Chicago, Aug 11: Nine years after he went missing, a lost dog has had an emotional reunion with his owners, who drove over 4,000 km to bring back their pet from an animal shelter in the US state of Colorado.
"It's like getting a member of the family back," said Boozer's owner Lloyd Goldston. Boozer, a 10-year-old boxer mix, recently showed up at the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado, and a microchip scan identified the lost dog.
Boozer went missing from his family's home in Tennessee in 2006 when he was just eight months old. He was picked up by another family who kept him for nine years.
When they moved to Colorado their new place did not allow dogs so they brought him to the animal shelter. Goldston's daughter was 15 years old when she returned home from school and found an empty backyard.
"It was shattering," said Boozer's owner Megan Marr. "I didn't ever expect to see him again."
Once Boozer was brought into the shelter his microchip was scanned and Goldston was contacted. Goldston said his wife, whose email was registered on the microchip, got a message last Tuesday with the subject line "Boxer dog."
After an exchange of pictures, he said he knew at once it was Boozer. Goldston and his family quickly decided to take the 4,116 km drive from Lacey's Spring, Alabama, to the shelter in Colorado to see Boozer again and take him home.
"Whatever he's got left, however many years he has left, it's just going to be filled with love and family and fun. And you know, he's home," Goldston was quoted as saying by CBS Denver.
He said he was not prepared for the dog to remember who he was.
"My hope was that he recognised me, but I didn't put much value in that at the time. We were going to love him whether he did or not," Goldston said.
A Facebook video posted by the shelter shows Boozer bounding happily towards Goldston, who tearfully wraps his arms around the boxer.
"He did a couple of circles behind the door,... and as soon as he saw us, he just beelined straight to us," Goldston said.
Foothills Animal Shelter spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland said the emotional reunion last Saturday is all thanks to the microchip.