Widow of Fallen Marine Reunited with Lost Puppy

The Mullins family adopted Mocha after their husband and father, a Marine, was killed last November. So when Mocha went missing just before Thanksgiving, the family spent the holiday devastated for the second year in a row. But this week brought the story to a happy ending when, thanks to a group of dedicated firefighters, the puppy was reunited with his family.

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A happy reunion

Violeta Mullins was traveling from California with her father, brother, and three children to visit family for the holiday. They stopped at a McDonald's, where Mocha, a 4-month-old Beagle, broke free from her leash.

Mullins flagged down a group of firemen with the Northwest Fire District, who were refueling their truck and told them what happened. “It had to be a horrible site to see—a lost dog with three children crying and a mom trying to keep it together,” said Mullins.

She also told them about her husband, Gunnery Sgt. Greg Mullins, who was one of the four marines killed in an accident at Camp Pendleton. Mocha was named after the Marine’s favorite drink, white mocha Frappuccino.

Moved by their story, firefighter Jared Gonzales promised to continue the search. He and the team posted flyers and photos on social media. Eventually the dog was tracked down at the Pima Animal Care Center. The reunion took place Monday in the same parking lot where he escaped.

"When I lost my husband we wanted to bring that joy again," Mullins told Tuscon Local Media. "I just feel so lucky and blessed that she was found."

PSA: Dogs that are microchipped have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners. Find out more here.

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