(CNN) – Nicole Chavez and Marlena Baldacci report: More than 11,000 miles and about 48 hours later, Irgo has finally arrived at his new home in Kansas.
The Swindle family reunited with the beloved dog Thursday in Wichita, two days after United Airlines mistakenly sent the 10-year-old German shepherd across the world to Japan.
“He instantly jumped up and was crying,” Kara Swindle told CNN affiliate KSNW of the moment when they were reunited. “When he’s super excited, he cries.”
“It feels actually amazing to finally have him back,” she added.
Irgo was flown back to the United States and reunited with his family in Kansas.
The Swindles were in the midst of moving from Oregon to Kansas this week. They had sent Irgo on a cargo flight to Kansas City, but when they went to retrieve him, he was nowhere to be found. In his place, they discovered a Great Dane that was supposed to be en route to Japan.
“It was just instant tears,” Swindle told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday with Irgo safely at her side. “I didn’t even know what to think. I was just so worried about where my dog was instead.”
The mix-up sent the Swindles into a panic. It was Irgo’s first time flying; on top of that, he had come down with an ear infection before the flight, Swindle said.
She said the airline was unable to confirm Irgo was on the flight to Japan until it touched down nearly eight hours after she went to pick up her pet.
The airline apologized and said it would arrange the return of the pets to their owners as soon as possible … (read more)