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Upon hearing Dewon Gray’s voice, Prez froze, tilted his head and then darted to the front of Marley’s Hope Dog Rescue Society.
Gray had been searching for his 90-pound Doberman since mid-October after the woman looking after Prez gave him up and cut off communication with his owner.
“It’s a miracle, man. I never thought I would see him again,” the Dartmouth resident said in an interview on Tuesday.
In September, Gray headed to Alberta to find work and left his seven-month-old puppy with his girlfriend at the time.
“My girlfriend was supposed to find him a spot that would look after him temporarily,” he said.
Gray’s girlfriend said she knew a woman who had looked after big dogs before. Although he didn’t know the woman, Gray said he trusted his girlfriend.
Prez was to stay with the woman for roughly two months, “but when I went to get him back there was no communication to get a hold of them,” said Gray.
The woman then moved and blocked him and his girlfriend on social media.
“That woman was told if she couldn’t handle him, because of how he’s hyper and everything, to give him back right away,” he said. “I would’ve quit my job or whatever the case would’ve been.”
Darlene Grady-Lunn, founder and director of Marley’s Hope, said the non-profit organization took in Prez as an owner surrender in September.
“The woman had decided she got this dog and she couldn’t care for it anymore because he was jumping on her kids,” recalled Grady-Lunn.
The Doberman puppy was sent for training at Little Mo’s in Truro before returning to the Halifax shelter. From there, he would go back and forth from foster homes and the shelter, but was never adopted.
A video of Prez the day before he was reunited with Dewan Gray
PrezPosted by Marley's Hope on Sunday, December 16, 2018
Some dogs have 60 or 70 applications, but in Prez’s case, they only came every now and then, said the shelter owner.
“For whatever reason, we just couldn’t seem to find a home for him,” she said, noting Prez was rambunctious and jumpy, but didn’t have major behavioural issues.
Marley’s Hope posted on Facebook about Prez often, but didn’t gain much interest, said Grady-Lunn.
But on Sunday, Gray said he was looking through job ads online and an ad for a Doberman caught his eye.
“I seen him on the corner on certain ads and I was like, ‘That looks like my dog,’ and then I seen the name and I was like, ‘That’s my freaking dog,’” recalled Gray.
On Monday morning, Grady-Lunn said the veterinarian clinic next door called and said a man called and asked if the shelter had Prez.
“After some discussion, it was becoming very clear that this was this man’s dog,” she said, adding Gray provided Prez’s veterinarian documents and photos.
That night, Gray and Prez were reunited for the first time in months.
“When I opened the door he kind of looked for a second and then ran, leaping, like this is a 90 pound Doberman, he leaped into his owner’s arms and put his back paws around the man’s neck,” recalled Grady-Lunn. “There was zero doubt in my mind that that was his owner.”
“It made me want to cry because it was like he didn’t forget,” said Gray.
“He won’t leave my side actually,” he said with a laugh. “I go somewhere and he’s up my bum.”
Gray said he’s thankful for Marley’s Hope, which has since posted the story on its Facebook page and it has gone viral.
He doesn’t blame his ex-girlfriend.
“I know it’s not really her fault, we both thought we could trust this person I gave my dog to,” he said.
“I’m just glad to have him back. He ain’t leaving my side no more, that’s for sure.”