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Japanese Dog Reunited with Owner

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EUGENE, Ore. — Dogs show up at First Avenue Shelter with all sorts of stories, but staff say one dog with a microchip from Japan has a personality as unique as his birthplace.

“Certainly had a nice enough personality, didn’t seem to mind people or other dogs, but really wasn’t interested in them as well,” said Sasha Elliot, Greenhill Humane Society.

Nicknamed Tokyo, he just did his own thing, which ended up being bit of challenge when it came to adoption.

“We were kind of stumped as a staff. How were we going to find the right family to place this dog?” Elliot said.

So as Tokyo was working things out in Eugene, in Portland recently discharged soldier Jay Harness was doing the same.

“Since I’ve been back, I’ve just been getting ready for school, going up to Portland, trying to train to be a helicopter pilot,” Harness said.

On-and-off unemployment and instability made for a challenging post-service transition, but Harness’ struggle seemed even steeper when he found out he would have to do it without his best friend, Dax.

“I just found out from my mom four days ago that he was missing. She didn’t want to tell me because she knew there were a lot of difficult circumstances going on. They had been informed he was hit by a car,” Harness said.

Harness adopted Dax three years ago but left him with one of his brothers when he went to work overseas in Belgium. So to get back and find out he was missing–even dead–was almost too much to take.

“Living in Portland, calling down here, asking if they had found him. I just didn’t know,” Harness said.

Harness found nothing, no clues, until Tuesday.

“My brother is a truck driver, and he had heard over the radio that there was a dog from Japan that they had found. He had no idea what my dog looked like or anything like that, but he knew I had brought my dog over from Japan when I was stationed there,” Harness said.

Harness’ brother called his mom, his mom called Harness, and Harness got on the road to Eugene. Dax was no longer the stand-offish stray the staff was used to.

“He just came alive. He was much more friendly, and you could just see him take a sigh and know that he was back with his owner,” Elliott said.

Harness let out the same sigh of relief.

“He’s like a child to me. He’s like my son, so I am very happy to see that he is alive and well. He’s not hurt at all, and that we’re back together again,” Harness said.

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  1. Christiana Gunderson says:

    Best thing I’ve read and heard all day. thanks so much KEZI for running the story and to the shelter for picking up the phone and making the story happen. Kudos! Job well done. aaaannnddd this is why all pets should be micro-chipped!

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