Originally Published: April 7, 2009 9:10 a.m.
When a Yavapai County Animal Control officer learned a stray dog was roaming the Conestoga Lane area of Cordes Lakes, she tried as hard as she could to capture the dog and find its owner, since the animal had a collar and tags.
But the dog, who deputies later learned is named Boonie, was extremely shy and refused to come near anyone, especially the animal control officer, who spent an hour on March 16 trying to catch Boonie.
Because of the dog's shyness, the officer placed a trap at a home the dog seemed to frequent, thinking she might catch him that way, deputies said in a press release.
The officer checked the area each day until March 20 when neighbors called to report the dog was back in the area.
But when the officer arrived, the dog disappeared.
On March 25 the officer happened to stop by the Beaver Creek Ranger Station and noticed a lost dog flyer with a picture of the stray she had been trying to catch.
The flyer even mentioned that Boonie was "extremely shy and standoffish."
When the officer contacted the owner's parents - who live in Phoenix - they told her that the owner, their son Keith Bracken, 57, had been very upset over losing Boonie. Bracken suffers from partial paralysis, and Boonie has been his companion and aide.
Boonie disappeared on March 13 in the Badger Springs area near Interstate 17. Bracken had driven from Phoenix with the dog that day and, while outdoors, Boonie disappeared.
Bracken stayed in the area for five days, camping out in his vehicle, hoping to find Boonie.
On Monday Bracken and his parents met with the animal control officer in Cordes Lakes and found Boonie resting on a porch in the Conestoga Lane neighborhood.
When the dog saw his family, he ran toward them. Bracken picked up Boonie, who immediately began licking his face with excitement, deputies said.
Deputies and the animal control officer said they would like to thank all the neighbors on Conestoga Lane who kept an eye on the dog and reported its movements during the past two weeks.
Bracken said he is extremely thankful for the animal control officer's efforts, which made his reunion with Boonie possible.
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