Toby bolted out the door at the Independence Animal Shelter Friday. Fortunately, the English springer spaniel had a leash on.

Toby bolted out the door at the Independence Animal Shelter Friday. Fortunately, the English springer spaniel had a leash on.

Perhaps Toby wanted to go home, or maybe he wanted start another adventure. He’s used them.

This dog loves getting loose. And if Toby could talk, he’d have a heck of a story to tell.

Like how he got from Affton, Mo., a suburb south of St. Louis, to Independence.

The 10-month-old Toby on Friday was reunited with his owners, Mike and Ashley Meyercord.

Karl Hensen, a family friend, traveled to the animal shelter Friday to bring Toby back to Affton because the Meyercords couldn’t make it.

Toby had been missing since October. After visiting relatives one night, Mike noticed the gate was open. Toby was gone.

Toby wore no collar or tags. That’s because Ashley had given the dog a bath and removed the collar. Toby’s hair was drying, so Ashley didn’t immediately put the tag back on.

The family posted “missing” fliers all over town. They offered a reward, too.

But after months of searching and no Toby, the family’s hope of seeing him again plummeted.

Toby’s lucky day happened Monday. Animal services got a call saying there were two dogs sitting in the middle of the intersection of Brookside Avenue and Kentucky Road in northwest Independence.

An animal services officer caught Toby. The other dog, a Lab mix, ran off.

The officer, following protocol, scanned the dog to see if Toby carried a microchip, said Aimee Wells, animal services manager for Independence. All confiscated animals are scanned, she said.

The Meyercords’ contact information was listed in the microchip. A few phone calls later, the family got the good news that Toby was safe.

How Toby safely trekked across Missouri, which is 246 miles one way, will be forever unknown.

“He’s a purebred, so someone may have found him running loose and said ‘I like him, I’m going to keep him,’ ” Wells said.

More than likely, Wells said, Toby didn’t travel across the state all by himself.

“He could have, but as good of condition he was in, I would say no,” Wells said. “He looked very well fed and taken care of when we got him.”

 But this wasn’t Toby’s first time escaping. In mid-summer, the dog darted out of the yard. It was a different yard than the second escape.

The family hadn’t made a tag for Toby. They created posters and offered a reward.

They got a call from the Missouri Humane Society. The dog’s description in the poster matched a dog they had recently picked up.

“We went down there, and sure enough, it was Toby,” Mike said.

Humane Society officials told the Meyercords that before Toby could leave the facility, a microchip had to be inserted in him.

“Had it not been for getting lost the first time, we wouldn’t have gotten the chip,” he said. “This is a very fortunate dog.”

Their 1 1/2 year-old son, Jordan, loved playing with Toby.

“This will be a lot joy for him to get his dog back,” Mike said.