Lab reunited with Fla. family after owner dies on Pa. highway

The sweet dog with the ugly name is back home in Florida after enduring a tragedy in Pennsylvania.

Rancid, a black Lab, was left stranded on an icy Pennsylvania road after his owner was killed in a post-Christmas accident on treacherous I-78 in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Richard Helms had pulled over and gotten out of his car to help a stranded motorist when another car lost control and hit him.

Helms' wife of 30 years and his daughters had a fairy godmother in Pennsylvania resident Peggy Powell, who transported Rancid back to the family's south Florida home, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

When Powell and Rancid arrived Helms' wife Patricia and two daughters were waiting.

There was plenty of tears and tail wagging to go around when Rancid arrived.

"There was no doubt that we had to get that dog here," Helms said.

Powell and Helms threw their arms around one another as both broke into tears.

"Two miles away he started going crazy," Powell said. "He started crying and turning around. He sensed he was home."

Helms, a handyman, found Rancid as a puppy in an empty apartment in Fort Worth, Tex. 12 years ago. Someone had left him behind.

But Rancid - named for a punk rock band - was never alone again. Helms and his companion traveled the country, wherever work took them.

It was an Allentown towtruck driver who rescued Rancid on Dec. 26 after finding him alone in the car after the accident.

"If there would have been no family, we'd have kept him," said Joe Kriebel, whose family includes two dogs and three cats. "He's definitely one of a kind."

When Helms' family was located, Powell offered to give Rancid a ride home.

"God told me this is something I had to do," Powell told the newspaper. To pay for the trip, well wishers made donations through a pet shelter in Pennsylvania and a Florida vet hospital.

Helms' daughter, Alyssa, says they are glad to have Rancid home.

"'Cause that's what my dad would have wanted more than anything," Alyssa said. "We just wanted him home."