The phone rang, and it was a number Joshua Edwards didn’t recognize. He answered, and it turned out to be a pet chip company.
“Somebody found a dog you listed. His name is Duke,” Edwards recalled the person on the phone saying. His mind immediately went to several clients of his named Duke. “Who would me put me on their pet chip?”
Then they told Edwards it was a Rottweiler—and it just hit him.
Eight years prior, Edwards had a pet Rottweiler named Duke. And one day, he had come home to see that his yard had been completely cleaned out—and his beloved dog was gone.
Edwards searched the neighborhood high and low, knocking on doors and inquiring about Duke. He also checked the animal shelter every single day for three months before he resigned himself to the fact that Duke was gone.
He kept pictures and precious memories he had of Duke, and he eventually got another Rottweiler and named him Duke Jr.
But now—could this really be Duke? It seemed like impossible news.
“I was blown away when I got the call,” Edwards told Miami Herald.
Melissa Ebanks, Edwards’s wife, met Edwards after Duke went missing, but she still knew how much he loved that dog.
“That dog meant so much to him,” she said.
So when Edwards got the call, he immediately said he would come in and the bring the dog home.
Edwards was anxious, waiting for Duke to come out. Would he remember him? Would it really be Duke?
But he needn’t have worried—Edwards recognized Duke immediately—and Duke knew exactly who he was and showered him with affection right back.
Edwards broke down in tears upon seeing his dog again.
“The anticipation and that one moment—that’s a lot of build-up. To see him walk out the door and immediately go back to being the puppy I remembered—I never thought that would be possible,” he said.
“I have my dog back and I am so grateful.”
“You’re still a goofball!” he said through tears. “I never thought this would be possible.”
Duke had been found by a good Samaritan, Maria Elena Cartaya, along a highway. He was dirty and walked with a limp, and she saw immediately he was “a sweet dog and needed help.”
Cartaya has stopped to help strays before, and she knew what to do. She helped Duke into her car and brought him to an animal clinic where they gave him a checkup and scanned for a microchip. The vet told her it seemed like the dog was usually well cared for and had only recently ended up on the streets.
Then they got a microchip match—they found the name Joshua Edwards, and Cartaya set out to track him down.
“I have animals, and if I lost one or one was stolen I would be devastated,” Cartaya said. “And then to find them after so many years—I mean, it’s awesome.”
Edwards thanked her profusely upon being reunited with Duke.
“Listen, are you kidding me? This is like, I’ll remember this for the rest of my life!” Cartaya said.
Watch the tear-jerking reunion below: