Memphis was adopted when he was 2 years old, and his family immediately learned he was a bit of a free spirit. He liked to escape his yard and explore the neighborhood, but he always managed to find his way back home eventually.
“He has always been an opportunist who likes adventure,” Felecia Schoonover, Memphis’ mom, told The Dodo. “His most memorable rendezvous [was] a trip to the bar a few blocks over, where he spent the night enjoying popcorn with some of the patrons. He’s an extremely friendly dog, so he often got picked up by strangers until I’d find out where he was and retrieve him.”
In April 2019, Schoonover was in the shower when her kids decided to go out to the backyard to play. Memphis used that as an opportunity to head off on another adventure, and by the time Schoonover managed to get out of the shower and throw on some clothes, Memphis was nowhere to be found.
“We drove up and down the neighborhood yelling his name with no luck,” Schoonover said. “I spent the next week posting on Facebook and periodically checking the animal shelter. Over the years, I’ve periodically checked their website and Facebook page in hopes of finding him.”
Schoonover never gave up hope that she might find Memphis again, and one day, her wish came true — just not in the way she thought it would. She came across a post from his new family last year saying he’d gone missing again. They eventually found him, but Schoonover didn’t have the heart to tear him away from his new life.
“I was so excited to know that he had been cared for over the years,” Schoonover said. “I made a post in the same group regarding his origins and someone on there informed me of how his new family came to have him — someone had snatched him up and sold him to them. I didn’t want to rip him away from a family who loved him and missed him the same way I loved and missed him.”
As much as Schoonover and her kids missed Memphis, they didn’t want to inflict that same pain on his new family. Instead, Schoonover left a note with the local animal shelter saying that if he ever ended up back there to let her know. She wanted to make sure that, if he ever needed it, Memphis would have a place to come home to.
“I never contacted the family as I didn’t feel there was a need to,” Schoonover said. “I wanted him to be happy, and they had been providing that. It hurt my heart that he had been across town this whole time, but it wouldn’t be fair to uproot him.”
Finally, the call came that Schoonover never thought would come. Memphis was back at the shelter, and they wanted to know if Schoonover and her family wanted him back. She said yes in a heartbeat, and after all those years, Memphis was finally home.
“I had just adopted another bully baby just a couple [of] months before I got the call, and the thought of having two big dogs to care for was a bit overwhelming, but they hit it off right away,” Schoonover said. “Baby sister loves him and he’s quite fond of giving her kisses. He’s the same old Memphis we all remembered. His favorite place is still next to Mom on the couch, he still loves rooting under furniture in search of hidden crumbs and he still loves cuddling up with my son, just like when they were young pups together.”
Memphis has had quite a journey, but now he’s back with his original family, and they’re all so thrilled to have him home.