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Too bad Hooter can't talk

It seemed like a normal Sunday morning. My husband and I read the paper, had breakfast, took our dog for a walk and got ready for church. I slipped on my shoes, grabbed my purse and was getting ready to put my phone on vibrate when I noticed I had a text from my sister who lives in Lebanon: "This is going to blow your mind like it did ours. Mom's dog just showed up at our door. No kidding!"    

Let me go back in time. Eight years ago, my mom, who is 88, rescued a shy little Chihuahua mix from the animal shelter. As she tells it, "He took one look at me and chose me to be his."

He had a scar on his side and an extreme fear of loud noises. Mom took him home and he became her constant companion. His name was Hooter. She took him for walks every day, fixed him special meals, and he slept next to her, burrowed under his own blankets on her bed.

July first of this year, Mom moved to a nice retirement home in Albany. She wanted to be closer to my sister who lives in Lebanon. On July 13, when Mom came back from having breakfast, Hooter was gone. We thought that thunder must have scared him and he bolted out of a hole in the fenced patio. He had such a fear of loud noises. There was no sign of him. Weeks went by and each search turned up nothing. Mom was sick about it.

A few weeks later, when Mom was on her daily visit to the animal shelter's website, she saw a picture of a stray female named Mia that looked a lot like her lost Hooter. Mom was lonely without Hooter, so she adopted Mia. Mom still hadn't given up hope, though.

"If Hooter comes back, then I will have two dogs."

That brings me back to Sunday, Aug. 31. I immediately called my sister after receiving her puzzling text. She said that at 10:00 on Saturday night they heard noises outside. They opened the front door to investigate and in ran little Hooter! Three pounds thinner, smelly, sores on his body, but for sure it was Mom's little dog! They identified his scar, and he was still wearing his collar. He had traveled over 14 miles to a house he had visited only twice in three years! I wish he could tell us how he did it.

Sunday afternoon Gayle and Randi brought Mom and Mia over to their house for dinner. While Gayle was helping Mom to the front door, Randi stood in the living room with her camera ready to videotape the reunion. Mom and dog are now reunited. Happy tears have been shed. Miracles do happen, and one just happened in our family.

Judy Wallace lives in Medford.