MESA, Ariz. - The scene just before 8 a.m. Monday was a seemingly wide-open, traffic-free US 60. But look closely, there was Summer, a 2-year-old black lab/German shepherd/chow mix out for a stroll.
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Well, not exactly, sometime late Friday or early Saturday, she bolted through an open gate at her Mesa home.
"We kind of cried a little bit yesterday," Summer's owner, Kelly Nichols said. "She could be gone forever."
Clearly, Summer was keen on getting home as quick as possible. So, she jumped on the 60, along with a lot of traffic.
Arizona DPS troopers first tried to corral the clever pup with a few slow PIT maneuvers, but she was having none of it.
At that point, she decided to stretch her legs, and the real chase was on ... all while morning news viewers followed along on television and online.
Finally, after about 30 minutes, she tired, and the troopers were able to put a cuff on the fleeing freeway Fido.
It was about this time that Nichols started to get a few calls.
"Totally looks like her, definitely a match," she said callers were saying to her as they followed the Freeway Fido live.
Just after 10 a.m. Monday, Summer's wild spring vacation was over.
"Is that her?" came the question over a very happy reunion between Summer and Nichols. "This is definitely her!" she announced while giving the wrong-way pup a big hug.
Summer was taken to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Mesa to be checked out. Nichols credits the people online who were looking out for Summer and, maybe, 30 or so minutes of fame on the morning news.
"My kids are going to be thrilled, and she will not be without her collar and information from this point on," she said.
Unfortunately, Summer will not be going home as soon as Nichols had hoped. She has to spend 10 days in quarantine at MCACC. According to county officials, the dog bit a DPS trooper during her capture and she does not have current rabies vaccine on file with the county.
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