When Bobby Weaver rescued his dog, King, the second time, he promised he would never let anything happen to him again.
For the first rescue, Robert "Bobby" Weaver - the now-28-year-old Oxford resident who has been missing since September 5, 2013 - and his then-girlfriend found a 6-month-old puppy in the middle of a bridge on Ga. Hwy 138 toward Ga. Hwy 212 in the middle of the night.
The puppy was the only remaining from a number of dogs thought to have been thrown over the bridge.
Bobby's grandmother, Evelyn Weaver, who raised him, said she did not want Bobby to keep the puppy because it was a pit bull. But Bobby took care of him anyway.
The second time came after Bobby and his girlfriend broke up about a year later and she took King to a pound in Stockbridge after three days.
King was put in a pen and gassed - a seemingly common method of animal euthanization that has long attracted criticism by animal activists - with about 10 other dogs to be euthanized. When pound employees went to remove the animals' bodies, King was still alive.
Bobby had been looking online, trying to find King, when he read about a dog who had survived euthanization.
"He said, ‘Grandma, I'm going after King. I know it's King,'"
Bobby came back with his dog.
He promised he would never be in a situation again where anybody could get to him.
But now King needs to be saved a third time, and Bobby is not there to help.
"I still can't sleep at night"
Bobby was walking south down Ga. Hwy 142 with King when he disappeared near Stone Road. Weaver said she saw her grandson, described as 5-foot, 8-inchs and 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, the evening he disappeared as she was driving home from the store on Ga. Hwy 142. She said she stopped her car and asked if he wanted a ride home but that he said he was going to walk King and would be back soon.
"I still can't sleep at night, and it's been eight months of this," Evelyn Weaver said.
She recently moved to Indiana to be with her daughter and her family and to get away from the town where everything reminds her of the grandson she raised as a son.
"There was a long story between him and his father," Weaver said. "I fought for him. Except for about four years of his life, I've had him."
It's not like him to just disappear, Weaver said. Bobby was diagnosed with Arnold-Chiari Malformation, a structural defect in the brain that affects balance and requires daily medication, including methadone in Bobby's case. According to initial reports, investigators told news sources they were concerned Bobby's methadone treatments may have led to drug addiction, but his grandma was adamant that he constantly tested negative for drugs other than his medications.
"It hurts all the way through your shoulders and your head," Weaver said of Bobby's symptoms. "He knew he couldn't fight because if anybody hit him in the head he'd be dead."
She said she is angry at the sheriff's deputies on the investigation because they were sure he had left on his own. A $2,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the location of Bobby or the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his disappearance, but Weaver said she is now offering $4,000.
"He would never have done that. He has medicine he needs, and it's here. Something has happened to him," Weaver said.
NCSO Detective Ed Digby, who is the contact listed on findbobbyweaver.org, said there is no new information at this time. The most recent article The News ran on Bobby was April 24.
Weaver also clarified initial reports that a large sum of money was taken out of his bank account after he went missing. She said he withdrew $600 just before he went missing and gave $400 of that to his aunt for rent.
"Bob was a very recluse person. He didn't go anyplace," Weaver said.
Bobby's son, who will be eight in June, currently lives in Kentucky with his mother. Weaver said he calls sometimes, screaming, asking where his dad is.
"He just doesn't understand where his daddy is," Weaver said. "I tell him I think Jesus came down and took him to be up there with him."
"An 83-pound lap dog"
When Weaver moved to Indiana, she knew she could no longer take care of King, so she brought him to Animal Medical of Covington Inc., located at 7120 Industrial Blvd NE in Covington, across the road from Mamie's Kitchen.
King found his way back to Weaver's house four days after Bobby and he went on that walk.
Carol Johnson, practice manager at Animal Medical, said King acted weird when he returned, noting that type of animal behavior usually means the animal saw or was subjected to something adverse.
"It's not fair to have him locked up," Johnson said. "Did he get away? Was he locked up? He was a little suspicious when we first got him. He would keep running out the door to look for Bobby.
"He came right out of that. He's a big ol' giant fatty, especially for a treat."
Johnson said he has already lost five pounds in the month he has been at Animal Medical and could stand to lose 30 more. Bobby liked to give him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
"He's an 83-pound lap dog," Johnson said.
Johnson said King needs a new home because they cannot keep him forever. But the last thing she wants to have to do is euthanize him.
That may be the only choice, unless someone adopts King.
"I'm not sure how long we can give him," Johnson said.
Animal Medical currently has five other animals that have been abandoned and also need a home. The few no-kill animal shelters in the area have been full for a couple years since the economy dropped, Johnson said.
She has never had an animal for which she could not find a home, but she wants to make sure King follows the same pattern. King is a pit bull-mix, possibly part pointer, Johnson said, but does not demonstrate any behaviors that scare people away from pit bulls.
"He's a bouncy, happy dog. He knows a bunch of tricks," Johnson said. "Every dog and cat he's been with he's been fine with. He just wants to be loved."
When brought to the front of Animal Medical, King acted like a puppy rather than a 10-year-old dog, bouncing around human legs, licking and exploring his surroundings. He enjoyed jumping onto the leather benches that wrap the front waiting room to look out the window.
He shook paws when asked and just looked, not barked, at a dog in the back yard of the building.
Johnson said there are no fees attached to adopting King and that he is fully updated on vaccinations, heart worm medicine and flea medicine and is neutered.
For King's sake and for Evelyn Weaver's sake, Johnson said she hopes someone will come forward and save this dog who has "been through so much."
"She's just heartbroken," Johnson said of Weaver. "It was the last thing she had of Bobby."