updated 02/20/2008 AT 10:50 AM ET
•originally published 02/19/2008 AT 6:10 PM ET
John Rich, one half of the country duo Big & Rich, recovered from a scare on Tuesday when his 3-year-old American bulldog, missing since Friday, was returned to him by a student at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University.
Rich, who lives near the Vandy campus, has had the pup, named Frank Sinatra Rich (in honor of Rich’s favorite singer), since the dog was four weeks old and was “completely shaken up” by the pet’s disappearance, says his rep, Tree Paine.
“You can take anything from me, but losing my dog is like losing part of my family,” Rich said of the 130-lb., tan and white pup, according to Paine.
Rich discovered Frank was missing when he returned home Friday night and saw that someone had broken into his property and stolen a horn off the exterior of his car. At first, he thought the intruder left the gate open and the dog wandered off, but when Frank didn’t return the fear arose that the pup had been stolen.
Rich filed a police report, but just as he was about to announce the missing pup to the media, he received a call from the college student saying he had found Rich’s dog. Frank’s ID collar with Rich s contact information was missing, but he still had a tag with an 800 number for a microchip company. The student called the number and was given Rich’s details.
The country singer raced over to reunite with Frank as soon as he got the call. “He was so excited!” Paine says. “I’ve never seen John Rich freaked out, but he was so upset by this.”
For his good deed, the Vanderbilt student received from Rich a lifetime supply of all-access/backstage passes to Big & Rich shows.