FEEDING HILLS, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A community-wide search for a missing 14-year-old blind and deaf golden retriever has paid off in Feeding Hills.
It was an Agawam man who found Chez on Wednesday and helped to reunite the dog with his family.
Dozens of community members from Feeding Hills and beyond were searching for Chez, a blind and deaf golden retriever, who was missing since Monday.
A Facebook post shared more than hundreds of times showed Chez walking in the rain.
Finally, late Wednesday afternoon, one man was able to locate the dog.
"When I found him, I came to this location on North Westfield Street. I figured this would be a good start. I walked down to the river's edge and wanted to see what was going on and I kind of assessed the area," said Jon Benerakis.
Benerakis, a landscaper in Agawam, found Chez laying on the ground inside Robinson State Park where dozens of volunteers had been searching.
"Maybe five or 10 minutes later, I saw him down by the river's edge. I made my way down there. I couldn't believe it was him and I wanted to see if he was okay," Benerakis explained.
The colored leaves and Chez's disabilities made it hard to tell where Chez was and what condition he was in.
"I saw his eyes flicker and his nose twitch, gave him food and water, and he took it, so I know he was located," Benerakis added.
Once Benerakis located Chez, he put his sweatshirt around him trying to keep him warm and comfortable.
"There was no reaction until I put the food really close to him and he started lifting his head and I knew then we could get him out," Benerakis said.
Once the paramedics arrived, they were ale to provide a stretcher. After that, Benerakis and one of Chez's owners were able to carry him up the embankment and bring him to safety.
Benerakis told Western Mass News he did not know Chez or his family, but the moment he saw the missing dog, he felt that connection.
"I just went straight to him. It's like it was meant to be and we are happy about it," Benerakis explained.
When he witnessed Chez reunite with his family, it was rewarding and emotional.
"There was a little girl and their son was here and the little girl hugged me and it made it worth it," Benerakis said.
Since then, Chez's owners have been in touch with his rescuer and tell him he is doing great, even standing up on his own.
"They reassured me he's home, he's okay, and that was nice," Benerakis said.
Since saving Chez, Benerakis has received countless messages, but he is mostly thankful the children get their beloved dog back.
"I'm just glad for the kids too that they can spend a few more years with the dog," Benerakis noted.