A year ago yesterday, Ichabod, a three-year-old pit-bull mix, found a new home after Nick Hooten and Jill Paros adopted him from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. For much of the time since then, though, he's been somewhere else. He vanished in August, only to resurface in, of all places, St. Charles, Missouri, about 850 miles away. No one knows how he got there, but at this writing, folks who love a happy ending are bringing him back to Colorado.
Humane Society spokeswoman Kim Sporrer tells the tale.
"Last August, his guardians asked us to file a lost report on Ichabod, and they put up signs on trails and all over Boulder hoping someone would see him," she says. "Then they called again a few days later to see if anyone had turned him in. But we hadn't seen him."
Cut to a week and a half ago, when "someone found Ichabod in St. Charles, Missouri, and brought him to a shelter," Sporrer continues. "They scanned him there and found the microchip we'd implanted in him when he was adopted. That linked him back to us, and to his guardians, much to their delight. They were thrilled to find out that their dog was still alive," and in good shape as well.
At that point, Hooten and Paros contacted the Boulder Humane Society "and asked if there was anything we could do to help get Ichabod back," Sporrer recalls. "So we made some calls to the shelter in St. Charles and said, 'What can we do to help?' They said they'd work on it, too, and they got in touch with some volunteers who drove Ichabod from St. Charles," which is near St. Louis, "to Kansas City."
Nice, but still a long way from Boulder. Fortunately, though, Colorado Animal Rescue Express, an organization based in Englewood, took it from there. "They had a number of animals they were picking up and taking to other shelters and rescues," Sporrer notes. "So really early this morning, they picked up Ichabod, too."
By later today, the CARE crew should be back in Colorado, and they plan to rendezvous with Hooten and Paros at the parking lot of a Petco in Aurora.
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When asked if this is the craziest reunion story in which the Boulder Humane Society has been involved, Sporrer concedes that another one came close. Last year, a couple from Germany taking a road trip across America lost their cat at the Boulderado Hotel. The cat wound up at the shelter a few weeks later -- and the couple actually flew back from Europe to retrieve their beloved pet.
Of course, the difference in these stories is that the cat didn't get very far, while Ichabod somehow managed to travel across significant portions of at least three states, and maybe more depending on his particular route.
Even so, Ichabod, there's no place like home.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Pit-bull service-dog exemption rejected by Denver City Council."