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A popular children’s movie claimed, “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”
One Springfield family learned that statement is not true, at least not yet. Their dog is alive and well, but he did go to Indiana.
Billy and Brandy Thompson, along with their two children, Josh, 14, and Kailey, 9, recently got a family pet back after having lost him more than two-and-a-half years ago.
Luke, a Beagle adopted by the family at the Nelson County Humane Society, wandered away from the family’s home around the end of 2008. When he didn’t come back after a while, they assumed the worst.
“He got loose and wandered off, and we thought somebody might have shot him because it was during hunting season,” Brandy said. “Then we thought somebody might have picked him up.”
Either way, Luke was gone, and most of the family assumed he wouldn’t be back home again. Most of the family, but not all.
“She really missed him, but she had faith we’d get him back,” Billy said of his daughter, Kailey.
“Nobody else believed it,” Kailey added.
Kailey’s faith paid off just over a week ago, when her dad got a phone call that he almost didn’t answer.
“Last Friday, I got a call as I was going to work. It was an out-of-state number, and I thought about not answering it, but I did,” Billy said. “It was a sergeant with a police department in Indiana. He was an animal control officer. He had found a dog with a microchip, scanned it, and it came back with my number.”
The officer, Sgt. William Hickrod, is a 25-year veteran officer, and he’s been with animal control for about 15 years. Hickrod was retiring from his long-time position on May 31, and said this was a very nice way to close out his career.
“A lady called and said she found a nice little dog close to her home. The dispatcher called me, and when I got there, he was a beautiful little dog. I scanned him, and I called Pet Rescue. They gave us a chip number, and we were able to ID the dog. I called him (Billy Thompson) and he said he had lost the dog more than two years ago,” Hickrod said. “I’m tickled to death to help the gentleman get his dog back.”
Some other people were tickled to death, too. The Thompsons couldn’t believe the news. They were excited to get Luke back home, but they didn’t have time to go that day on such short notice. The next morning, the whole family hit the road for a trip that took them more than 200 miles from home to pick up Luke. When they arrived at the Hamilton County (Ind.) Humane Society, they said Luke looked great.
“He’s a little chunkier than he was before,” Brandy said.
“Somebody took good care of him,” Billy added. “He didn’t seem to have any ticks or anything, and he looked like he had been kept inside. His temperament and all were the same. He did a lot of sniffing of us when we got there, but he was fine soon after that. He was the same old dog.”
As for how Luke got to Indiana, nobody seems to know for sure. Billy said it’s possible that a truck driver could have picked him up, but other than that, they didn’t have a clue, since it would be so unlikely that Luke would have made it that far on his own.
With Luke being taken care of, the Thompsons said they realize someone else is probably missing him now.
“I hate that part of it for somebody who might have been taking care of him, but we really missed him and we’re glad to have him back home with us,” Billy said.
Luke had a microchip that helped get him back to the Thompson family, but Hickrod said many people who use the service fail to keep it updated. He said if a family moves and has a new address, or changes their telephone number or other contact information, it is important that they also contact the service they used for the microchip and have their contact information updated there, too. If not, the old information is all that will be found when a microchip is scanned, and that will not help them get their pet back.
The Thompsons said they are now even bigger supporters of the microchip system than before.
“We really support chipping, and we want to remind people to update their contact information,” Brandy said. “It was a good thing Luke was chipped.”
For more information on getting a microchip for your pet, contact your veterinarian.