John Traylor and his family were torn apart when their beloved 17-year-old Labrador, Cooper, vanished from their house the day after Thanksgiving.
For a month, they hung flyers, drove around town, and prayed that Cooper would come back home. John described the month as “torment,” and they came up empty-handed.
“We honestly had given up hope,” he admitted.
But a kayaker was at the right place at the right time while navigating the waters of the Appomattox River. The kayaker spotted a dog in a marshy area and reported it.
Sure enough, the dog ended up being Cooper — he was 1.6 miles away from home!
Animal control officers were able to coax Cooper closer to them with treats. “He definitely was barking,” Amanda Hoak with Hopewell Animal Control said. After 20 minutes, they were able to secure him in a rescue boat. Once he was in the boat, Amanda said he was happy and let the officers pet him.
As you’ll see in the footage below, Cooper is overjoyed when he’s finally reunited with his owner — and the feeling is mutual!
“I think I held onto him for about five or six minutes before I even looked up,” said John.
“It was a win for our hearts,” Amanda added. “Everyone likes to have a good miracle at the end of the year and go into a new year just as happy.”
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Thumbnail Photos: WTVR Richmond
Footage provided by WTVR Richmond
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