Maggie the lost dog returns home after five months

By Joe Bennett

July 17, 2013 Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 9:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- In early February we told you the story of Maggie, a golden retriever who went missing from her home at Illinois Cycle and Fitness in Peoria.

The well-mannered retriever who won the attention of so many people is home at last.

"She's getting reacquainted with all of the people that had missed her and come in and visited her, all of the people she's kind of grown up with over the years," said her owner and owner of Illinois Cycle and Fitness John Bousky.

After a popular Facebook campaign to retrieve the dog thought to be lost, Maggie was discovered to have been dog-napped and taken to Denver.

Bousky said, "I knew the guy really well and I didn't think he could have possibly have done it."

He suspected the dog-napper was someone who helped care for Maggie.

Recently, one of Bousky's sons planned an unrelated trip to Denver.

"So [my son] went over there, rang the doorbell and she came to the front door."

Bousky took legal steps to bring Maggie home but hit some snags in the logistics of working with multiple departments.

"So then I contacted the individual who had taken her and said if you give us the dog back, it will all drop right here and we won't pursue any criminal charges or anything,” Bousky said. “So they agreed to it and gave her back to us."

We spoke with someone close to Maggie's abductor who wants people to know the dog-napper cares very much for Maggie.

Some people felt the family dog spent too many nights alone in Bousky's bicycle shop.

Those people said Maggie was happy in Denver.

"You know, I'm sure she was because she came back to us in great shape,” Bousky admits. “But I don't know who would say that or why they would."

Through Maggie's eyes, she simply took a long vacation with a close friend out West and then came back to the family, friends, employees, and customers who are happy to see her home.