(FOX 11) - A local Thousand Oaks man's random encounter with a dog turned into the best reunion ever.
Get out the tissues for this one!
This is Thomas DeLauer's story told in his own words from his Facebook page:
'What happened to me and this dog this past week is nothing short of a miracle.
The picture is a moment that taught me that there is a path for us in life and dogs may play a huge part, and things don't always just happen. So read on, but fair warning, it's a tear-jerker, and a pretty long story.
When I was 14-years-old, I had a dog. A dog that meant everything to me at that time. Through a period of my life when my parents were divorcing and things were chaotic in my life, this dog brought light into my life. There were nights where I cried myself to sleep with this dog because life was just so crazy. He was one of the most important pieces of my life.
As time went on and I went off to school and on with life, my amazing mother promised to take care of the dog. My mom was and still is one of the most caring people when it comes to animals, so I had zero doubt he would be in amazing hands.
Over time, my old dog became my mother's companion, sticking by her side while she went through some of the toughest times of her life, dealing with PTSD, trauma and other extremely brutal times. This magical dog, once again, became a savior in our family's life.
Through an unfortunate series of events, my mother alerted me that she was going to have to find the dog a new loving home. Because of the trauma in her life, it was in the best interest for the dog that he went to a loving home. Amber and I couldn't take him, we already had three dogs and were living in Texas at the time.
So... this dog, who's name is Butch, received a new, loving home. Where he ended up geographically, we didn't know. All we knew is the rescue organization found him an amazing home. Needless to say. We were all heartbroken, but we knew he was cared for. We would probably never see Butch again...
Flash forward to November 2016...
Again, one of the toughest times of my life approaching. My father dying from cancer and within the last weeks of his life had started to take its toll on me as well as my family. The stress of watching him pass was even putting a strain on my marriage, which was absolutely iron-clad. I wish I had my old dog to cry on...
Thanksgiving week rolls around and Amber (who is my wife) decide that we need to get out of town AWAY from family this year. Focus on ourselves and just appreciate what we have. So... we found a random AirBnB in Santa Cruz, about 6 hours north of where we live now. This was ENTIRELY RANDOM as we had no idea where we were going, we just picked the first spot on the map with an available AirBnb.
Mind you, we had zero connection with Santa Cruz. This was just a random getaway.
So, we arrive at our apartment that we are renting in Santa Cruz. We drop off our stuff and we honestly reflect on how sad we are. How our lives, although seemingly good on the surface, were in shambles with all the chaos. We decided, let's go to Whole Foods and pick up some good food to get us through the holiday in solace.
We drive down the street to a random Whole Foods in Capitola, CA. A random town that we have never been to before in our lives. We pull in the parking lot and slowly lock the truck, and mope on into Whole Foods.
But before we enter.... I catch something. A dog.
A dog that looks somewhat like my old puppy from YEARS before. He's with a wonderful family along with two other great Aussies. I feel compelled to talk to them.
Amber and I ask if we can pet their dogs and we politely exclaim that "wow, that dog looks just like my old pup."
They reply, "He is a great old guy, gonna be 17-years-old soon!"
I say, "wow, my guy would've been about 17 now."
Amber chimes in and says, "he was such a great dog, his name was Butch." Mind you, Amber and I have been together since high school, so she remembers Butch. Amber and I latched onto each other in high school when both of our family units were a bit disrupted.
Anyhow, the owner of the dog replies, "THIS IS BUTCH!!!"
Ladies and gentleman, years later, by the grace of whatever, I had just been reunited with my dog! The dog that was there for me during the toughest time of my life. The angel dog that was there for my mom, the dog that helped save Amber and I countless times that we hadn't seen in YEARS.
In a random town in California with no idea whatsoever that he was anywhere near there. At that very moment in time, at that very Whole Foods, on that very sad day. Literally LESS THAN A 1 in a BILLION chance!
We chatted a bit, and next thing we knew, our lonely thanksgiving became one filled with Love and memories as we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with this family, and my OLD DOG, who is just barely hanging in there.
These people, and my old dog, are now back in my life for good, bringing Amber and I peace with all the chaos in our lives right now.
Words can't express the power of an animal through a stressful time. Butch rescued me, healed my heart, allowed me to accept things in my life, and made my marriage with my beautiful wife Amber stronger than ever before.
If you ever think for a moment, that your dog doesn't recognize or remember you.... think again, because this picture shows exactly what happens when even after 10 years, a dog sees you again... who found who?
Seriously, WHO FOUND WHO?!'
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