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story.lead_photo.caption Leon DeLong poses with his 3-year-old sheltie, Flora, on Thursday at his home. Flora went missing April 21 and was found Wednesday several blocks from where she went missing. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Editor's note: Below is the story behind a recent photo that was published as a standalone image. 

If you have been anywhere in the area of Boonville Road and West Main in the last week, you may have seen flyers regarding a missing sheltie named Flora.

Flora escaped from her groomer April 21 just off of Boonville Road and was finally found hiding in a garage a few blocks away from Memorial Park a week later. For Leon DeLong, receiving the phone call that Flora was found was the best news. DeLong got the dog three years ago as a pup and the two have been nearly inseparable since. The couple has two other shelties but this one is special for DeLong and the thought of not seeing her again was just breaking his heart.

Once DeLong found out his dog was missing, he began a search that saw him, his wife, his son and daughter-in-law and her sisters out looking for the purebred dog. Whether walking through creeks, ditches, residential areas and parks or driving up and down streets and placing posters on light posts and in shop windows, DeLong didn't give up on finding her.

Gallery: Reunited pals

DeLong had been out looking Wednesday into the evening, not letting the rain stop the search. He said he was drenched and went home to get dry, when his wife, Becki, received a call from a man asking if he had reached the sheltie house. He said he had a dog that looked like the one on the poster. After hearing that, a very excited DeLong drove to the house near Memorial Park where the homeowner let him in the garage to coax her out of the corner. After a few pieces of caramel corn tossed in her direction, DeLong had her eating out of the palm of his hand. He picked her up, thanked the homeowners and was on his way home with his baby girl.

At the bottom of the driveway, Leon was greeted by his son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Stacey, who had heard that she had been found. Stacey, who had posted on Facebook that the dog was missing, posted right away that Flora was found.

Flora ended up in the garage only through a series of events in which she found an open garage door. Harold and Donna Westhues had left the house, but the button on the garage door opener wasn't properly functioning so the door didn't close. They weren't going to be gone long so they left it open.

Upon their return, when Harold went to close the garage door, he noticed a pair of eyes looking his way. He got a better look and saw that it was a dog, realizing it was the one on the poster.

DeLong wanted to thank everyone involved in looking for his beloved Flora. He also wanted to thank the Westhues' for their part in it and said that he "considers them his heroes."

DeLong added that he is in the process of picking up the flyers but if anyone still sees any on poles or in windows, either take them down and throw them away or call the number on the flyer and he will pick them up. He added that he had post cards regarding the lost dog made and they went out in the mail Wednesday, so if you live in that area and receive a post card, please know that the dog has been found and ignore it.

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