BOSTON - A Massachusetts pet owner was emotionally reunited with her dog after more than a year apart.
The owner, Cheryl Kelly, had adopted the 7-pound terrier mix named Carl from the MSPCA Adoption Center in Jamaica Plain in 2007.
Then, the journey came full circle when she took home the dog from the same location Thursday.
Carl had gone missing more than a year ago, and was nervous and groggy before the reunion after coming out of anesthesia.
Meanwhile, Kelly had feared the day for a reunion would never come. Then, she was able to walk toward her beloved pup Thursday and embrace him for the first time in far too long.
"Oh my God, Carl!" Kelly said when they reunited.
Carl went missing in July 2017 when he was 14 years old, and Kelly and her friends posted flyers, knocked on doors and filed lost dog reports as they searched for Kelly's missing companion.
"It's unreal," said Kelly's friend, Shamus Moynihan. "I mean, a year-and-a-half ago, he went missing. After a while, you still want to have hope, but a year and a half is a long time."
They had hope during their search at first, but so much time had passed.
"I missed you so much," said Kelly's friend, Bethany McIvor. "I never thought this would happen."
With his ears cleaned and his matted fur shaved, Carl is healthy and very happy to be back home.
"I just wanted to know where he'd been and what he'd seen," McIvor said. "If he could only talk and tell us where he was for a year and a half."
The reunion was made possible after someone found Carl on the street, decided to keep him and brought him into the Jamaica Plain MSPCA's clinic Thursday for a neuter and grooming. Staff quickly realized Carl, who had been microchipped, belonged to someone else.
"This is the first dog that I can think of that we’ve had come in for an appointment, and then be able to reunite them with somebody who had been looking for them for so long," Anna Rafferty-Fore, associate director of the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center, said.
After all of this time, Kelly knows how lucky she is to have Carl back in her life.
"I'm going play my numbers later," Kelly said.
Though Carl is going home to be nurtured and spoiled, he'll be sharing the attention with a new addition from the last 17 months.
"I had a baby," Kelly said. "Carl hasn't met the baby yet. We'll see how that goes."
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