So, how did he do it? Well, it seems so obvious now: The bouncing baby found his time machine. In the mall! It was in a past Stewie’s backpack (don’t ask), so current day Stewie stole it and used it to travel back to the day Brian was killed to save him.

“You’re alive, my friend!” Stewie yelled with joy after protecting his pal. “I couldn’t live without you, so I came back from the future to save your life.”

Brian was pretty touched, though he did allude to the show’s brief replacement dog, Vinnie. “Thank you for saving my life,” he said. “A lot of other families would have just gotten another dog and moved on.”

Creator Seth Macfarlane, who also voices Brian, couldn’t resist taking to Twitter to tease those fans who angrily petitioned for the dog’s return.

Macfarlane also added: “I mean, you didn’t really think we’d kill off Brian, did you? Jesus, we’d have to be f—ing high.” But his last message was itself warm and fuzzy, a message from Brian.