If you're a dog lover, your pet is a member of your family.
If your dog goes missing, it can be devastating.
This sheepdog comfortably sitting in Karen Clendenin's arms is two-year old rescue Punkin Pie.
Clendenin is all smiles Tuesday, but she says she will never forget that day at Cherokee Lake.
"We had a martingale collar on her. She wiggled out of it and just took off running. And never stopped running."
Clendenin says she and her family searched for Punkin Pie over the next several months, posting flyers around town and putting her picture in the paper.
"We had so many sightings, we never could get to her. She's so skiddish, in fact right now she is shaking in my arms."
But Monday morning Clendenin says she received some incredible news.
Clendenin's daughter Kim spotted Punkin Pie while driving her son Chip to school.
With the help of Animal Control director Pat Smith, and some Vienna sausage, Punkin was captured and brought back to her Thomasville home.
Clendenin was amazed when she learned where her Punkin Pie was living and how she managed to gain a few pounds over the last year.
"Sleeping in the woods is all we can come up with because she never went in anyone's home and the family said that they couldn't catch her. And they didn't know she was lost or that a family was looking for her."
Smith told Clendenin a family on the other side of town helped keep Punkin Pie alive.
"A really sweet lady had been putting dog food out, feeding her dog, and I guess at night or anytime to she could get up there, Punkin Pie was getting food."
And Punkin has been receiving some royal treatment since she's been home.
"Last night she got up in our bed and we fed her bacon. How much better can it get than that? So lot's of love and treats."
Clendenin says the day after Punkin Pie ran away she was scheduled to be spayed and get a microchip.
Clendenin says from now on, she'll put a harness on Punkin Pie when she goes outside.
She recommends other dog owners do the same.
WALB. All rights reserved.