Pets give us so much: companionship, loyalty, and protection, but for one woman going through a hard time, her puppy gave her hope, happiness and comfort.
Kameroun Mares had just been diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she bought her husky puppy which she named Semper Fidelis meaning ‘always faithful and loyal’.
Mares bought the pup while battling the disease which had also left her with Type 1 diabetes as a result of her cancer and she hoped her lovable pooch would help her combat depression and encourage her to exercise more.
She did everything a responsible dog owner should do: took him to the veterinarian’s office to get his shots, licensed him with a national microchip company, and registered him with her local humane society in San Diego, California.
Two years later Mares moved to Florida and on discovering that her health insurance didn’t cover her there she had to return to California for treatment, leaving her precious pooch with her roommate.
But it was while Mares was getting treatment in California that she received a phone call which shattered her whole world and set her on an emotionally-tough journey that consumed years of her life as well as her savings.
“I was told by my ex-roommate that he (her dog Semper) was missing,” Mares said.
As well as her battle with cancer, now Mares had the added stress and heartache of losing her beloved dog, who had helped her through such a tough time in her life.
She never stopped looking for her dog, even returning to California to continue the search.
“For a year, I continued searching while in California, posting up fliers via pet sites, calling 15 vet places around were I used to live over there about him, calling the humane societies about him, shelters,” Mares told The Dodo in a 2018 interview.
“[I] posted info about him on Facebook, lost dog forums, and pages and groups. Every day I waited for a phone call about someone finding him … His microchip is registered to me since he was 3 months [old] … yet I received nothing. I was worried sick about him, and missed him dearly.”
She even hired private investigator Ana Campos to help track him down and Campos found her dog.
Sadly, the reunion with her beloved dog wasn’t that easy.
It turns out her roommate had stolen her dog and sold him for $200 through an online ad. His new owners were unaware he was stolen and had registered him with a company which had failed to check if he was registered to a previous owner.
Despite Mares buying a lifetime membership with a microchip company it wasn’t enough to stop another woman adding her name to Semper’s chip.
Of course Semper’s owners were sympathetic but as far as they were concerned they’d bought the dog in good faith and didn’t want to give him up.
Mares wasn’t about to give up her dog so with the help of her private investigator and a lawyer she was able to bring her precious Semper back home.
The pair were reunited after nearly three years apart.
“The huge wound in my heart can finally start healing,” said Mares.
Mares says her dog had always kept his heart for her.
“He still remembers his commands and tricks that I taught him,” Mares said. “My special favorite one is the ‘go home’ command … I tell him, ‘Semper, go home. Where’s home? Go home.’”
And Semper goes to Mares’ new front door of her California home.
I feel sad for the people who adopted Semper in good faith but this story is a warning to those who buy dogs online without any proper paperwork.
I’m so glad Semper was reunited with Mares and I wish the two of them a very healthy and happy future together. Please share.