Ten-year-old Doogey, petrified of thunder, vanished from his Banjup home during a storm last November.
Owner Elaine Frost spent months searching the streets, checking pounds and lost-pet websites, but gave up hope of finding him.
‘We just hoped that he was with a loving family,’ she said.
Recently, however, alarm bells ringing across the web pages the family had used alerted Ms Frost’s daughter to a photo of an emaciated Dalmation, posted on the City website.
She doubted this sorry specimen could be Doogey, but called her mother anyway.
Ms Frost immediately recognised Doogey’s spots, unusually sparse for his breed.
‘We’ve always said he was a few spots short,’ she said, adding that his real name, Scooby Doo, fitted his nervy temperament.
Doogey had turned up near Thornlie train station after five months on the run, where a stranger picked him up and delivered him to the City pound.
Mr Woodward took one look and got the OK to take a ‘staggering’ Doogey straight to the vet, knowing somewhere, this pet would have a worried owner.
‘We don’t get many Dallys in ” maybe one or two a year,’ he said.
Doogey has now regained some of the 30kg lost during his ordeal, and though still as frightened as his namesake (the camera flash was almost too much) he had enough spirit to steal his mother Mia’s bone, as the photographer distracted her.
His ravenous hunger is now another thing he has in common with his fictional counterpart.
‘He’s even eating vegies. He wouldn’t touch them before, but now he eats everything,’ Ms Frost said.