The only real piece of his previous life the homeless Florida man still had was his dog, a blue pit bull named Handover.
On the morning of May 8, he woke up — along U.S. 19 in Hudson — to find Handover was gone, too.
The dog was gift, five years ago, from his now ex-wife. She was holding the dog and asked Bryan what they should name him. Bryan said, “Hand him over.”
“He is my best friend. He’s my heart and soul,” Bryan told ABC Action News, which last week picked up on the story about the missing dog. “If anybody sees him, please bring him home.”
As word spread about the missing dog, Carolyn Texter, who knew Handover and Bryan from her work with animal rescues, decided to help.
Texter started a Facebook page to find Handover, and a reward fund established for his safe return grew to $1,000. Yesterday, Handover was found and, after a visit to a vet for a check-up and microchipping, reunited with Bryan.
Texter described him as “speechless” and thankful for all the help he’d received.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, carolyn texter, dog, dogs, dogs and homeless, facebook, florida, hand him over, handover, homeless, hudson, james bryan, pets, pit bull, pitbull, rescue, returned, reunion
Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach, while serving in Afghanistan, made a promise to Casey, the explosive-detecting yellow Lab who worked alongside him.
“I promised her if we made it out of alive, I’d do whatever it took to find her,” Gundlach said.
Gundlach, after completing his military service and enrolling at the University of Wisconsin, managed to find out that Casey had finished her military service and been sent to work for the state of the Iowa, detecting explosives.
Knowing it was probably just the first round of a long bureaucratic battle, Gundlach wrote to State Fire Marshal Director Ray Reynolds, explaining the connection he felt with the four-year-old dog who’d been both lifesaver and companion. Gundlach wears a tattoo on his right forearm depicting Casey with angel wings and a halo.
But, as reported by the Associated Press, things happened quickly.
“He’s been putting a case together for the last two months, sending me pictures,” Reynolds said. “ … It just tugged on your heart.”
Reynolds got in touch with the Iowa Elk’s Association, and it agreed to donate $8,500 to buy another dog for the fire marshal’s office.
Then, he got in touch with Gundlach, telling him that he needed to come to the state Capitol in Des Moines on Friday to plead his case before a “bureaucratic oversight committee.”
Gundlach, 25, showed up with his parents.
Reynolds told Gundlach the meeting had been delayed, but invited he and his parents to attend an Armed Services Day celebration in the rotunda.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians were already there, and knew — unlike Gundlach — what was about to happen.
That’s when Casey appeared.
A ceremony was held in which Gov. Terry Branstad officially retired Casey from active duty, thanking her for “a job well done.”
Casey was given to Gundlach, who put his head in his hands and cried.
“It was a total surprise,” he said. “I owe her. I’ll just try to give her the best life I can.” During the 150 missions they performed together, Gundlach said Casey never missed an explosive. He credits her for making it back home safely. “I wouldn’t be here … any kids I ever had wouldn’t exist if Casey hadn’t been here,” he said.
His father, Glen Gundlach, seemed just as surprised.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The state of Iowa, I love ‘em.”
(Photos: Charlie Neibergall / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armed services day, bureaucracy, capitol, casey, des moines, detecting, dog, dogs, explosives, fire, government, iowa, marine, marshal, military, pets, ray reynolds, reunion, reunited, ross gundlach, state
A lost dog, stuck in train tracks.
An oncoming N.J. Transit train, in a hurry to make Hoboken.
Not the ingredients for a happy ending.
But there was one, anyway.
The engineer and conductors spotted Sparky, an American Eskimo dog, on the tracks Tuesday morning, on the Bergen county Line in Garfield. He was stuck between the rails and a bridge joint.
Passengers, despite the six-minute delay, approved and brok into applause when the crew and dog reboarded.
“When we came in, they all came, their camera phones out, taking pictures, they were all in good spirits,” train conductor Paul Bowen told CBS in New York.
In another fortunate twist of fate, Sparky’s owner called police in Garfield to report her dog missing about the time NJ Transit reported the one they’d found.
“I was so scared, because I didn’t know where he was,” owner Yvette Osorio said. “I’m very happy and I’m thankful to all of them for saving my dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american eskimo dog, bergen county, commuters, conductors, delay, dog, engineer, found, garfield, happy ending, hoboken, lost dog, new jersey, nj transit, reunion, sparky, train
Excited dogs greeting returning soldiers have become an Internet staple, but here’s one with a special twist.
Emma, a pitbull mix who suffers from a congenital anomaly that affects her spine — leaving her front legs only partially functioning and her back legs useless — didn’t let that stop her when her human returned from a six-month deployment.
