HANNIBAL — A 9-month-old Yorkie wasn't about to leave a Missouri rest stop without his master. Mistakenly left behind by an Arkansas truck driver, Rambo waited there for two days until his owner was able to track him down.
Rambo jumped out of Michael Siau's rig when Siau stopped at a rest area near Hannibal on Friday, the Hannibal Courier-Post reported.
"Didn't even cross my mind that he might jump out. He never has before," Siau said. "I jumped back in the truck, put it in gear and drove off. And I just thought he was in the back asleep."
Siau made it all the way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 170 miles to the north, before he realized Rambo was gone. But he knew if he turned around, his schedule would be thrown off and his job jeopardized.
Siau was heartbroken. In October, Rambo's father, Ollie, who also accompanied Siau on trips, was run over and killed. Siau was so distraught he took six months off work, and the thought of losing another dog was too much to bear.
Siau said he was "freaking out" as he tried to determine where Rambo was lost. He finally concluded the puppy must have gotten out in Missouri.
Siau began calling authorities. By Sunday morning, he had learned Hannibal had jurisdiction over the rest area. Hannibal animal control officer Tim Ledbetter was sent to the site.
Sure enough, little Rambo was there, sitting patiently.
But he might not have been there much longer. Ledbetter said a family that had stopped at the rest area was prepared to adopt the apparently lost puppy.
"In about 60 seconds, he would have been gone," Ledbetter said.
Siau was in Hannibal on Tuesday to pick up his buddy and thank those at the animal shelter who found Rambo and took care of him.
When a shelter worker brought the dog out for the reunion, Rambo heard Siau call his name and began to whimper, tremble and squirm. Once in Siau's arms, Rambo climbed up his shoulder and began kissing the back of his neck.
"You've never been this excited," Siau said.
Siau and Rambo then left for the next stop, Tennessee. From now on, Siau said, he'll always make sure Rambo is on board.