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July 26, 2019

Two years later, little dog reunited with his owners

Photos/Animal Medical Center of Warrenton
Herman rejoins Nancy and Jeff Vinson, his owners from Kentucky, Friday morning at the Animal Medical Center of Warrenton.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Two years after he disappeared in rural Kentucky, an 8-pound dog reunited with his owners Friday morning at a Warrenton veterinary clinic.

In the summer of 2017, Nancy Vinson and Herman, an AKC-registered Bishon Frise, walked a half-mile to the mailbox at their Berry, Ky., farm — as they did each day.

Flipping through the mail, Mrs. Vinson heard a car stop at the bottom of the hill but thought nothing of it, because drivers frequently paused there to make or receive phone calls. But, momentarily she noticed Herman had vanished.

She and husband Jeff never knew what happened. They mourned the loss and eventually tossed Herman’s “papers” and other items.

But, on Wednesday, Mr. Vinson found one of the dog’s rubber chew toy bones while moving furniture and tossed it in the trash.

His wife quickly recovered it.

The next day, they got the call from Amanda Doenges of the Animal Medical Center of Warrenton. The clinic had Herman.

A couple new to the area had brought him in for an exam. They knew little about the dog, which friends, who found the canine “too hyper,” had given them. They described him as 2 or 3 years old.

But, after examining the teeth, Dr. Steven Bartlett knew better and more accurately put the dog’s age at 8 or 9. Doing a complete exam, the staff ran a portable scanner across the shoulder blades and discovered the dog had a microchip, injected for just such an event.

Ms. Doenges soon contacted HomeAgain, which had the ownership information, not updated in two years.

The local couple happily gave up the dog for return to his owners, whom Ms. Doenges called.

“I was walking by the home phone, which we never answer — we let the machine get it,” Mr. Vinson said. “Then, I heard a woman say we’ve got your dog.”

He immediately shared the news.

“I called my wife, who was at Walmart, and said, ‘You’re not gonna believe this. Come home, we’re going to Virginia’.”

They drove 490 miles in eight hours and spent Thursday night at the Red Roof Inn, a couple hundred yards from the vet clinic.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Ms. Doenges walked Herman down the hall to the waiting room where he recognized the people last seen two years ago.

The clinic staff broke into tears.

Learning his story, staff members on Thursday addressed Herman properly.

“It was the first time he had heard his name in two years,” said Julie Edwards, a receptionist as the office on Garrett Street.

Herman “looks really good,” Mr. Vinson said.

He and his wife plan to write a thank-you letter to the couple who brought him to the clinic.

“It’s obvious they wanted to take care of him,” Mr. Vinson said.

Meanwhile, Herman slept in his bed on the back seat of their Toyota RAV 4 as they headed back to Kentucky.

The Vinsons at first thought the microchip must not have worked. Now, they plan to get one for their Australian shepherd.

The Warrenton clinic staff expects lots of demand for the $60 chips.

Contact Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.

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Todd M · July 26, 2019 at 6:06 pm
Animal Medical Center of Warrenton is THE BEST! Doctor Rethman and Dr. Bartlett as well as all the staff are amazing and caring people. Glad this pooch had a happy ending!
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