What to Know
- A New York City man discovered his dog, Myko, actually belonged to another family after the pup ran away during last week's nor'easter
- The man said he adopted the dog three years ago and had no idea it had a microchip linking it to another family
- The dog's other family, which named him Jack, lives upstate and was overjoyed to find out the pooch was alive and well
For the last three years, you wouldn’t find Kenneth Colson without his spaniel mix, Myko.
The pair would ride the subway from their Far Rockaway beach house to Manhattan. They'd head to church together. He napped with the 54-year-old's cats. The little pup Colson called his "selfie buddy" even liked to sit perched on his shoulder.
“We were so attached," he said. "He was like my right arm."
But the night Myko slipped out a cracked front door during last week's nor'easter and wound up at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station, that all changed.
That’s because Myko -- which Colson adopted from an acquaintance -- actually belonged to another family who lost him and spent three years wondering what had happened to their beloved dog, which they named Jack.
“It’s been a roller coaster, all the way up and down to the bottom an up again,” he said.
Colson said it didn't take long to realize Myko had gotten away during the March 21 storm, and he immediately launched a frantic search for the dog. He posted flyers throughout the neighborhood, started a hashtag on Facebook to and posted Myko’s pictures to the dog-finding site FindShadow in hopes of finding the pooch.
Over the next few days, Myko was spotted around the neighborhood -- first at a grocery store nearby and then near their subway stop -- so Colson knew he made it through the storm.
Then, on March 23, he thought the break in the case that would reunite him with his dog came: a volunteer from FindShadow sent him a tweet from the NYPD’s Transit Bureau showing Myko in the arms of a police officer near the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.
"I said, 'Oh my gosh, it's him! It's him!,'" Colson recalled.
Colson said he tried to get in touch with the NYPD that night, but couldn’t get through. Then, the next day, a friend forwarded Colson what turned out to be a heartbreaking story published by NBC 4 New York: The NYPD told this outlet it had reunited the dog with its owner -- an owner that wasn't him.
"That's impossible, I'm the owner," he recalled saying.
By the time Colson could contact the officer who found him the following day, he began to unravel what had happened. Myko apparently had a microchip that Colson never knew about, and it returned an address for a family in Jamaica, Queens, that had since moved upstate. The officers, stunned that the dog had another owner, gave him contact information for the pup’s initial owner.
Colson said he worked up his nerve to call the owner earlier this week. She told him how her family had adopted the then-1-year-old Myko after their previous dog died.
The original owner told News 4 that the dog disappeared one afternoon and that they had reported the dog missing through its microchip and spent days combing through their neighborhood and posting flyers in a three-mile radius looking for the pup. The owner said she went without sleep for two days after Jack disappeared, and spent years wondering if he had been hurt or worse.
The original owner called finding out that Jack was still alive after the storm was "the best news I've had in so long."
"She had to wait three years to find out he was still alive," Colson said. "It only took me three days... I’m just blessed that he’s alive and I didn’t have to live with that."
The 54-year-old said that as he talked to the owner, he started to make connections to his own life. He himself ran away when he was a teen and was only reunited with his mother years later, when she tracked him down on Facebook. He said because of that he knew he couldn’t fight Myko's original owners for custody of the pup.
"I know what it means to be lost and found," he said. "I understand and that’s why I did it. And I'm in so much pain."
Colson said giving up Myko was the hardest thing he's ever had to do. He added that he hopes other pet owners will check to see if their animals are microchipped to avoid the heartache he has felt over his "selfie buddy."
"I know he's at home now," he said. "He's been restored, and it's amazing."