Casey’s story is nothing short of miraculous. The Wheaten Terrier mix was scheduled to be euthanized because of aggressive behavior toward people when Julene Hunter stepped forward and gave him a second chance eight years ago.
“When I met him, he was shaved and … was shaking and cautious as he approached me,” she says. “I sat there and waited to see if he would come to me. As he laid his head down on my knee, he looked up at me with his big brown eyes, and I knew he was going home.”
And so he joined her family. He still showed some skittish behaviors, including liking to escape to go on run-abouts in the neighborhood. But he wore tags and was microchipped, so the family felt confident that if he strayed too far, he would make it back home, perhaps with some human help.
Then one day, they took a hike in the mountains. At one point they let him off leash, “a decision we came to regret,” says Julene. He ran off. The family searched and searched and called the shelters and vets in the area to no avail. Months passed.
On December 28, 2012, Julene decided to put the past behind her and adopt another dog. She logged onto the computer and saw lots of dogs that looked like Casey, zeroing in on one in particular at For Pets Sake, which lists its pets on Petfinder. It wasn’t just the photo that reminded her of Casey. “The description noted a fear of men and some similar behaviors,” she says.
She made arrangements to meet the dog, now called Snoopy, When found, his old microchip was unreadable and his tags were gone. Like Casey, he exhibited aggressive behaviors and was on the euthanasia list. He had been saved because he would look up at Sara Peterson at For Pets Sake with those beautiful brown eyes as if to say, “Don’t give up on me.” And she couldn’t.
As Julene entered the room, she heard familiar sounds from the dog. She sat on the couch and let him hear her voice, and then Sara released him from his kennel.
“As he jumped onto the couch and began to change his demeanor towards me, [Sara] asked, ‘Do you feel comfortable taking his muzzle off?’ I did,” Julene says. “It became clear to both of us, as I sat with him and walked outside, that he knew me and vice-versa.”
So for the second time, Casey had come home. Julene calls it a New Year’s miracle.