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Rescued dog 'Nemo' reunited with family

January 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A dog that was found clinging to a dock in the waters of Marina Del Rey has been reunited with his family on Thursday.

The family had been searching for him for months when they saw the story on Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

"I knew right away, I mean instantly," said owner Daniel Rodriguez. "And we all just stood there in shock. I mean, two months later?"

Rescuers named the dog Nemo after he had been found emaciated, hanging on to life under a dock in Marina Del Rey.

But Nemo's home was in Norwalk with the Rodriguez family, and his actual name is Ghetto. His family said he ran away when a cable installer left the gate open.

"After looking and looking and looking, I go to the shelter," said Rodriguez. "It starts to weigh on you, seeing these dogs and not seeing yours day-in and day-out. You have to come to the sense that we won't find him."

"I wanted to hold him again. I wanted to walk him again," said Nathan Rodriguez. "I wanted to take him everywhere that we used to take him."

Ghetto actually escaped death twice, once in the ocean and once at the pound. That's why rescue groups are urging everyone to tag and microchip your dogs, so they can be returned easily if they're ever lost.

"He was almost euthanized," said Nathan Rodriguez. "That would have been avoided if he were chipped."

It was a lesson learned the hard way, but one with a happy ending.

"We walk down the street and people look at him and are just drawn to him," said Kim Rodriguez. "His inner beauty and strength is amazing. He's an amazing dog, and we're grateful to have him back."