Freddy's Back

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Freddy*/, a golden retriever-lab mix, is finally back in Lemoore, resting with his owner.

/*Lemoore*/ City /*Councilman John Gordon*/ said he and Freddy were supposed to leave for a Hawaiian vacation on Tuesday. He jokingly said, maybe Freddy just didn't want to go.

Looking tired, Freddy is finally back home with his owner, Lemoore City Councilman John Gordon. Gordon's parents even hung up a sign on their front gate -- letting everyone know the golden retriever-lab mix is home.

Freddy is a service dog. Councilman Gordon is a paraplegic and relies on Freddy to pick things up for him.

"If I need something lower than 6 inches it's not happening unless Fred's there or I got to bug somebody else," said Gordon.

But to Gordon, Freddy is much more than a service dog. He's a beloved family pet and friend. So when he went missing Thursday while Gordon was at a friend's house, he was devastated.

"It had gotten dark by then and we went out to get Fred on a leash but he wouldn't come."

Gordon said Freddy was acting unusual and refused to come close to the house. Since he's scared of loud noises, Gordon feared he ran away when he heard people searching for him.

Following Thursday, John Gordon spent countless hours searching for Freddy. They looked by the Kings River which was near where he went missing. Then, finally, a cotton farmer spotted him on Monday -- but when Gordon showed up to get him, Freddy seemed too afraid to go near him and ended up running away again.

"So I don't know what was going on but poor guy was in a bad mental place."

Gordon wouldn't give up. He called in all kinds of friends. A search and rescue helicopter even tried to help. Still, it wasn't until early Wednesday morning that Freddy was found by one of Gordon's friends.

"Jason pulled him out of that water and the mud and he had to put Fred in a headlock to make sure Fred didn't bite him because Fred didn't want anything to do with him."

Freddy was muddy and is still recovering from a gash in his left hind leg. John Gordon hopes his pup will learn to trust him again.

"I got to do my work to repair if there's any damage I got to make sure he trusts me again and that bond is still there."

Freddy's wound is expected to heal in a few weeks. When he got home, he was fed tri-tip on a fork and has received more than 10 treats.

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