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Entries in Reunion (4)

Wednesday
Feb202013

WATCH: New Hampshire Man Reunited with Dog 10 Years Later

Courtesy of Emily Lafasciano(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Jamie Carpentier of Nashua, N.H., had always wondered whatever happened to Ginger, the dog that dropped out of his life nearly a decade ago.

On a whim, he logged on to the website of the Humane Society of Greater Nashua one night last month and looked through the dogs that were up for adoption, according to a report from ABC News affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire.  One click brought him to the listing of a 13-year-old basset hound named Ginger.

There was something about the description of Ginger that reminded Carpentier of his long-lost dog.  Though there were no pictures attached, Carpentier was struck by the dog’s description, which read: ”I have the longest ears and the biggest heart of any dog you will ever meet!  I am an older girl, but I still have a lot of spunk left.”

Without Carpentier’s knowledge, his ex-wife had surrendered Ginger to the Nashua Humane Society shelter in 2003.  An older couple adopted Ginger, but they returned her to the shelter last October when caring for Ginger became too difficult, according to the shelter.

It’s a tough adjustment for older animals coming into the shelter, and members of the Humane Society staff opened their homes to Ginger while waiting for a new family to adopt her, Noelle Schuyler, an event and outreach coordinator for the Humane Society shelter, told ABC News.

To Carpentier, the dog on the shelter’s website sounded like his lost companion.

“Just the paws, that’s the thing I remembered about her,” Carpentier told WMUR.  “She had these ‘ginormous’ paws.”

It was not until Carpentier was on the phone with staff members, who excitedly compared Ginger’s spots with the markings in the old photos that Carpentier had sent to them, that everyone realized Ginger could be the same dog.

“She’s a little bit more white now,” Schuyler said, “but she has three markers on her side that matched up.”

Shortly after that call, Carpentier met Ginger at the shelter.  Ten years had passed, and many of the staff members wondered how Ginger would react when Carpentier came down to the basement, where she was sleeping, Schuyler said.

Carpentier nudged Ginger gently out of her sleep, and Ginger began to sniff at Carpentier, Schuyler recalled.

“At one point he was petting her head, and he bent his face down, and she started licking his face.  That was the moment we saw that she recognized him,”  Schuyler said, as Ginger had never done that with anyone before.

“She just seemed like she knew it was me,” Carpentier told WMUR.  “It was me and my father that were there.  She just recognized us.”

After 10 years and some slobbery kisses, Carpentier and Ginger were reunited for good.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov162012

Abandoned Texas Boy Reunited with Fireman Who Found Him as Infant

Comstock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- When 10-year-old Koregan Quintanilla's teacher asked him where he would go if he could go anywhere, the boy said he would to go "his fire station" to meet the fireman who found him when he was abandoned as a baby.

Koregan's tenth birthday wish came true when the two were reunited Thursday at Arlington's Fire Station No. 12 in Texas.

It was on a cold November morning 10 years ago that fireman Wesley Keck noticed something unusual outside the firehouse--a baby carrier covered with a blanket.

"When I looked at it, it was kind of one of those double-take things because you don't think that's what you're going to see first thing in the morning," Keck told ABC News. "As soon as I realized what it was, I just went over to the side door and opened it up and he's kind of tucked into the corner there."

Keck saw a sleeping baby boy tucked into the carrier with an extra diaper and a bottle.

"Somebody went a few extra steps to make sure he was going to be okay and taken care of," Keck said. He scooped up the carrier and headed into the firehouse where two other firefighters were also awake.

"I announced to them that we had a surprise. We had a little gift and we kind of went to work from there," he said. "I didn't do anything special. I just happened to be the one that was there that day and found him."

Under Texas' Baby Moses Law, implemented in 2001, a person can leave an infant up to 60 days old at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked for Child Protective Services to take custody of.

The healthy little boy, who doctors believed was only about a day old, was taken by Texas' Child Protective Services and Keck heard that he was adopted, but knew little else.

"I knew the town that he probably was in, but that was it," Keck said. "And that happens on a lot of calls, good and bad. After we walk away that day we never know the outcome of it, so it was really nice to get the outcome."

Over the years, Keck had kept in his locker a photo of Koregan from the morning he was found.

"I talked about him several times over the years and just wondering over the last few years, wondering how things are going for him, where he was at, what he looked like, all those sorts of things," he said.

Recently, Koregan's teacher asked about his bucket list.

"What happened is his teacher asked him if he could be anywhere, if he could go anywhere, what's on his bucket list, and he said, to come to his fire station," Koregan's mother Rebecca Quintanilla told ABC News' Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV at the reunion.

She reached out to the fire station and set up the reunion.

"I thought that was really cool," Keck said. "I'm glad that he thought of it that way and that he wanted to come there because obviously I wanted to meet him so it worked out great for both of us."

An emotional Koregan wrapped his arms tightly around Keck when the two met and his mom joined in on the hug as his dad and sisters stood by watching tearfully.

In addition to meeting "his firefighter," Koregan got to go for a ride in the firetruck, work the sirens and operate the truck's hose. Keck was also able to give the family the negative from the first photo of Koregan, which they did not have. He also learned that Koregan has dreams of being a fireman.

"He wants to be a fireman and maybe one of these days he can work for Arlington," Keck said.

"I was excited that I got to meet him," Koregan told WFAA of Keck. "I'm glad I get to come here and see everyone because this is my fire station that I was abandoned at."

Keck reassured Koregan that he would always have a fire station family.

