A US woman’s journey to reunite with her long lost dog will soon have a happy ending thanks to a can of beer.
Monica Mathis’ dog Hazel vanished from her Iowa yard in May 2017.
But recently, Ms Mathis saw a familiar face staring out from a pint pictured on social media.
A brewery over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away in Florida had gained prominence on the internet for putting adoptable dogs on its cans to help a local shelter.
Hazel, renamed Day Day by the shelter, was among the featured canines in need of care.
While it’s still unclear how Hazel wound up across the country, she will be back home with Ms Mathis this month.
The golden-terrier mix disappeared while she was leashed in Ms Mathis’ yard in Iowa, and was never found, despite her owner’s search efforts. When Ms Mathis moved to St Paul, Minnesota soon after Hazel’s disappearance, she had abandoned hope of ever finding her pet.
Somehow, Hazel had made her way some 1,300 miles down south to Bradenton, a town in Manatee County, Florida.
When she was brought to the county animal shelter, staff tried to use her microchip to locate her owner, but the contact information was out of date, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
At the time, Motorworks Brewing, a local company, had partnered with the shelter to help dogs find homes by putting their faces on a four-pack of cold ones.
The cans made headlines and were featured on the popular daytime TV programme the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Miles away in Minnesota, stories about the “beer dogs” suddenly appeared on Ms Mathis’ Facebook feed.
“This is my dog,” Ms Mathis wrote on the brewery’s post on 24 January.
She told WWSB News: “I was a little hysterical because I was scared someone was going to adopt her at that point or something. I was scared I was gonna lose her again.”
The shelter then asked Ms Mathis to share proof that the golden-terrier mix was hers, including veterinary records and photographs. When everything was set straight a few days later, the shelter announced that Hazel was going home.
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“You can’t make up a story this good,” Barry Elwonger, marketing director at Motorworks Brewing, told the BBC. He said it was “incredible” to see the reach of the story on social media.
The brewery has a history of partnering with animal-related charities, but this is the first time a beer can has gained this much influence – and helped reconnect a family.
Mr Elwonger, who met Hazel on a couple of television appearances promoting the shelter, said she was a very sweet dog.
The Friends of Manatee County Animal Services nonprofit will send Hazel home later this month, just in time to celebrate her seventh birthday, after she obtains a health certificate.
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