Tennessee Smokies grounds dog found after 17 days missing

KODAK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "The longest he's ever gone missing [before] was three hours," Eric Taylor, groundskeeper for the Tennessee Smokies Stadium and handler to the Tennessee Smokies grounds dog, told WVLT News.

Tennessee Smokies grounds dog comes home after 17 days missing / Source: WVLT News

But on September 9, the team at the Tennessee Smokies Stadium discovered that their beloved grounds dog, Hound Dog, was gone. "I searched all night and couldn't find him," Taylor said.

Hound Dog was lost for 17 days. His absence was hard on Taylor, who said he has been friends with Hound Dog for eight years.

Taylor said as the days turned into weeks, the team got "nervous because there's no phone calls, no hope, there's no sign."

Word about the Tennessee Smokies' missing crew member spread across the community and to surrounding cities, and after more than two weeks, they got the call.

"Finally got a call that this lady had him, and she said it's 100 percent him." Taylor said he drove to the caller's location "a little faster than I probably should have."

The caller was right, Taylor said, they had found Hound Dog. The beloved friend, pet and coworker had eaten grass for 17 days and lost 20 pounds, but he was back home.

It took some time, but the Tennessee Smokies grounds dog has gotten back to work and is almost back "to his usual self."

Copyright 2019 WVLT News. All rights reserved.