•In December, Kelly Olynyk, a player for the Utah Jazz, and his wife Jackie discovered a stray dog in a Texas parking lot.
•Upon finding out that the dog had a microchip, the couple made phone calls, sent emails, and even journeyed to the address provided. However, they learned that the dog’s owner had moved from that location.
•Upon receiving communication from the owner, they discovered that Harley, the dog, had been absent for a span of four years.
On Christmas, Utah Jazz forward-center Kelly Olynyk and his wife, Jackie, undertook a rescue mission. They stumbled upon a stray dog in a San Antonio parking lot and, taking the dog under their wing, tirelessly searched the city for its owner, who had been separated from the canine companion for four years.
Before the Jazz vs. Spurs game on December 26, the couple had traveled to Texas to celebrate the holiday together. While exploring downtown San Antonio for a meal, they encountered the lost dog. Jackie, a passionate dog lover, was quick to decide to care for the dog.
“My wife is a huge, huge dog person,” Kelly shared with The Salt Lake Tribune. “She loves all dogs — anytime there’s a dog, she has to go pet it. She’s one of those people. So when she saw [this dog], she was all in.”
He added, “She was like, ‘We’re finding some place for this dog, and if we can’t find a place for this dog, we’re keeping this dog,’”
After welcoming him into their care, the couple embarked on a journey to various animal shelters in search of refuge. Unfortunately, all the shelters were closed due to the holiday. Undeterred, they proceeded to an emergency clinic, where the veterinary team identified a microchip in the dog.
Having obtained the owner’s phone number and email address, they found themselves met with silence. Undeterred, the duo ventured to the owner’s residence, only to discover that the owner had moved, and the new occupants were unfamiliar with the dog. As a result, the couple found themselves temporarily responsible for the dog.
Jackie attempted to contact the woman through social media but did not receive a response. Subsequently, they were denied boarding for the dog. Unsure of what to do next, the couple brought the dog with them to their Christmas dinner.
While returning to their hotel, Jackie received a message from an acquaintance in San Antonio offering to take care of the dog for the night. Upon reaching the acquaintance’s vacant house, they initially left the dog in the backyard and departed. However, Jackie later informed Kelly that they “couldn’t leave” the dog and suggested “take it back to the hotel”.
The couple swiftly greeted him upon realizing the dog was in the middle of the street. As they headed back to the hotel, Jackie received a call from an unfamiliar number.
“She picks it up and the person was like, ‘Hey, I got a message that you might have found my dog,’” shared Kelly. “She’s like, ‘This is a crazy situation! The dog’s name is Harley?’”
“We go to the house and she opens the door, and the dog is jumping in her arms, and it’s so happy,” said Kelly.
At the reunion, the couple discovered that Harley had been missing for four years. Kelly recounted the woman’s explanation to The Salt Lake Tribune, saying, “”I used to work downtown, and I dropped her off at a dog sitter. When I went back after work to retrieve her, she was gone. The dog sitter had vanished, blocked my number, and simply made off with my dog.”
Upon hearing this, the group was incredulous. “Someone stole your dog four years ago?” they asked. The woman replied, “Yes, it’s truly a Christmas miracle.”
The basketball player excitedly shared, “We brought them back together after four years of separation!”