Woman reunites with lost dog after year apart after spotting his photo on Facebook

It’s always heartbreaking when a dog goes missing. You do everything you can and search for them everywhere, but at some you begin to think your beloved pet might be gone for good.

But sometimes miracles happen, and dogs return in unexpected ways even after a long time away. That was the case recently, after a woman was reunited with her dog after nearly a year apart.

Lisa Raulerson, from West Palm Beach, Florida, loves her little dog Sparky like family: “My husband passed away 11 years ago, and he was with us through all that, so he’s been a big part of our family,” she told WPTV.

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So she was devastated one rainy day in October 2020, when she accidentally left her gate open and Sparky got out.

In an instant, Sparky was gone without a trace. The family searched nonstop for weeks, putting up flyers all over their neighborhood, but still couldn’t find the beloved dog.

Sadly, they feared for the worst: Sparky was 15 years old and partially deaf, WPTV reported, so when he didn’t show up they assumed their dog had died. “It was sad because he was part of us, and we talked about him every day,” Lisa said.

Nearly a year later, however, Lisa was scrolling Facebook when she saw a startlingly familiar face. It was a post from Sunshine State Westie Rescue, showing a photo of a stray dog they had picked up.

Even though it had been over 11 months and the dog was dirty and matted, there was no mistaking it: the dog was Sparky.

UPDATE: Please see our new post for this story.We pulled a little male out of the shelter today. We don't really know…

Posted by Sunshine State Westie Rescue on Thursday, September 9, 2021

The post from Sunshine State Westie Rescue said they had picked the dog up as a stray in Palm Beach County. The description of an older dog with vision problems fit Sparky perfectly.

According to WPTV, the rescue had picked him up from a shelter shortly before he was set to be euthanized.

The shelter gave Sparky some love and care, but they didn’t have any information to track down the owners. It’s just a miracle that Lisa happened to find the post on Facebook.

Lisa contacted the rescue, and after 331 days apart, they were finally reunited.

Sparky, reunited with his happy family.

Posted by Sunshine State Westie Rescue on Saturday, September 11, 2021

“I feel like a void in my heart was filled, I really do. I never thought I’d see him again, but here he is. I wish he could talk,” Lisa told WPTV.

According to Sunshine State Westie Rescue, Sparky was microchipped, but the chip was not registered by the family. If it had been registered, it would’ve made this reunion much likelier, and the rescue used the good news to remind people to microchip and register their dogs.

“We are thrilled to be able to reunite this family after almost a year. Please remember, we’re telling you this story to let you know that you should never give up on finding your lost dog and don’t forget, it’s crucial to register those chips!” they wrote.

Sparky, after a groomer cleaned him up. Looking good!

Posted by Sunshine State Westie Rescue on Saturday, September 11, 2021

All things considered, it’s truly a miracle that Sparky was reunited with his family.

We can’t imagine what he’s been up to for the past 11 months, but this now-16-year-old dog is finally home where he belongs.

What great news. We’re so glad Sparky is home after being missing for so long.

It’s also an important reminder to get your pets microchipped and keep your information up to date — when a pet goes missing you don’t want to have to rely on luck to see them again.

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