Anyone whose dog goes missing dreams of the day they return home — just like in the movies. Sadly, many people don’t get their happy reunion with their beloved pooch. But veterinarian Karen Fox is one of the lucky ones. An incredible 13 years after her Yorkshire terrier Connor was stolen, they’re together again.
It was Karen’s teenage son who saw a man in a red Dodge pick-up truck pull up in front of their Nashville home one day in 2008 and grab Connor from the front yard, reported the Nashville Tennessean. They ran to their car and followed the red pick-up, but never caught up with it.
After Connor was stolen, Karen drove around the neighborhood for weeks, hoping to find either her dog or the red pick-up truck. But gradually, they gave up hope of ever getting Connor back.
In late February, Connor was found roaming around a neighborhood in Nashville called Bordeaux. The woman who found him kept him for a week and put “Found” posters online and around her neighborhood before taking him to Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control. Luckily, Connor has a microchip, which the organization discovered. Then, they contacted Karen.
Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control posted the details about the story with images of the two together.
“It was pure, utter amazement!” Karen said of the moment she answered the phone call from animal control and they told her Connor was safe with them. “I’m still amazed!” The next day, March 5, she went with one of her staffers at her veterinary practice to get Connor, now age 16.
Karen said her dog walked slowly onto her lap and licked her face.
Karen and her son were delighted, but it was a bittersweet reunion, because Karen’s husband Timothy, who died four years ago, was particularly attached to Connor. He would sit in his recliner after work and brush Connor’s fur.
“He would sit there and brush and brush and brush,” Karen told the Tennessean.
Connor, whom Karen got from an animal shelter about two years before he was stolen, has some health issues, including bad teeth, infected eyes and a sore leg. He follows Karen around the house, which he appears to remember.
Karen, now 61, said she’s happy to have Connor back, however long he lives.
“The most emotional thing for me,” she said, “is how much my husband would’ve loved for him to have come back home.”
The Tennessean posted this video of the story, which also shows Connor hanging out with his new canine brother:
Another real-life “Homeward Bound” case was reported in 2018, when black Lab mix Abby returned to her family in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Abby had wandered off in 2008 from outside their home. Despite an extensive search, she was not found, leaving her family devastated. But 10 years later, mom Debra Suierveld received a call from a local animal shelter, telling her that Abby had been located.
And in 2019, Guilford County Animal Shelter in North Carolina reunited missing dog Zooey with her family. Zooey had been missing for five years, but because she had a microchip, the shelter was able to contact her owners via the clinic that had inserted the chip.
The moral of the story? Missing dogs do sometimes come back — and it’s really important to microchip your pets.