By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Maximus the bulldog was reunited with Army Master Sergeant Paul Brightwell after two years and many, many miles. (Alan Shope/KCTV)
FORT RILEY, KS (KCTV) -
We've seen time and time again owners and pets reunited thanks to a microchip and in some cases that could be after many years and extreme situations.
If there was ever a doubt about the honesty and loyalty of man's best friend, it's evident in the video of Maximus the bulldog being reunited with his owner.
The story began five years ago when Army Master Sgt. Paul Brightwell was about to be sent home from Iraq.
"I'd been wanting a bulldog for a long time and I did a lot of research," Brightwell said.
He bought one online and had the puppy waiting for his family when he returned.
The problem was that three years later his dog was stolen in Oklahoma.
"Someone backed up to our fence and knocked the privacy fence over and took him out of our yard," Brightwell said.
His town had been hit hard. Brightwell said a number of purebred dogs were stolen that week and he didn't think he'd ever see Maximus again.
"I had about 130 guys that I worked out looking for him. Pretty much in all of about three weeks we had signs posted up everywhere, every gas station, called the AKC (American Kennel Club), the local shelters and they put the alert out," he said.
But Maximus was gone.
Fast forward two years and Brightwell is working in Kansas at Fort Riley. He gets a call that his dog was found wandering the streets in Kansas City, identified by a microchip.
The long-awaited reunion was captured on a cell phone.
It was a heartfelt reunion that's been seen about 500,000 times on YouTube. While watching it, people can't help but smile, or pet their own dog.
"He sleeps with my son every night, so my son was glad to get him back," Brightwell said.
Still after two years Maximus knows where home is.
Brightwell's family still lives in Oklahoma and after he wraps up his final duty before retiring, he and Maximus will be moving back.
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