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UPDATE: Miranda Huckeby shared on social media that Sky secured a ride from New Mexico. If all goes as planned, Sky and Merrick should be reunited by Friday.

Original story:

ANDERSON, Ind.- An 8-year-old boy is without his companion dog. The Huckeby family was driving cross-country in the process of moving to central Indiana from California.

Sunday night, Miranda Huckeby, her son Merrick, and her husband made a pit stop in New Mexico. The two adults got out alongside a road to check under the hood of their truck. Within seconds, their dog Sky took off.

“She was gone. It was terrifying,” said Miranda Huckeby, Merrick’s mom.

They searched, called her name and drove around the desert, but no luck. It was dark and there was no sign of Sky. Sadly, they had to keep driving.

“I have a little boy in the backseat and his dog is gone. That was hard,” said Huckeby.

Sky is extra special. Merrick depends on his dog.

“Merrick has severe autism and Sky has been with him for four years. She mothers him. She herds him. She comforts him. She loves on him,” said Huckeby.

A relative started posting online, asking for help finding Sky somewhere out west. Not even a day later, someone found a dog with a collar on near a church, took her to a local animal shelter and a rescue group made the connection.

“She has just been a real sweetheart as you can tell she’s laying down next to me,” said Dale Kuehnert, director of Grants Animal Care Center.

Sky is safe at the Grants Animal Care Center in New Mexico.

“This is a happy story because we always want a dog to get back and be reunited with their family. In this case, it’s a pretty special story obviously because the family was traveling through the area,” said Kuehnert.

A lot of miles still stand between Merrick and Sky. Now the focus is getting a boy and his dog back together in their new home in Indiana.

“Just how thankful I am. How thankful that little boy is going to be when he gets his dog back, it means a lot,” said Huckeby.