NBC New York
Ruth Torres was reunited with her lost dog when she spotted him on "Today." Pei-Sze Cheng reports. UPDATE: Dusty has been returned to the shelter.
A Bronx woman was reunited with her lost dog Friday after she spotted him on NBC's "Today" in a segment showing off pets put up for adoption.
"It was a miracle," said Ruth Torres.
Torres got separated from her beloved Irish Wolfhound, Dusty, three weeks ago, when her brother took the dog. Torres didn't realize Dusty was actually lost until she saw "Today" Friday morning.
That's when animal advocate Jill Rappaport and Center for Animal Care and Control official Richard Gentles were introducing an Irish Wolfhound in the recurring "Bow to Wow" segment.
"They said, 'Here comes Mooki,'" said Torres, who watched in disbelief as the black Irish Wolfhound was brought onto the set. "I said, 'That's not Mooki! It's Dusty!' I said, 'Oh my God, Mommy, hurry, hurry! Dusty's on TV.'"
Torres and her mother rushed to the Animal Care and Control Center in East Harlem to claim Dusty. There was no mistaking it was her pet and friend of three years -- the dog wagged his tail excitedly as he saw Torres and leapt up repeatedly to lick her face.
Torres learned from shelter workers that Dusty had been found abandoned at a dog run in the Bronx. Torres believes her brother, who she said has been through some tough times, left Dusty in the park and never called to tell her.
To complicate matters, Dusty wasn't wearing a name tag and didn't have a microchip, nor was he properly licensed.
Torres works at night and says she wouldn't normally be awake to watch "Today." But for some reason Friday, she just happened to wake up early.
"It was a miracle," she said. "That doesn't happen like that, it's no coincidence. I believe it was to get Dusty."
Before Torres could bring her dog of three years back to her home, he needed to be microchipped and licensed to prevent Dusty from getting lost again. He returned to his old owner Saturday.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Get our apps here and sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.