"I told him anytime that he wants to come to the fire station and ride out with us, or he's got anything special going on in his life that he wants people to be there for, to let me know," he said. "Hopefully, we'll get to keep in contact with each other."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov092012

Rescued Michael Vick Dogs Reunited Five Years Later

Mark Rogers/www.markrogersphotography[dot]com(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- They were battered and bruised but, ultimately, they were not broken.

Seven dogs rescued from NFL quarterback Michel Vick’s Virginia property when he pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to dog fighting, were reunited in California Oct. 27, tails wagging, tongues out, happy.

Five years ago they had scars, some physical, all emotional.  They wore bandannas at their reunion celebration, surrounded by 125 emotional guests and their proud owners.

“They’re very forgiving and they all really enjoy other dogs, which is probably the other big surprise that came out of the case,” said Donna Reynolds, director of Oakland-based BAD RAP, an advocacy group for “pit bull-type” dogs. “In fact, dogs were a comfort to them.”

Reynolds’ organization worked with prosecutors on the Vick case in 2007 to identify dogs that were taken from Vick’s property who could be rehabilitated. Of the 10 that Reynolds’ organization secreted out of Virginia in the back of an RV because of the ongoing investigation, seven returned to their ranch nearly unrecognizable from the dogs that they were before.

Hector, a brownish pit bull, has scars up and down his chest and missing teeth from his days in Vick’s dog-fighting arena.

“He’s got a notch out of his tongue, a notch out of his ear. He definitely had a poor life before now,” his owner Roo Yori said.

Nearly five years ago, Yori and his wife drove more than 35 hours from Minnesota to San Francisco to pick up Hector. He came back to their home almost as if nothing had happened.

“Hector, fortunately, was one of the dogs that wasn’t as affected as some of the other ones. Hector, he just kind of got out of there said, ‘That stunk, let’s move forward,’ and that was it. It was very obvious he had never lived in a house; he had never been a pet dog,” Yori said.

“He unpotted a potted plant because he wanted to play with it like a stick.”

Hector now fits in well with the family: Yori, wife Clara and their four other dogs.

At the ranch, the normally independent, 7-year-old Hector became uncharacteristically animated, wagging his tail wildly and wiggling in excitement upon being reunited with Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer, the founders of BAD RAP.

“Hector actually loved Tim and Donna … you could totally tell,” Yori said. “He’s kind of an independent dog, he’s kind of aloof. When he saw Tim and Donna, he stared wiggling. You could tell he remembered them.”

All the dogs now lead full lives.

“Dogs live in the moment; they don’t dwell on the past,” BAD RAP’s Reynolds said. “Once they have enough positive experiences to draw on, they just run right into the present.”

Seven have Canine Good Citizen Certificates and three are therapy dogs in hospitals and children’s literacy programs.

At least one, Jonny Justice, a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier with something of an eye patch, has become a bit of a celebrity.

Jonny appeared on “The Rachael Ray Show” in 2008 and next year will be the model for a stuffed dog made by manufacturer GUND as the winner of their “Top Dog” contest.

Of the 10 dogs rescued, three did not make it to the reunion: one because of distance and another because of a last-minute emergency. A third, Ernie, was just busy being a dog, no longer a “Vick dog.”

“Ernie’s mom doesn’t want him to be a Vick dog anymore, she just wants to have a dog,” Reynolds said.

As the seven dogs and their owners posed for a glamour shot, giggles and laughter rang out when the dogs tried to squirm their way to freedom.

“The tails were just flying around,” said photographer Mark Rogers, who valiantly tried to wrangle the disorderly group for a final photo.

But there were also tears that came mainly from the 125 members of the public who attended the event just to lend some support.

“There were lots of hugs, kisses, lots of crying. When people meet these dogs, they cry,” Reynolds said. “They understand that they are little pieces of positive history.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep182012

Amanda Knox's Ex-Boyfriend Has No Regrets About Meeting Her

Amanda Knox breaks down in tears after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher at the Perugia court on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. Pier Paolo Cito - Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Raphaele Sollecito said he was nervous before his reunion with Amanda Knox, afraid that seeing his ex-girlfriend would bring back the nightmare of the two of them spending four years in an Italian prison, accused of murder.

"I was stuck a little bit. I was nervous," he told Katie Couric Tuesday on Katie, Couric's new show.

Sollecito was afraid Knox would be like a "ghost," that her image would "bring up to me the image of the nightmare" of being in prison.

Speaking in careful English, Sollecito told of how he and Knox were dating for only nine days in Perugia, Italy, when they were both arrested in 2007 for the murder of Knox's English roommate, Meredith Kercher. They were both convicted of the murder and given long prison sentences.

They were freed on appeal in 2011, and Knox quickly left the country. Sollecito and Knox still face an appeal by prosecutors, who want the two sentenced again to life in prison.

Sollecito, 27, and Knox, 25, reunited in her hometown of Seattle earlier this year, and his fears of a return to his nightmare quickly dissolved.

"When she hugged me, I realized she was not my ghost, my nightmare," Sollecito told Couric.

Sollecito said the two kept in touch almost weekly during their years in prison, exchanging notes, magazines, books and stories about their families and friends.

They continue to correspond by email and Skype. He said the last time he and Knox Skyped, "She sang a song for me."

Despite the hellish four years of prison and the threat of life in prison, Sollecito said he rejected advice from his father and friends to abandon Knox. And when Couric asked whether he regrets having met Knox, he replied with a firm "No. It was not her fault. It was the fault of the detectives."

A third person, Rudy Guede, was also convicted of Kercher's murder and is serving a 16-year prison term.

Sollecito has written a book titled Honor Bound, My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox.

Knox is also under contract for a book that HarperCollins is expected to publish next year.

Sollecito said that he hopes the Kercher family gets answers about their daughter's death because "the truth ... would allow me to move on too."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio