The ashes of Onyx, a 165-pound rottweiler, were returned to her owner Wednesday, ending the mystery of a box purchased for $2.99 from a Puyallup Goodwill.
Kim Johnson, a Parkland woman, lost her 13-year-old dog two years ago, had her cremated, then had the box containing Onyx's ashes stolen a year ago.
"I've looked for her ever since," Johnson said. "I've lain awake nights wondering where she is."
Gerry Sperry, the Puyallup artist who bought the box on Dec. 31, was delighted to return it to Johnson.
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"It brings closure to someone who really loved their pet," he said. "It obviously was emotional for her, and I'm glad the story has a happy ending."
After Sperry's story ran in The News Tribune, he said he got plenty of email from folks who had similar boxes - and all of those contained pets, not human remains. When Johnson saw a photo of the box, she said, she instantly recognized it.
"I had her from the time she was 5 weeks old until she died at 13, and she went everywhere with me," Johnson said. "When the box was stolen about a year ago, I filed a police report. We got files that had been taken, but not what matter most - Onyx."