Dog returns to Kentucky family 6 years after disappearing

The Ollberding family
The Ollberding family

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

MELBOURNE, KY (FOX19) - A Melbourne, KY, family got the shock of their lives when their dog, which disappeared more than six years ago, suddenly re-appeared Wednesday.

They picked-up the dog Friday afternoon in Indianapolis and are so happy to have him back!

The Ollberding family said they wouldn't believe it until they saw their beloved pooch, a Shih Tzu named Parker, in person.

No one was more surprised than the Ollberdings when a call came from the Humane Society in Indianapolis, roughly 120 miles away.

The control officer said, "Hey, we've got your dog."

And the Ollberdings know it's their dog, because of their personal information stored in the micro-chip they had placed under its skin years ago, when they first got the pet.

The Ollberdings say they have had terrible luck with dogs. Their first family pooch, a boxer named Max, vanished.

"We had him for about three months and he went mysteriously missing," said John Ollberding.

At first, he thought Max may have fallen prey to a puppy-trafficking ring, which was later broken-up in nearby Pendleton County.

Upset, but not giving-up, they got a second dog.

It was a happy ball of fur they named Parker.

"He's a little, bitty, fluffy, furry thing you know," laughed John Ollberding.

And not taking any chances after losing Max, they outfitted Parker with a micro-chip.

"I thought, you know, he's got that chip in him," Ollberding said. "If somebody's doing this and he winds-up somewhere, we're gonna find him."

But the family only got to enjoy Parker six or seven months and that was in December.

"2005," Ollberding said. "Christmas of 2005."

"I just took the dog to get it's hair done and all that stuff, shampoo, they had bows in his hair," Ollberding laughed. "Because he had the long hair in the front."

Daughter Lacy Ollberding was one year old when Parker disappeared.

Her older brother, William, was three years old, shown holding his pet in a photograph only a month or so before Parker's exit.

"I was a baby," chimed-in youngest brother John, Jr.

At the time of Parker's disappearance, John, Sr. said he was fixing dinner.

"I let him out and I had something cooking in the microwave, soup or something," Ollberding said. "And I let him out and he always came right back to the door, always."

But this time, Parker never came back.

"I loaded the kids up, got in the truck, we went looking for him," Ollberding said. "But could not find him anywhere."

It took the family more than four years to consider getting the chocolate labs they have now, named Rex and Bella.

"I never thought I would get that phone call," Ollberding said.

Wednesday, that bombshell came from the Humane Society in Indianapolis.

"I think we've got your dog," the man told him over the phone.

The micro-chip confirmed it was, in fact, their dog.

"There was a guy jogging or something in a park, the dog was running with him," Ollberding said.

The dog would not leave the jogger's side. Worried something might happen to the little pooch, the man scooped Parker up and dropped him off at the Humane Society.

"The man at the Humane Society said he was a really good dog still and that's the way we remember him," said Jamie Ollberding. "We actually named him, 'Parker No Barker', because he never barked."

The Humane Society said Parker looks like he's been taken good care of and is healthy. He appears to have been well-fed. His hair was matted and the family plans to take Parker to their groomer and then to their veterinarian for a complete check-up.

Parker seems to be getting-along well with the Ollberdings other two dogs, chocolate labs Rex & Bella.  The family is very happily reunited.

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