She pulled and slid herself across the floor to greet him, along with the other two family dogs.
Melissa Swanson uploaded the video of her returning husband and excited dogs on YouTube.
“Emma and her daddy were very close! It broke her heart when he left,” she wrote. “When I come in the door, she normally sits at the end of the hallway and waits for me to pick her up. This time, when her daddy came in, she went to him … Gotta love homecomings!”
The Swansons heard of Emma through SNARR (Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation), and became her foster parents. They’ve since decided to adopt her. They’re still trying to find the perfect cart for Emma — one that will require her to keep using her front legs without putting too much pressure on them.
You can learn more about Emma on her Facebook page.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, animals, congenital, deployment, dog, dogs, emma, family, foster, greeting, hemivertebrae, homecoming, homecomings, pets, returning, reunion, snarr, soldier, soldiers, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, spinal, swanson, video, war
A one-eyed Pekingese who ran off from his home nearly two years ago was reunited with his family in Arizona this week — after running out of another home and into the side of a police car.
Buddy had been missing since May 2011 when, during a monsoon, a gate flew open and he darted off the property of his owner, Jessica Rowe of Mesa.
Rowe searched, but was unable to find the small black and white dog.
On Friday — 22 months later — Buddy ran out the door of a home in Phoenix and into the street, AZFamily reported.
“That’s when I heard this really horrible sound as if a large stone or some object hit the driver side of my patrol vehicle, looked out the rear view and saw the dog down on the road,” Phoenix police officer Don Martin said.
Martin and another officer wrapped up the dog and took him to a vet, where a microchip was discovered, showing the dog was owned by Rowe.
Police called her and she reunited with Buddy Monday.
Martin said a citizen found Buddy about a week ago and had been caring for him up until his run in with the police cruiser. It’s unclear where Buddy had been before that.
“… We all like being police officers, because of moments like this,” Martin said as he watched dog and owner reconnect. ” … This is what you live for.”
Officer Martin also paid the dog’s vet bill.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, buddy, car, dog, dogs, don martin, found, hit, jessica rowe, lost, mesa, microchip, officer, one-eyed, pekingese, pets, phoenix, police, returned, reunion, vet
Jamie Carpentier decided after his boxer passed away to start looking for another dog. He got on his computer and started reading descriptions of adoptable dogs listed on the Humane Society of Greater Nashua website.
There, in the mix, was one that reminded him of his old basset hound, Ginger.
This one was 13, which, once he did the math, he realized was how old Ginger would be by now. This one was also named Ginger.
“It can’t be her,” he said to himself. “It’s been so long.”
Carpentier hadn’t seen Ginger in 10 years, not since his ex-wife got the dog in the divorce. What he didn’t know was that she gave the dog up up a short time later, and Ginger was adopted, spending the next ten years with another owner. When that owner became unable to care for her, Ginger was surrendered back to the shelter again.
Carpentier, after looking over the description, emailed the shelter, asking for photos of the dog. Once he saw them, he knew the shelter’s Ginger was his old Ginger.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day he went to the shelter to see her, the Nashua Telegraph reported.
“She heard my voice. I walked up to her and she kind of gave me a couple of licks or kisses. And I was like, ‘She knows who I am, she remembers my voice,’” Carpentier said.
“She was stuck to me like glue … I have her now, and she has a place to live and stay,” he said. “The end. It’s awesome.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, basset hound, bond, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, ginger, humane society of greater nashua, Jamie Carpentier, new hampshire, old, pets, reunion, reunited, reunites, shelter, surrendered
A heartless soul stole 7-year-old Mia Bendrat’s dog on Christmas Eve — scooping him off the sidewalk in front of a store in Manhattan where her owner’s left him tied.
Fortunately, a good-hearted one was out there, too.
Tina Cohen, a teacher, saw a man a couple of neighborhoods away trying to sell a dog on the street, circumstances that made her suspicious. She purchased the dog from him and, on Christmas day, returned the dog to the owners.
New York City police arrested the alleged thief, who they say took the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, named Marley, from outside a shop in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, all under the eye of a surveillance camera.
“Thank you, the people of Washington Heights … Those great Samaritans… And now we got him on Christmas Day,” Mia’s mother Angie Estrada told WABC-TV.
Cohen, a high school Spanish teacher came across a man on Monday in another section of Manhattan standing on a street corner and yelling that he had a dog for sale.
“I said that’s not right. I said I’d like to buy the dog. I only have $100,” Cohen said.
When the man demanded more cash, Cohen went to a nearby Staples, bought some merchandise with her credit card, then returned it for cash.
