Dog Flees Groomer in Manhattan, Later Found in Hole by Homeless Man

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It's a happy reunion for a dog and its owners thanks to a homeless man who found the pup after it ran away from a grooming shop on the Upper East Side.

That comes 48 hours after little Nori, a 3-year-old Shiba Inu, found his way out from the D Is For Doggy business on East 84th Street. Diane Leighton and David Shin said their beloved pet had just gotten his bath when he escaped.

"All three doors were open at the same time. So it’s not like he ran out," said Shin.

After they were told that the dog was missing Monday morning, the couple got to work making and posting thousands of flyers from midtown to Harlem. After a frightening two days, Nori lost during the dog days of summer, they got a phone call.

"The guy's like 'Hey, I have your dog I think he’s injured. He’s bleeding. He's laying in my lap. I gave him some food and water,'" Leighton said. "I was like 'I’m coming, I’m coming right now!' Ran as fast as we could."

That reunion occurred at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem on Wednesday, where Leighton and Shin met up with the man who called them after finding their beloved Nori, hiding inside a hole. They said that another homeless man recognized the dog.

"He was like wait, we know this dog and they had the flyer," said Leighton. 

The grooming shop was also relieved to hear Nori had been found.

"We’re so sorry, the staff feels terrible. We’re all just so grateful Nori was found," owner Motty Gutflais told NBC New York over the phone.

Leighton and Shin are grateful — not only to the homeless man (who did not wish to be identified) and for Nori's safe return, but also to the countless strangers who helped post the flyers and search for their dog. They said that it gave them a sense of community again, after getting through the pandemic and hearing what seems like nothing but bad news.

"The amount of support and love was beyond words," said Shin.

The couple said that Nori is on the mend, and luckily did not have any serious injuries aside from some scrapes and bruises. They said that the homeless man — who told them he was a former dog walker and finds pets all the time, turning them over to animal services — asked for nothing in return, but they plan to visit him again.

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