Troy Maben  /  AP
Thomas Gaide gives a hug to Chevy, his newly found dog, at his home in Boise, Idaho, July 7. The black Lab disappeared from Gaide's northern California home in 1996 and was feared lost forever.
updated 7/8/2004 6:30:14 PM ET 2004-07-08T22:30:14

Thomas Gaide thought the caller was barking up the wrong tree. An animal shelter in California couldn’t possibly have his dog, Chevy.

Chevy was right in front of him, 650 miles away at his Boise home.

But when the man insisted and mentioned a computer chip in the dog’s neck, Gaide realized that after seven years, Chevy’s predecessor had finally been found.

The older dog disappeared from Gaide’s Hayward, Calif., backyard in 1996. Calls were made to the pound, hours were spent searching the neighborhood and countless flyers were posted to no avail.

It was six years before Gaide could bring himself to buy another black lab, and name it Chevy.

Gaide and the younger dog moved to Boise last year.

The call about the original Chevy came about three weeks ago, Gaide said, after shelter officials tracked him down through his wife, who still lives in California.

Now the older Chevy is living happily with Gaide’s other three dogs, including Chevy the younger.

“The first day or two he was like, ’What’s up with the new guy?’ but now he acts like he remembers me, responds to me and the bond is still there,” Gaide said.

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