— -- Nine years ago, Lloyd Goldston and his family were in the process of moving from Tennessee to Alabama when their year-old Boxer mix went missing.
Last week, Goldston received an email from Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, CO telling him they may have found his long lost dog, Boozer after a check of the dog's microchip.
Despite the lengthy separation, Goldston kept a folder of photos over the years.
During the emotional reunion last Saturday, Goldston told shelter volunteers, “[Boozer] was never gone from our hearts.”
Boozer was taken in by the Foothills Animal Shelter on Aug. 2 after the family that adopted him from a Boxer rescue group in Tennessee moved to Denver and could no longer care for him.
Jennifer Strickland, a rep for the Foothills Animal Shelter, said dog surrenders like this are not uncommon, but they routinely check for microchips as a precaution just in case the dog went missing in the past.
The microchip scan led to an email exchange between Goldston and the shelter workers. After Goldston and the shelter exchanged pictures of Boozer to verify his identity, Strickland said it was obvious they were looking at the same dog.
On Aug. 7, Goldston, along with his son and daughter, drove 18 hours from their home in Alabama to reunite with Boozer on Saturday morning.
“To say it was emotional would be an understatement,” said Jennifer Strickland. “Boozer is naturally friendly dog, but about 15 seconds went by and you could tell it really hit Boozer. He got even more excited. There was a real connection. It was wonderful to see.”
Goldston could not be reached for comment.