“Reunion of a lifetime”: Senior dog reunites with family after being missing for 12 years

It’s always heartbreaking when a pet goes missing, but it’s important to not lose hope even when all seems lost: sometimes pets return to us when we least expect them, months or even years after they disappeared.

But one story is truly miraculous: a dog reunited with his family after 12 years apart, in a story the shelter is calling the “reunion of a lifetime.”

A field officer from the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, in Arizona, picked up a senior stray dog last week. According to a Facebook post, the old dog seemed “a little shy and kind of sad,” and never wagged his tail.

Thankfully, the officer found a microchip on the dog. She discovered that the dog’s name was Minion, and was able to contact his family.

What she learned next shocked everyone: the dog had been missing for 12 years! Minion disappeared all the way back in 2011, after maintenance men left the back get open and the dog escaped.

(Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Minion’s owner “couldn’t believe it” after receiving the stunning news, and the field officer drove Minion to reunite with his family.

The officer told the family that Minion, now 15 years old, could not move very fast. And after being away from his family for so long — almost Minion’s entire life — you’d expect that he wouldn’t even recognize his old owners.

But as soon as Minion saw his family, he came back to life: he started wagging his tail, something he hadn’t done, and soon was running around their backyard with their other dogs. It was clear he remembered his old family.

“He was home at last,” Maricopa County Animal Care wrote on Facebook. They shared a before-and-after photo that really emphasizes just how long Minion had been missing for: the family’s son was a boy when Minion went missing but is now a grown adult:

The unbelievable reunion story has touched hearts online: “I’m sitting here and bawling my eyes out!” one person commented on the post. “So wonderfully sweet! What a reunion picture.”

“I’m not crying you’re crying!” another wrote. “Wonderful story. Times like this really make me wish dogs could talk so they can tell their stories!”

It’s not clear what Minion has been up to all these years, but the important thing is that he’s finally back in his loving home for his remaining years.

Maricopa County Animal Control called it a “reunion of a lifetime,” and said the story serves as an important reminder to get your pets microchipped, which makes reunions like this happen even after a decade apart.

Wow, it’s incredible that this dog finally made it home after being missing for 12 years! It’s great to see Minion and his family are making up for lost time ❤️

Remember to get your pets microchipped! Please share this heartwarming news!