A three-week search for a missing golden retriever that went viral ended happily Wednesday after the dog, Ruger, was found in South Portland.

Owner Jamie Gaudreau said Thursday that Ruger, who had been missing from her Westbrook home since July 13, was found in South Portland following a thunderstorm Wednesday afternoon.

Gaudreau said that Ruger was rescued by South Portland resident Christine Tweedie and her dog, Gracie, after Ruger followed Gracie into their home on Grandview Avenue, off Main Street.

“She (Tweedie) had seen the post on Facebook from the Maine Lost Dog Recovery and through a mutual friend,” Gaudreau said.

During the past few weeks, posts about Ruger on social media have garnered hundreds of shares and comments about sightings throughout Greater Portland.

Gaudreau said Wednesday that the search also received help from Scarborough business Paws Applause, which sent out a mass email and boosted a post on Facebook that reached some 10,000 people.

“It was amazing that I was getting messages and emails from people all over the place that I had no idea were even out looking and following this,” she said.

Jamie Gaudreau, left, and friend Marcie Flores, give Ruger a bath Wednesday night. Ruger, owned by Gaudreau, went missing three weeks ago. Flores, the owner of Heaven Scent Grooming in Gorham, provided the complimentary bath.

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