Tail chasing, mailman barking, fetch playing and four-legged furry snuggles are only a few reasons why dogs are truly man’s best friend. As so many welcome dogs into the family, an astonishing 3.9 million other dogs live in shelters each year. Some are abandoned while others are lost – all of whom need a home (or to return to a home) filled with love and care.
While we wish that every lost dog could be reunited with their owners, sometimes happy endings just don’t happen, especially when the dog has been missing for more than a couple of days. But, despite this reality, many owners refuse to give up hope that their dogs will come running around the corner, forever barking their way back into their lives once again. After all, miracles do happen.
Don’t believe us? Grab some tissue because we found 6 dog owner reunion stories that will spark your faith and bring you to tears! Are you ready? Let’s take a look at these heart-warming stories where owners and their dogs have been reunited after months and, even years, of searching!
#6 – Star
What puppy doesn’t whine or bark when they are fenced in and contained? Pit Bulls are no exception to this, which is a lesson that Crystal Sullenger learned the hard way. At only 11 months old, Sullenger let her Pit Bull pup, Star, roam freely in the fenced-in backyard without much thought. Unfortunately, when Sullenger went back outside to check on Star, he had escaped from the fence thanks to his endless supply of energy and puppy-like shenanigans.
Desperate to find her puppy, Sullenger looked for miles and miles before finally giving up after two years of her continuous search efforts. Eventually, she and her husband adopted two additional Pit Bulls and made the move to Pendleton, Oregon, where Sullenger began work at a local animal shelter, never forgetting the loss of her first dog. Four years after Star’s initial disappearance, Sullenger received an email from the police delivering great news: Star had been found during a drug raid on a house. Finally reunited, today, Star is only a head pat away from Sullenger as the Pit Bull never leaves her owner’s side!
#5 – Mia
Arizona news stations and local papers launched a media frenzy when a Chihuahua was found and rescued after being stuck to a glue-board trap! Hailed as “Abby the Rescue Pup”, Arizona citizens shared a collective “aww” as the owner and her pup, whose name was actually Mia rather than Abby, were reunited once again after a four month long search.
Typically set to catch bugs and rats, the glue-based trap ensnared Mia thanks to her petite size.
While trying to use all of the might she could muster in her tiny body, Mia ended up with glue all over her face and in her nose, causing her to have a difficult time breathing. Thankfully, a rescuer found Mia and was able to use oil from a peanut butter jar to carefully free the dog. Once free, Mia happily wagged her tail as she saw her owner come into the shelter to pick her up and take her back home! Stay away from those traps, Mia!
#4 – Dora
Dora the Explorer isn’t just a cartoon character – she’s also a curious and loveable dog! As her family enjoyed the 2014 Fourth of July fireworks from their backyard in Frisco, Texas, Dora became spooked and leapt over the fence at lightning speed! Panicked and heartbroken, the family looked for their precious Dora for weeks, never losing faith that one day they would be reunited.
Seven months into their search, in February 2015, the family’s luck (and Dora’s) forever changed. After picking up a stray dog who was microchipped, the Collin County Animal Shelter in McKinney, Texas discovered the dog was actually Dora and called the family to arrange the reunion. Captured on video, Dora’s family and shelter workers shared tears and laughter as Dora was obviously relieved to go home after months of living on her own in the wild.
#3 – Leia
Hope is never truly lost for pet owners and their missing four legged babies as owners continue to believe that one day their dog will come barking back into their lives. The same held true for Alma Dominguez as she held onto hope when her dog, Leia, ran away during a rain storm in El Paso, Texas. Desperate to find Leia, Alma called nearby shelters and continued to expand her search to neighboring states when, one day, Alma’s hope was rewarded.
Calling a shelter in Denver, Colorado, Alma described Leia and explained her story. Luckily, the description perfectly matched one of the rescued dogs in the kennel down the hall. As Alma continued to talk, the shelter volunteer walked down to Leia’s cage who, upon hearing Alma’s voice, began wagging her tail excitedly. Needless to say, Leia had been found and, after 700 miles of separation, a reunion was in the works. As Leia was taken to the groomer’s to get ready for her big day, Alma and her husband flew to Denver for the reunion of a lifetime!
#2 – Lola
If you thought two years was a long time to wait before being reunited with your dog, try waiting seven years! A Boston Terrier named Lola was living happily with her family in Florida when she dug a hole under the fence in the backyard and escaped. The Arango family searched for months for their beloved pet with no success and finally accepted the fact that Lola was gone forever; that is, until Linda Gall changed their fate.
Linda searched Craigslist to find the perfect dog, finally deciding on a precious brown and white terrier. When Linda took her new pup to the vet for a routine checkup, the vet discovered the dog’s microchip, giving Linda the dog’s real name and information. A true dog lover, Linda called Julie Arango and her daughter in Homestead, Florida with the news that Lola had been found. With Lola and her family reunited, Linda said, “I love animals. I care about them and, if they’re missing their dog, the dogs belongs to them – not me.” What a truly remarkable “happily ever after” for Lola and her family!
#1 – Boozer
Seven months or seven years, either sounds like a lifetime when it comes to a missing pet. But, what about nine years? With the longest missing pet on our list, Boozer the Boxer was 10 years old when he was found after missing a whopping nine years from his Tennessee home.
Found by a man in Denver, Colorado, Boozer was given to the Foothills Animal Shelter earlier this summer as the owner and his family planned a cross-country move. Once at the shelter, Boozer’s microchip was found, which revealed his real name and his true owner as Lloyd Goldston. Nine years ago, Boozer went missing as the Goldston’s moved from Tennessee to Alabama, but an incredible 18 hour drive almost a decade later led to a teary reunion as Lloyd said, “He was never gone. He was always in our hearts. We never forgot him.”