Months after his beloved dog was stolen from his yard, Dara Prak had little hope there would be a happy reunion.
"I honestly thought I would never see my baby boy again," the Texas man said of his pit bull, Titan.
But recently, Prak was awakened by a phone call from Upstate South Carolina — with news that seemed unbelievable, he said.
Once Prak realized the phone call was no joke, he was ready for the journey to get Titan, who had somehow found himself nearly 1,000 miles away from home.
There was no explanation for how his dog made it from outside Houston to Greenville, or how Titan came to suffer severe injuries, reported KTRK-TV in Houston.
But the only thing that mattered to Prak was that Titan had been found. So he drove on what turned into a 16-hour, multi-state car ride to reunite with his dog, according to KTRK.
The reunion at Greenville County Animal Care was captured in a Facebook Live video, taken by Prak's girlfriend, Kara Hills. The moment brought Prak to tears.
Wearing a cone and sporting some ugly injuries to his left eye, Titan initially walked past a tearful Prak, the video shows. But then Prak got on the floor and Titan recognized his owner — and the pup responded by opening his good eye wide, nuzzling his head close to Prak's and happily wagging his tail before Prak wrapped him in a full-body hug.
"Titan's back, guys," Prak said into the camera when he regained his composure.
The ride home was smooth sailing for Prak, Hills and Titan — or "my baby," as Prak described Titan to KTRK.
“Once we got Titan, it was like driving didn't even matter," Hills said, KTRK/CNN reported.
It's still not known how Titan got from Texas to South Carolina.
In early March, Prak said he found only Titan's collar in his fenced-in backyard, according to myfox.com.
And while no certain explanation has been given for the pit bull's injuries, workers with Spartanburg Animal Control and Greenville County Animal Care told Prak they believed Titan had been abused by a person or was attacked by other animals, according to KTRK.
Titan was also malnourished when he was found badly bruised and walking along a South Carolina road, WSPA-TV reported.
But what is known is that it was Titan's microchip that reunited him with Prak and got him back to his Texas home, KTRK reported.
To help cover the cost for Titan's medical expenses, Prak has started a GoFundMe page, "Help make Titan healthy again." As of Sunday evening, $2,640 of a $5,000 goal had been reached with 75 donations.
On the GoFundMe page, Prak said he would drive around with Titan's collar and leash, holding out hope he would find his beloved dog. He also said the elation he felt when he heard that Titan had been found in South Carolina was overcome by anguish of seeing a picture of the emaciated, beaten pit bull.
"When the lady sent me a picture of my baby Titan, I lost myself and cried cause he looked severely abused and mistreated by the monsters who kidnapped him from my house," Prak wrote.
But this story has a happy ending.
Buoyed by his good fortune, Prak encouraged other pet owners to persevere if their animals go missing.
"Never lose hope of bringing our babies home, cause in reality; dogs, cats or any animal for that matter are not just 'Pets,' they are our babies and they will forever be a member of our family," he wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Take care of them, Love them and they will do the same for us."