Owner, dog reunited in Tennessee after 5 years apart

HENDERSON, Tenn. — It’s a pet owners worst nightmare to find out their dog is missing from home.

Often times they find their way back, but imagine five years going by before you finally reunite with your furry friend.

“I was just freaking out. I didn’t know what to think,” said New York native Jen Costa.

Costa says that five years ago she had a life-changing surgery. Soon after, her Olde English Bulldogge Azzurra went missing.

“My dad was watching her while I was in the hospital, but when I came home there, her and my other dog Bruno, they were there with me,” Costa said. “About a month or two after my surgery she went missing.”

Costa spent hours, days and months trying to track down her dog. Aside from her missing pet, she says 2016 and 2017 were two of the hardest years of her life.

“It just made it a lot harder for me. I was really depressed. I just stopped caring. I didn’t care what happened to me, you know. I wasn’t, I wasn’t as positive right after the surgery. It took me a while to get here mentally, but it was just a hard time,” Costa said.

As years passed, Costa assumed someone took her dog with no plans of returning her.

Azzurra was micro-chipped and had a tag. It wasn’t until Jan. 11 when she received an unexpected message.

“I was sitting in my barbershop chair getting a haircut, and I saw an email and I just started crying. He had to stop and hand me a tissue. He had to wait to cut my hair,” Costa said.

Quickly after receiving an email from the Henderson Animal Control Department, Costa packed up her car and made a 16 hour trip from New York to Henderson, Tennessee.

“She’s going to get anything she wants. She’s number one right now, and she knows it. She’ll know it soon,” Costa said.

Now after five years apart, Costa and Azzurra are finally back together.

“I’m going to take her to get a bath, and then I’m going to take her to dinner,” Costa said.

If you’d like to learn more about Costa and follow her story, follow her Facebook page.

You can find more local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.

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