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article imageMan reunites with dog stolen 18 months ago in search for new pet

By Megan Hamilton     Jan 31, 2015 in Odd News
Claresholm - When Dozer was stolen out of his own backyard 18 months ago, Richard Brower was devastated. He didn't know how to deal with the loss of his German shepherd buddy.
He enlisted his motorcycle buddies and people from the dog park to search for his friend.
Any time Brower or his friends saw someone walking a German shepherd, they'd stop that person and ask a few questions, but their searches always came up empty, he told CNN.
"It was heartbreaking," he said. "Absolutely horrible."
Still, he says, he has never given up hope.
"I'd just come to the realization that I couldn't go on without another dog," he said.
His decision to look for a new dog was heart-wrenching; especially after 18 months of continuous searching for Dozer, but it was definitely the best decision he could have made. It led him back to his best friend in the most unusual way.
And it happened during his first Internet search, Global News reports.
"The very first thing I saw was a huge picture of Dozer, and my heart stopped," Brower said.
"I started shivering, went kind of cold. I knew immediately it was him, the way he looked, the cock of his head."
Brower asked his dad, who lived close to the shelter, to investigate.
His dad found out that the Claresholm Animal Rescue Society had found Dozer running on a highway near Granum. After 18 months, Brower and Dozer were together again.
"Oh man, he just buried his head right under my arm and just started whining like a baby and shaking," Brower said. "I just lost it at that point. That was it, my best buddy was back."
For that year-and-a-half that the dog was gone, it looked as if he'd been treated well, Brower said. Dozer hadn't lost any weight, he told CBC News Calgary.
Dozer was stolen from the backyard, and there were locks on the front gate and the backyard gate as well. The pins, however, had been pulled from the front gate and he was obviously taken, Brower said.
"He was found about two hours away on a farm somewhere, just wandering," he said. The people on the farm said that the dog was friendly, so they brought him to Claresholm, where he had stayed for about a month when Brower found him.
"He's 10 years old now, so we lost just about two years together, but I'm just so happy to have him back."
Brower told CBC News that he had a special trick to make sure this was really his dog.
"One of the first things I taught him was to snap my fingers, and then he'll come around to my right side and wait for his second command," he said. "So I asked dad to go in the cage. The lady was there, and I didn't say what he would do, I just said, 'snap your fingers.'"
Then he asked his dad what the dog did.
"He said, 'He's sitting on my right-hand side looking straight up at me."
"The lady at Claresholm started crying, I started crying, and all the other people at the shelter were crying. Yeah, it was quite the day."
Now he's getting plenty of spoiling. Banished from sleeping on the bed before, he now gets to sleep there "just about every single night since he's been home."
And toys, he's getting lots of toys from everybody, Brower said. He's got more stuff than he knows what to do with.
More about man reunites with dog, dog stolen 18 months ago, search for new pet, dozer, richard brower
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