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Harley is Reese again: One family’s happy reunion is another family’s sad loss


It’s always nice to read about a happy reunion between a family and their lost dog — except maybe when the dog being reunited is one you thought was your own.

The Miller family of Tyler, Texas, lost their dog Reese, a Maltese, seven years ago. They were visiting family outside of Dallas when the little white dog ran off.

Dinah Miller said she never stopped searching, and hoping Reese would return: “Every time you hear a bark, you think, that sounds like Reese,” she said. “We drove. We searched. We looked over fences. We peeped everywhere we could without getting shot.”

Last weekend, the Millers learned Reese had been found on a road in Tacoma, Wash., more than 2,000 miles away. The family received a call after a check for a microchip revealed they were the dog’s registered owners.

Reese was flown to Houston, and Dinah Miller reunited with her Monday, KHOU reported.

How Reese had gotten to Tacoma, and where she’d spent the intervening seven years, were mysteries Miller thought would go unanswered — at least until another owner surfaced.

Kelli Davis of Spanaway, Wash., said her family adopted the dog at a shelter in Mesquite, Texas, near Dallas, six years ago, and named him Harley.

Davis and her family later moved from Texas to Washington.

She said Harley recently escaped after her 2-year-old daughter unlatched the front door.

“We were running down the street trying to find him and she was crying, ‘My Harley ran away,'” said Davis. “Every day we have gone out and printed fliers and walked around the neighborhood several times a day calling his name.”

“Harley is my daughter’s best friend. That’s her little buddy. They do everything together,” she said.

Davis said Harley was listed as an owner surrender by the Texas shelter he was adopted from. When she called that shelter to find out if they had ever checked the dog for a microchip she was told that information wasn’t available. The shelter said it purges its records after five years.

“I don’t know what to do. We just lost a part of our family,” said Davis.

Miller, meanwhile, says she sympathizes with the family in Washington, but she’s keeping Reese.

(Photos: At left, “Reese” reunites with Dinah Miller and her family; at right, “Harley” when she was a member of the  Davis family) 


Comment from SoulDog
Time July 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Well, seven years is half a dog’s lifetime if they’re lucky. The first owner lost the dog, which is sad, and the second owner legally adopted it and loved and cared for it for seven years. The first owner should let the dog stay with the second family and let it go. The dog knows them better than her, and a little girl is broken hearted.

Comment from Paula Pearson
Time July 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

The shelter erred in missing the microchip (omission)! But mistakes sometimes happen. Maybe the owners should have used an alternate service like http://dogs.lostandfound.com

Comment from Diane McCornack
Time July 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

One for Solomon to decide. I feel for all involved.

Comment from Kamilah Fraser
Time July 27, 2014 at 12:25 am

Please take a look at the fundraiser page started by my dog. He was injured in a fall and needs surgery. If anyone can find it in their heart to help, I would be so grateful… Even sharing this with the people you know would help me so much. Thanks for listening. http://www.gofundme.com/BeauNeedsSurgery