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GOLDEN, Colo. — A dog missing for almost nine years was finally reunited with its owner Saturday.

Lloyd Goldstone and his two kids drove from Tennessee to Golden to pick up their beloved boxer Boozer.

Boozer was 8 months old when he disappeared out of the family’s backyard, and this was the first time they had seen him since he was a puppy.

Last week, Boozer’s former owner dropped off the dog at Foothills Animal Shelter, saying he could no longer take care of it. Foothills checked the dog’s microchip just in case, and it turned out another owner had been looking for Boozer all this time.

“I cried, especially when they sent the first picture of him,” Goldstone said. “[My daughter] cried. My wife cried. All the kids were excited and the immediate question was ‘Are we gonna get him? Are we gonna get him?'”

And that they did, 2,500 miles of driving over 18 hours with just one destination in mind: An animal shelter to retrieve a long lost family member.

“After all this time to see him again; he was just a puppy and now he’s this old guy, both of us have gray hair now,” Goldstone said. “It’s like getting a family member back. It’s that level of emotion.”

The Goldstones say they are grateful that the family who had Boozer for nine years took great care of him.