A Jacksonville family’s beloved Pomeranian, Smokey, got out of their yard on the Southside in November 2015.
“I went looking, knocking on people’s doors in the neighborhood,” Christie Harris said.
She and her mother made posters and hung them on every tree in the area.
“Nailing it to any wooden poles we could find. Everywhere,” Harris said. “I was hoping he wasn’t hurt or killed. I said, if someone had him, at least I could possibly still find him.”
Harris posted his photo on Facebook. Dozens of people sent her photos of stray black Pomeranians, but Smokey was nowhere to be found.
On Saturday -- 3 and a half years later – she got a call.
“A couple found Smokey running down the street and turned him into the vet to be scanned.”
The veterinarian called Harris and she immediately drove to the office. She says she was nervous it might be another false alarm.
“When I saw it was Smokey, he would just not stop jumping at me, trying to knock me over, lick me to death,” she said.
Harris says she's not sure where Smokey was all those years.
His hair is shorter, and he’s a little grayer, but she says he’s the same energetic pup she fell in love with.
Happy back at home with his new brother, Barren, Harris is sharing their story to encourage other dog owners to make sure their pets have microchips installed in them.
“If it wasn’t for that microchip, I may have never found him,” she said.
Her vet said keeping her contact information up to date also helped bring Smokey home.
“She said, it’s good you kept your information up because a lot of owners don’t do that.”
Harris is now hoping Smokey's return will give other families with missing dogs hope.
As for the couple who found him and turned him over to the vet, Harris says she has a message for them.
“They are the nicest people ever. I want to hug them,” she said. “I would say thank the world to you all. Because you could’ve kept him.”
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