Leeland Whitworth poses with his dog, Charle, who recently returned to him after being lost for nearly three years.
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NEW MADRID, Mo. As Thanksgiving week unfolds, one family is feeling extra thankful as they celebrate the return of their beloved dog, Charle, lost for almost three years, all thanks to the miracle of microchipping.
Donna Whitworth of New Madrid said her family adopted Charle, a female beagle mix breed, from the humane society in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, when she was 2 years old on Dec. 26, 2020.
According to Whitworth, Charle went missing a few months later, in the spring of 2021.
We have a fenced-in backyard, but somehow or another, she got out, Whitworth said. We searched the neighborhoods, and we could hear her barking because she has that distinct beagle bark. We would walk around calling her name, but she just never came back.
Whitworth said she and her family then began searching, putting out a Facebook post about Charle and walking around the neighborhood looking for her and asking neighbors if they had seen her.
A neighbor had said they had seen Charle a couple weeks prior, so we were hopeful in the beginning but never were able to find her, Whitworth said.
Whitworth said she and her husband decided to adopt Charle for their son Leeland, whom they had also adopted, with the intention of raising the two together.
Whitworth mentioned in June 2021 they decided to adopt another female beagle breed after being unable to find Charle.
Whitworth then said she received an email about a month ago from the national register for the microchip that they had chipped in Charle, saying that Charle had been found.
At first, I thought it was a scam; its been almost three years, Whitworth said.
According to Whitworth, she didnt read the email at first; she just happened to take a look at it before deleting it.
The caption of the email was Charle Has Been Found, and so I read it, Whitworth said.
Whitworth said the email had the contact details of the person to call, stating that Charle had been located and was at the Delta Veterinary Clinic in Sikeston.
I then thought, Well, thats a lot of information for that to be a scam, so I called the veterinary office, Whitworth said.
After that, Whitworth spoke with the veterinarian, describing Charles appearance over the phone, and said she was in tears.
I just couldnt believe it, Whitworth said.
According to Whitworth, Charle was discovered in Portageville by a woman who hoped to keep the dog. The lady had Charle for about two weeks before deciding to keep her. She also decided to take Charle to the vet to ensure she was up-to-date on her shots and spayed.
When she went in to spade Charle, the vet noticed she had already been spayed, and thats when they checked for a microchip, and it came back that she had been missing, Whitworth said.
Following her conversation with the veterinarian, Whitworth went straight to the vet to retrieve Charle after picking up her son, Leeland, from school.
I was already crying when we walked into the vet office, Whitworth said. We went in and we waited in a room, and my son Leeland was so excited and was just pacing while waiting for Charle.
Whitworth continued: He was looking under the door, and when they brought Charle in, Leeland just jumped down on the ground and started hugging her, and Charle was excited and was wagging her tail.
According to Whitworth, Charle has adjusted well to his return home after being gone for nearly three years.
She is the happiest little dog, and my little boy is so happy, Whitworth said. And Charle and our other beagle get along great and chase each other in the backyard, and they just have a blast together.
Whitworth said now that Charle is back home, there has been so much joy in the house, and Leeland said he really missed Charle and is so excited that she is back home.
I love Charle so much, Leeland said.
Whitworth said they would not have been reunited with Charle if it werent for someone who cared enough about her to take her to the veterinarian.
Whitworth said her husband passed away shortly after they lost Charle and adopted their second beagle in 2021. She noted it was a difficult time for her son, and having Charle back at home has been an absolute blessing.
Having Charle back in our lives has enriched it, Whitworth said. Leeland is now outside, playing all the time with the dogs.
Whitworth said she and her son consider their dogs to be more than just pets; they are also members of the family that contribute to the completion of their home.