Reunited! Josef Martinez finds his lost dog (thanks to social media)

Almost every dog owner has experienced the pit in their stomach that occurs when the pup, unbeknownst to the owner, decides to go on a little solo adventure.

They can empathize with Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez, the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP and MLS Golden Boot winner, after his four-year-old chocolate lab Hachiko went missing this week.

“My dog is like a son to me, I've had him since I was in Italy,” Martinez said through a translator at training Wednesday. “He came over with me. I was remaining calm the whole time that we were going to find him. Luckily we're in the U.S., because if we were in another country... [Josef makes slashing motion across his throat].”

Martinez can joke about it now, but the situation was more serious than your typical dog runaway. He said Hachiko had been missing for a day and a half before one of his friends decided to put a post on Facebook about it, which Martinez shared on his Instagram account. Hachiko was found shortly thereafter, and he said the post was the reason why.

“I don't know exactly the name of the person who found him, but I just want to say thank you to her and to everyone for their help,” said Martinez. “He lost his little tag and everything. I think he was looking for a girl!”

Once Martinez posted on Instagram, he instantly got help from friends both near and afar. Several of his Atlanta United teammates and their significant others re-shared the post, including Miguel Almiron’s wife, who now lives in Newcastle but still has a big following from the Paraguayans’ time in Atlanta.

Martinez and Hachiko have a bond so strong that the Venezuelan was compelled to get a tattoo during his time in Atlanta with Hachiko’s name and paw print etched on his left breast. And for as relieved as he is now that his furry son is back home, he joked that those around him will be even happier.

“I have two dogs, and my friends and family love them more than they love me!”

Atlanta fans celebrated the reunion as well, taking to social media to celebrate Hachiko: 

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