The dog who was found nine years after he had disappeared is finally back home with his owner, and the tearful reunion between 10-year-old Boozer and the dog owners was captured on camera. “It’s like getting a member of the family back,” said Boozer’s owner Lloyd Goldston during Saturday’s reunification. As for Boozer, he apparently felt the same—he immediately recognized the man who had adopted him when he was only three months old. “Despite the near-decade away from Lloyd, Boozer seemed to have no trouble recognizing him, and jumped on him as soon as he saw him at the shelter.”
Boozer, a Boxer-mix, was three months old when he got adopted by Goldston from an animal shelter in Tennessee, according to an August 8 Colorado 9News report. At the age of eight months, Goldston had to move from Tennessee to Alabama and during the move — Boozer escaped.
Dogs, cats, and many other animals do not like any kind of change, and the hectic and chaos of moving easily sparks a flight reaction in an animal, especially a young puppy.
Boozer was microchipped, but against all hope and despite his searches, Goldston was unable to find his beloved pup and had to move without him — never giving up hope that at some point someone would notice Boozer’s microchip and notify him.
During the following nine years, Boozer’s owner kept an album filled with photos of his dog, but no one, no new owner, no veterinarian, no animal shelter had any word about Boozer – until now.
Goldston’s daughter was only 15 years old when she returned home from school and found an empty backyard and Boozer gone. “It was shattering,” said Boozer’s owner Megan Marr. “I didn’t ever expect to see him again.”
As before, Boozer’s life dramatically changed again due to a move. Apparently, Boozer’s second owner had adopted him from a Boxer rescue group after he had run away nine years ago, but when the family had to move to a Colorado home where dogs were not allowed, they gave him to the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado.
Thanks to the Foothills Animal Shelter, Boozer was finally scanned for a microchip and when Goldston received an email from the shelter that his dog was in Colorado and that he was looking for a home – again – Goldston was exhilarated.
“Goldston and his two children drove 18 hours, in what they dubbed ‘Operation Booze Run’ to retrieve their still-beloved pet.”
When Goldston found his dog again nine years after he had run away, he could tell that he had been taken well care of for all those years. However, Boozer’s story does raise the question as to why nine years had to pass before he was reunited with his owner who had responsibly microchipped his dog.
Jennifer Strickland, a spokeswoman for Colorado’s Foothills Animal Shelter, said that Boozer was reunited with his owner after nine long years because of the microchip. “We cannot emphasize to people enough to make sure there is permanent identification such as a microchip with your pet but also a collar and tags and a pet license,” said Strickland. Since collars and tags can be lost, a microchip – as in Boozer’s case – is the only way to reunite pets with their owners.
When Boozer was found by the Boxer rescue organization as a pup, wasn’t he scanned for a microchip? When Boozer went to any veterinarian, wasn’t he scanned there either?
Of course, Boozer cannot speak out for himself. But judging from his reaction after seeing Goldston again after nine years, it is quite certain that he would say that animals do not forget the ones that love them – no matter how much time passes.
More importantly, though, Boozer would appeal to rescue organizations and veterinarians not to assume anything and to check for microchips. If Foothills Animal Shelter would not have done so – Boozer might not be back in the loving arms of the Goldston family. He might not even be alive today.