FLORIDA (ABC News) — When Monica Mathis’s dog vanished from her front yard she tried everything to find her, without success.
In the end it took three years and the surprising intervention of a beer can to reunite her with her four-legged friend.
“She was on a leash outside and I went to get her and she was gone from our yard,” Mathis told ABC News’ affiliate KSTP TV of her pet’s disappearance.
After her terrier mix, Hazel, disappeared, Mathis moved from her Iowa home to Minnesota, and years passed, until she spotted a Florida brewery’s promotion which featured her dog’s picture.
The Motorworks Brewing company of Bradenton, Florida, launched a promotion in Jan. 2020 featuring four-packs decorated with pictures of dogs in local shelters in a bid to raise funds and spur adoptions. Each can featured a picture of a local shelter dog, some information about them and about the plans for expanding the shelter.
Spotting the promotion on social media, one of the animals looked familiar to Mathis.
“‘Oh my gosh that looks like my dog, I think that’s my dog,'” Mathis told KSTP of her reaction. “I have no idea how she got to Florida.”
Mathis contacted the Manatee County Animal Shelter where the can said Hazel was which then needed proof that Hazel was really hers.
“I sent everything I could find — all the pictures so I could stop an adoption process from happening because I could’ve lost her again,” Mathis said.
The shelter accepted her proof and after a three-year separation, Mathis and Hazel are set to be reunited in time to celebrate Hazel’s 7th birthday after the nonprofit Friends of Manatee County Animal Services agreed to cover the cost of transporting her from Florida to Minnesota.
“I was amazed, I was crying. An emotional wreck,” Mathis told KSTP of her shaggy dog story with a happy ending.