Paul Rush received a bit of good news concerning his beloved dog Spot, who has been missing since Rush’s truck was stolen while Spot was inside on Jan. 31.

Rush lives in Anthony, New Mexico, but was in Rio Rancho for an appointment when his truck and, more importantly, Spot were stolen from the parking lot at the Sandoval Regional Medical Center.

Courtesy of Paul Rush.

“I’ve had him since he was 2,” Rush said. “He’s 18 now; he’s blind and he’s a little old and might be going a little deaf, too. He has selective hearing, let’s put it that way. But he’s my best bud and he has to go everywhere I go.”

There have been some Spot spottings since then, including a bogus claim by a scammer that cost Rush $100. Several reports identified Spot on the Sixth Street Frontage Road near the Big-I. A group of five or six have been looking daily in that and other areas Spot has been seen.

A new sighting puts Spot in a completely different area: near Paseo del Volcan and Unser, roughly a mile from where he was stolen. That was nearly three weeks ago, but the fact that Spot is still being seen gives Rush some hope.

“It’s good news because he’s made it this long,” Rush said. “That’s a good sign because dogs learn how to stay safe at night and stay away from the coyotes. It’s rough country out there, especially being blind.”

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for Rush since Spot went missing. There’s obviously the bad of having his dog stolen and being scammed out of $100. But some good has come from this as well.

Dozens of people have volunteered time and effort into finding Spot. There has been a Facebook page created that is dedicated to searching for Spot. A Rio Rancho nurse has offered up use of a drone to aid in the search but the weather hasn’t yet cooperated. East Mountain Pet Alert has been posting updates on social media and flyers about Spot and have reached more than 70,000 people. One woman has been making weekly treks from her Farmington home to help find Spot.

“It’s wonderful,” Rush said. “The good outweighs the bad.”

Rush is offering a $500 reward for the safe return of Spot, no questions asked.

Spot was wearing a collar and name tag. He is also chipped. If anyone sees Spot or recognizes the truck, they are asked to contact the Rio Rancho Police Department or the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office.

Rush will not stop searching until he finds Spot. Sadly, he’s even been checking carcasses on the side of the road to see if it’s his beloved Cocker Spaniel. Rush is trying to set up an anonymous Crime Stoppers line with Rio Rancho police and the Sheriff’s Office, hoping whoever stole his truck will at least let him know where they dropped off Spot.

“I don’t want to know anything about the truck; I don’t care,” Rush said. “Just tell me where you dropped my dog off. At least for closure. I just hurt for him because I know he’s trying to find me and he’s lost.”