Some may call it a coincidence, but for Nashua, N.H., resident Jamie Carpentier, the events leading up to his long-awaited reunion with his dog are nothing short of a miracle.
Ten years ago, when Carpentier and his wife parted ways, he said a heartbreaking goodbye to the couple’s dog — a Basset Hound named Ginger, who was to live with his ex-wife. Carpentier was sad, but was under the impression his ex would take care of the dog they’d shared for the three years before their separation.
Over the years that followed, Carpentier would think of Ginger often, wondering what ever became of his sweet floppy-eared friend.
Carpentier had been thinking about adding another dog to the family for some time, but hadn’t yet begun a serious search. Then last month, just for fun, Carpentier visited the Humane Society of Greater Nashua website to look through the adoptable dog postings.
That’s when fate seemed to take over. As he surfed the shelter’s site, Carpentier stumbled upon a dog description that seemed very familiar to him:
“I have the longest ears and the biggest heart of any dog you will ever meet!” the listing read. “I am an older girl, but I still have a lot of spunk left.”
Something about the dog’s listing struck him, and Carpentier was immediately reminded of Ginger, the dog he hadn’t seen in a decade. There was no photo, but Carpentier felt compelled to follow up the lead.
When he contacted the staff at the Humane Society of Greater Nashua for more information, they sent him a couple of photos of the old hound. Carpentier’s jaw dropped — he knew immediately the dog in the photo was his long lost Basset Hound, Ginger.
It turns out that, after their 2003 divorce, Carpentier’s ex-wife surrendered Ginger to the Humane Society without his knowledge. Ginger was quickly adopted by an older couple that same year. But when caring for her became too difficult for them to manage, they returned the now 13-year-old girl to the same shelter in October 2012.
Ginger remained at the Humane Society of Greater Nashua for several months, a senior dog hoping for a forever home. But when Carpentier showed up at the shelter January 21, it was clear she wouldn’t be going to a brand new home — she’d be going back to the first home and the first owner she’d ever known.
Carpentier brought along some old photos of Ginger to show the staff, and when they were able to match Ginger’s markings to the markings of the dog in the old photographs, the employees were able to confirm it was in fact the same dog.
“She’s a little bit more white now, but she has three markers on her side that matched up,” explained the shelter’s Outreach Coordinator, Noelle Schuyler.
Carpentier was thrilled to finally reunite with Ginger after all these years. But would Ginger remember him?
“At one point he was petting her head, and he bent his face down, and she started licking his face,” Schuyler described. “That was the moment we saw that she recognized him.”
“It just seemed like she knew it was me,” Carpentier explained. “It was me and my father that were there. She just recognized us.”
Carpentier and Ginger headed home that day, as happy a pair as the day they first met. Carpentier says the two will remain partners for life.