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Texans LB Whitney Mercilus Reunited With His Two Lost Dogs (w/ PHOTOS)

For the second consecutive summer, the Houston Texans have had some sort of canine-related drama. Last year, it was former Texans safety D.J. Swearinger's pit bull biting linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, sending Clowney to the hospital to sew up an injury that, sadly, didn't even crack Clowney's personal top ten injuries for his Texans career.

This weekend, there was a far more dramatic dog story, one that potentially could have had a horrible ending but instead wound up with a happy final chapter. On Thursday, Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus allowed his two dogs, Rocky (a German shepherd) and Princess (a Chihuahua-Yorkshire terrier mix), into his backyard, where there was remodeling happening. Somewhere along the way, the dogs escaped, triggering a search for the two...

By Friday, through the power of social media — Mercilus has more than 57,000 Twitter followers — tips began rolling in and optimism ruled the day. Eventually, Mercilus shared the good news that the dogs had been corralled and were safe, being taken care of by good people, the Barrera family...

The Barreras had lost their own dog recently and were going to keep the two pups, but then they saw the story of Mercilus's dogs on the news and got in touch with the Texans' linebacker...

For their trouble, the Barrera family will be attending a Texans game this season as Mercilus's guest. "We've got a great fan base and great support in Houston overall," Mercilus said, according to SportingNews.com. "I just want to thank the support of everybody who chimed in and tried to get the word out. It was very helpful and got my dogs back."

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When you think about it, if we were not in the age of social media, Mercilus and his family might still be trudging around the Pearland area stapling "MISSING" signs to telephone poles, wondering if they would ever see the pooches again. Instead, because we live in the age of Twitter, Mercilus was able to spread the word within seconds with the push of a button. It's reason number 3,142 that Twitter is awesome.

And now that Mercilus's dogs are safe, female Texans fans could get back to the real reason they follow their favorite players on Twitter...

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