It's the moment all pet owners fear, but for one family the dreaded dream became a real-life nightmare when their beloved dog went missing earlier this week.
The Quick family came home to their North Austin apartment one afternoon only to find their dog Jax had been stolen. Rather than hear his bounding footsteps welcoming them home, they were met with silence instead.
"I feel violated and insanely upset that someone came into my room, my place and took my dog," Jordan Quick told FOX7 News.
"Of all things he could have taken my DVD's, pictures, posters, surround system, TV, I don't care," Jordan said. "He took my dog and that's unforgivable."
The family say there were no signs of forced entry, which left them at a greater loss as to what had become of Jax.
Exasperated, they continued their search with their only lead a white truck seen on their neighbour's surveillance cameras leaving their place around 1pm.
Jordan and his girlfriend, Jamie, started a Facebook page to find Jax. At first they were met with silence. However, within a few hours, in that wonderful way social media so often manages to do, they were put in touch with a man named Ken Paulsen.
A dog owner too, Mr Paulsen was on his way to the gym when he was shocked to see a dog fall onto the highway "at 60 miles an hour". Immediately he parked his car, scooped up the injured pup in his arms, spent more than $400 to get him treated at the vet, and put a call-out searching for the dog's true owner.
"I don't know if it hit a bump or jumped but it tumbled on to the highway," Paulsen said. "He very obviously had road rash all over from hitting the asphalt, you could visibly see one of his ribs was dislocated."
As it turns out, that dog was Jax-- a twist of fate Jordan and his girlfriend are "eternally grateful for".
The couple say they are "thankful and grateful" for the support the public has shown. Now, as they continue fundraising for their dog's recovery, they are simply excited for the day Jax is back to full health once again.
A happy ending for what could have been a truly tragic tale.