Monica Benson says she and her children haven’t seen the family dog in more than a year, but as they were reunited late Saturday, the Maltese ran right up and showered them with kisses. “It was unbelievable. He really knew who we were,” said Benson of Clio. “It was an amazing evening.” Caesar’s 9:30 p.m. reunion with the family capped off a 1,500-mile journey for the dog.
The was was on vacation driving with her husband. five children, and dog Caesar on a remote stretch of Interstate 40 near Tucumcari, N.M., when their minivan overturned. Gary Benson and daughter Emily died from injuries in the crash. And the youngest child was in the ICU for quite some time. Caesar the family’s little white Maltese was missing.
Caesar even though he was missing helped in the little boys recovery, he was in ICU and in and out of consciousness. The family put up pictures of the little boy with his dog and each time he woke up he would point to the pictures and say Caesar. When the little boy recovered the family decided it was time to go home and try and start over they had already tried and failed to find Caesar out in the desert.
On Friday, a volunteer for the Tucumcari Animal Rescue Group was looking for adoptable dogs at the local animal shelter and spotted a furry white Maltese. The volunteer then took the chosen dogs to a veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a microchip, which Caesar had. The volunteer, Christina Flemming, called the chip company and was given a Michigan phone number, but the number was disconnected. The volunteer did some research and found the article in the local paper about a Michigan family involved in a car accident and found the funeral home that dealt with the services for the father and daughter. The funeral home gave her the number of the grandfather.
Caesar is on his way home via some very special volunteers the hope is he will arrive on Saturday and playing with the children.