Homeless man helps reunite woman with missing dog that escaped from groomers

By Jenna DeAngelis

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) -- Two days after a dog escaped from an Upper East Side groomer, he's back in his owner's arms, and as CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports, it's all thanks to the kindness of a stranger who wants to remain anonymous.

The dog, named Nori, has become quite the celebrity on the Upper East Side, many recognizing the 3-year-old pup from "missing dog" flyers all over the neighborhood.

The dog's owner, Diane Leighton, put the posters up after learning her dog escaped from the groomer "D is for Doggy" on 84th Street.

"They're like, I'm sorry, I know you're gonna be upset, but your dog slipped out, we lost him, we're looking for him," Leighton said. "I could never see my life without him, so I was gonna do whatever it took to come get him."

Forty-eight hours later, she got a call from a homeless man who found Nori and recognized him from the poster. Leighton and her boyfriend met the man at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem on Wednesday for the reunion.

"I was sobbing uncontrollably, of course, and he was just so genuine. 'Oh I fed him, I gave him some tuna, I gave him some water to make sure he's OK,'" Leighton said.

She says they gave the man money and are looking into ways to help him get back on his feet.

"I want to help him because he gave me something that I can, there's no cash value to this dog, he is everything to me, and now I want to repay him with whatever I can," Leighton said.

Leighton says strangers sharing Nori's story and the good out there is what brought him home.

"I can never express how grateful I am for everyone to help me," she said. "I'm just happy I have Nori back."

Nori has cuts and was limping a bit, but the vet says he's going to be OK.

The owner of D is for Doggy said they are so sorry, this was an unfortunate sequence of events and they are so happy Nori was found.

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