ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A dog missing for nearly three weeks was reunited with his family in North Carolina just in time for Christmas.

Vivian Weir Dugan told the Asheville Citizen-Times on Monday that she and her husband, Jack, averted “a miserable Christmas” when their 7-year-old Australian Shepherd mix Whitney was found on Christmas Eve.

Whitney had gone missing in Hendersonville, more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from his Arden home. A man recognized him from a lost pets Facebook group.

The Dugans had pursued multiple tips to no avail. Group administrator Christy Lovelace said it was the longest exchange she’d seen, describing the search as a “wild goose chase” culminating in a “blessing.”

Dugan says they’ll be gifting GPS trackers to their dogs, and thank-you notes and cookies to all who helped.

Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times,

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