LAKELAND, Fla. - Kendra Claridy and her partner, Kayla Burton, adopted Cane in 2005. Cane was a white boxer with striking sky blue eyes.
"He was a great dog, has been since day one," Claridy said.
Cane, short for ‘Candy Cane,' lived with Claridy and Burton in Lakeland. But on Dec. 23, 2006, he disappeared. Claridy believes he was stolen from their front yard.
"We looked for him. Looked. Looked. Looked. Called his name, went to the neighbors and could not find him," Burton said. "We searched forever."
"I just assumed I was never going to see him again," Claridy said.
And Claridy and Burton did not see him again for five years. Over time, they gave up looking and gave up hope.
Then, this past weekend, someone called Claridy about a dog.
"Once he said ‘six-year-old, neutered, boxer, male,' my heart just dropped. I said ‘Oh my God, it's Cane,'" Claridy said.
A woman had found Cane about 10 miles from where he disappeared in Lakeland. She called the Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Shelter.
One of the people there found Cane's microchip and traced it back to Claridy. He called her on Sunday. Claridy and Burton picked up the dog on Monday.
The great news also came at a good time: one of Claridy and Burton's other dogs passed away suddenly two weeks ago.
"To have Cane now has softened (the loss)," Claridy said. "My baby boy dies and my other baby boy -- who is all grown up now -- comes back into my life. It's just very weird," added Burton.
Cane is back home and adjusting well to his old/new environment.
"He loves us and you can tell he missed us, which is a good thing because we missed him," Claridy said.