her off into the woods. 

“So I just thought about her, hopefully somebody had her, was taking care of her, you know, but then as the years passed, I was really worried that something had happened to her, and I was never going to get her back again,” Talbert said.  

Years passed and life went on as the hopes of getting Sage back dwindled. But then it was a post on Facebook that her sister, Kymberli Fitzpatrick, saw all the way in Phoenix. The post was made by her Fayetteville High School classmate, Charles Hunt, saying he found a dog at his home across the county. 

“I just knew, you know?” Fitzpatrick said. “We had known her since she was a puppy and I just knew it was her and it was like you just got that feeling inside that you just knew. This is the aha moment, like there she is. All this time we thought she might be, you know, not alive anymore.” 

Although Sage grew older, Talbert also knew it was her when she saw the Facebook post for herself and was reunited with her 15-year-old dog after four years of uncertainty. 

“Oh, I just hugged her. I used to call her pretty girl all the time and she just stuck her head in my stomach and was just like rubbing her head in my stomach, and I just hugged her and I was just crying.” 

And although Sage’s side of the story will never get told, Talbert is overjoyed to have her old best friend back and introduce Sage to her new one, Talbert’s daughter, Emma, who was born while the dog was missing.  

If you had a hand in Sage’s journey  back home, the Talbert family extends their warmest thanks. 



Anna Saunders

Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.


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