DALLAS, Texas - A Dallas woman and her dog stolen outside a grocery store will enjoy the holidays together thanks to the power of social media and an extremely determined stranger.
Angela Ream and her 6-year-old chocolate lab, Wiley, made a routine stop at Trader Joe's on Greenville Avenue last Tuesday evening. When she left the store, Wiley was gone.
"I think I literally went inside to get milk," she said. "It's the worst thing in the world to lose your little baby girl."
Ream immediately posted on Facebook about her missing dog and hoped for the best.
Alyssa Sanderford, who didn't know Ream, happened to see the Facebook post the following morning.
"I'm going down the street, and I see the brown lab with the bright orange collar," Sanderford recalled. "And I'm like, 'That's the dog I was just looking at!'"
Sanderford stopped to confront the man at a bus stop that was holding Wiley's leash.
"I walked right up to him, and I said, 'I know the dog is stolen.' He said, 'I don't know what you are talking about,'" she recalled. "I went to go reach for the leash, and he was not happy. And I grabbed the leash, and I jerked it out. And then he just started running, and I was like, well, I have to stop him."
Sanderford chased the man across Mockingbird Lane and through a neighborhood, barefoot for 35 minutes. People watching her run by and even joined the chase, including some guys at a nearby Goodwill and a couple who let her hop in their car for part of the pursuit.
"She was really out of breath," Ream said when Sanderford called her. "And she was like, 'Angela, you don't know me, but I've seen your dog. I'm chasing after her.'"
The Goodwill guys finally caught up to the man, and police swooped in -- along with a very grateful Ream, who's expecting.
"I just kept thinking she's going to be such a good big sister. She has to be around to see the little baby," Ream said.
Ream and Sanderford are now friends, bound by a love for dogs and their humans.
"It doesn't sound like the safest chase," Ream said. "But we're certainly glad that she did it."
Since the dog was recovered, Ream says she doesn't plan on filing charges.