Life had moved on from that one sad day when they lost Corky. A few photos still hung on the wall, but they didn’t bring as much sadness anymore.
It was a risk any pet owner took, no matter how careful. All they could do was hope their terrier was at peace. But then the phone rang.
The Montez family had been growing for six years and it was time for a new addition.
The two kids could barely contain their excitement when they found out they were going to get a pet. The energy vibrated in the van as they drove to the shelter. Who would be their new friend?
The family had barely made it into the shelter when a little caramel bundle of barks and scruff caught their attention.
True, many other dogs vied for attention, but it seemed to be love at first wag for both sides. It was then and there they took him home, for now.
It was nothing new to let their dog out for a run. After all, the fence encircled the entire yard.
The energetic dog could tire himself out then go back to his family, ready for cuddles. But one day, the family opened the door and called his name. No answer. They looked in the yard. Empty.
There weren’t many places he could hide and they looked in all of them.
There weren’t any dig spots or bent fence pieces around the perimeter. The husband Jimmy watched as his son’s faces turned from worry to utter sadness. It was heartbreaking. There was at least one thing they could hold onto – the dog was chipped.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months, and the family kept searching.
Each poster they stapled held a bit less hope they would get a phone call. The son would ask to visit shelters to see if Corky was there, but that too became more and more painful to watch.
It was the six-month mark. They sat around the table with long faces. It was time to accept reality.
The children used art to cope – putting pictures of him around the house. The mom and dad prayed that someone nice was taking care of Corky. And so, years passed and brought more changes.
First, they moved to a new home in Fort Worth. Not long after they had two more children.
They also adopted two more shelter dogs. Once in a while, the parents would spot their children looking at photos of Corky. They still missed him. Everyone did. But it had been seven years. They didn’t expect that coming shock.
It was a Saturday morning and the Montez’s were going through their regular routine of breakfast and planning a day of hobbies or activities.
They gathered around the table as their two dogs sat off to the side, begging for bits of food. The phone rang. The voice on the other end told them something unbelievable. It was Corky!
It was a worker from the Humane Society of North Texas. One of the strays they just picked up was tagged.
It was indeed their dog! The entire family shared the same look of disbelief as they asked again if they were sure. When the news finally sunk in, they all piled in the car and drove to the shelter.
Inside one cage was their caramel fuzzball. The best part? Corky remembered them.
He jumped against the fence, desperate to get to them. He leaped into their arms, whining and yipping with glee. He was finally home. With all the amazing news, there was one more piece that was totally unexpected.
As Corky cuddled into his family, another dog slowly approached them. It was another Terrier – silver grey and missing one eye.
The shelter volunteer explained that the two had been found together, starving and dehydrated. The pair had spent years on the streets of Fort Worth, protecting each other. There was no way to separate them.
As far as the family was concerned, there was no argument or debate to be had. They readopted Corky and immediately adopted “Captain”.
It would now be four kids and four pets, and a huge pile of smiles, giggles, and barks. Their dog adjusted quickly to home life, but they also noticed new behavior…
It seems that Corky had been Captain’s protector while they were on the streets.
Even in the safe environment of their home, Corky would always let his friend eat first. At the same time, he would stand guard to make sure nothing bothered them. New bonds also formed.
Corky and the eldest son ended up being best friends again, while Captain happily nuzzles into their other son.
The story finally had a happy ending. This is especially rare after so many years passing by. It’s also a lesson in the resilience of our pets (and to always chip them!).