Jamie Carpentier, of Nashua, N.H., told himself “no more dogs” after his boxer died on Christmas Eve. But in January he found himself browsing the Humane Society of Greater Nashua’s website, where he was shocked to find a listing for a 13-year-old basset hound named Ginger.
There were no photos of the dog, but her description read, "I have the longest ears and the biggest heart of any dog you will ever meet! I am an older girl, but I still have a lot of spunk left."
"It can't be her," Carpentier recounted to The Nashua Telegraph. "It's been so long."
Carpentier lost his 3-year-old dog Ginger in 2003 when he and his wife divorced. Then, without his knowledge, his wife gave the basset hound to the Nashua shelter, where an older couple adopted her.
But in October — almost 10 years later — the couple returned Ginger to the shelter because they were unable to care for her any longer.
Curious if the dog could actually be his Ginger, Carpentier emailed the Humane Society to ask for a photo of the dog. He compared the shelter’s photo with the puppy pictures he’d saved, and saw that the markings were the same. Ginger was his dog.
Carpentier visited the shelter on Jan. 21 and Ginger immediately recognized him.
"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,'" he said.
After that, Carpentier changed his mind about the no-more-dogs policy, and he and his fiancée and daughter adopted Ginger on the spot.
"She's going to live with me 'til the end," Carpentier told ABC affiliate WMUR-TV. "I just want her to be happy and live a good dog life."
Watch a video of Ginger's and Carpentier's reunion below.
More pet stories on MNN:
- Stolen dogs returned to owners 5 years later
- Cat makes 200-mile trek to find way home
- Abandoned dog's 3-year wait for owners ends with new home