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Maltese retriever: small dog finds, carries home wallet lost by sanitation worker along route

Rudy Vonda, photographed on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Juneau, Alaska, lost his wallet on his garbage route on Monday in Juneau. The wallet was found by Lady Bunny, a 7-month-old Maltese puppy belonging to Bonnie and Brad Gruening, and returned to Vonda. (AP Photo/Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)

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Rudy Vonda, photographed on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Juneau, Alaska, lost his wallet on his garbage route on Monday in Juneau. The wallet was found by Lady Bunny, a 7-month-old Maltese puppy belonging to Bonnie and Brad Gruening, and returned to Vonda. (AP Photo/Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)

JUNEAU, Alaska - A 7-month-old Maltese puppy owned by Bonnie and Brad Gruening likes to retrieve. On Monday, Lady Bunny came home with an unexpected prize — a wallet its owner didn't know was lost.

The puppy found and brought home a wallet belonging to Rudy Vonda, a sanitation worker with Pacific Waste Management who drives a route in the Gruenings' North Douglas Island neighbourhood, the Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/1sqYszD) reported.

The Gruenings called Vonda to report their pooch had found his property.

"I didn't even know my wallet was missing. I checked my back pocket to make sure," Vonda said. "When the lady said a dog brought my wallet home, I figured it was a Labrador or German Shepherd."

He drove to the Gruenings' home and instead saw a little white dog.

"When I pulled up to her place, she's coming out and she's got her little dog in her arms and my wallet," Vonda said with a laugh.

The dog's head was barely bigger than his wallet, Vonda said.

Lady Bunny has a good nose. She has brought home other treasures, Bonnie Gruening said. "She particularly likes to take our neighbours' shoes."

The puppy took the wallet directly to Brad Gruening.

"It was really neat because we were able to get it back to the owner," Bonnie Gruening said, "Then to find out he's our sanitation guy, which is so awesome — they work so hard and do such a good job."

Vonda figures his wallet fell as he slid out of his truck cab to adjust a can for pickup. The wallet's drab olive green colour could easily have kept it lost.

"That was a real surprise," Vonda said of its return. "It was like a dog from heaven."

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