She paid $200 for Marley and took him straight to a veterinarian, where he was identified through his microchip.
On Tuesday Cohen watched Marley jump into Mia’s arms.
“You guys belong together,” she said. “I’m so happy you are together.”
No word on whether Cohen got her $200 back, but — in the event Santa is listening, and maybe is willing to make a return trip — we’d say she deserves that and much more.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: arrest, bought, child, christmas, christmas miracle, dog, king charles cavalier spaniel, manhattan, marley, mia bendray, miracle, paid, returned, reunion, reunited, selling, sidewalk, sold, stolen, street, surveillance, tied, tina cohen, video
Sergeant Rex, a bomb-sniffing dog who finally returned from duty in Iraq earlier this year and was reunited with his former handler, died Saturday at the age of 11.
Rex was assigned to Cpl. Megan Leavey in 2006 when, on a patrol in Iraq, the dog alerted his handler of a nearby bomb. Both tried to run away, but it detonated, injuring them both.
Leavey left the Marine Corps in Dec. 2007, but Sergeant Rex continued to serve. She tried to adopt the dog, but was unable to for years because he remained on duty after recovering from his injuries.
This year, when Rex was retired due to facial paralysis, Leavey renewed her efforts, receiving support form U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and an online petition that received more than 20,000 signatures. In March, Leavey received permission to adopt him. They were reunited in April.
Leavey, who lives in New York, announced Rex’s death last week on her Facebook page:
“Unfortunately today at 10:56 a.m. Rex passed away. I was faced with the decision that no pet owner wants to hear, but I know I made the right choice. This is all very sudden and thankfully he did not suffer for long, this all came about late last night.
“I am so grateful for the last eight months I got to spend with my partner and my best friend. Rex got to swim in a pool and play with my other dogs. He got to roam the yard and bark at deer, play with as many toys as he wanted all day everyday, sleep in a cozy bed next to me every night, chase and eventually make friends with my two cats, enjoy and play in his first snowfall … and so much other great stuff that he would have never had the chance to do if he was never retired.
“He knew I was with him the whole time and I laid next to him and held him and spoke to him and he was at peace in the end. He is now my guardian angel … even though he already was. So thank you to everyone who supported me and made it possible for me to spend those precious 8 months with my best friend.
“He was one hell of a dog, one tough ass Marine, and one very special soul. He will no doubt be greatly missed and never forgotten.”
A book about Rex came out this year, entitled “Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog.” It was written by Mike Dowling, another one of Sergeant Rex’s handlers.
Rex searched more than 6,220 vehicles while stationed in Iraq, the Marine Corps says.
The publishers of the new book noted his passing in a Facebook post this week:
“Rest in peace Rex and thank you for your service and sacrifice. Once a Marine, Always a Marine … Semper Fi,” they wrote.
(Photo of Rex and Leavey from tribute posted at Findagrave.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bomb, bombs, bond, book, death, died, dog, handler, handlers, ied, iraq, megan leavey, mike dowling, military, reunion, reunited, sergeant rex, sniffing, war
Dan Kesler, now an assistant swim coach at Arizona State University, lost his dog while living in Durham, N.C.
He’d moved repeatedly since then, but had kept the same cell phone number, allowing humane society officials in North Carolina to get in touch with him when B.A. — who was microchipped — ended up in a shelter.
The dog was found wandering the streets of Durham, North Carolina last month, according to Fox 10 in Phoenix.
Kesler said he’d almost given up hope of ever seeing his dog again.
“The first night I spent outside waiting for him to come back, because I honestly thought he would come back that night. Within a week I thought he would show up, but but then as weeks turned into months and months turned into years … did I think he’d be back? I can’t say yes. But I never gave up hope.”
Kesler was contacted by the North Carolina shelter about four weeks ago, and B.A. was flown to Arizona at the beginning of the month.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, arizona, arizona state university, ba, dan kesler, doberman, dog, dogs, durham, found, lost, microchip, north carolina, pets, pinscher, reunion, reunite, swimming coach, thunderstorm
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. We think this one’s worth about eleventy million.
Five years after they arrived in California, seven of the dogs seized from quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation got together for a group photo with their new owners.
The reunion came during a celebration of that anniversary at Bad Rap, one of the two California organizations that took in Vick dogs, determined to rehabilitate the animals some were arguing were violent and aggressive and should be put down.
Here’s a video recapturing the taking of the photo:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, anniversary, bad rap, california, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, pets, photo, photography, pit bulls, pitbulls, rehabilitate, rehabilitated, rehabilitation, reunion, seized, vick dogs