It’s true that I don’t yet have a robot butler or a flying car, but generally speaking, the future has turned out to be a much cooler place than anyone expected. My smartphone already makes the tricorders and communicators on Star Trek look like dieselpunk artifacts, and the Internet is a much cooler toy than 99 percent of the gizmos in your average Asimov or Heinlein story. Even William Gibson’s cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer, looks strangely out of date now.
One of the things that represents just how cool it is living in The Future is how common stories of owners and pets being reunited after years apart have become. We’ve written about many instances of owners suddenly being reunited with their long-lost pets after five or 10 years; there have been many, many more that we’ve passed over in our daily scans of Google. Nearly all of these cases had one thing in common: a small, rice-sized electronic chip injected into the dog’s body.
The latest example is a man named Lloyd Goldstone and his Boxer named Boozer.
When Boozer was only eight months old, he disappeared out of his family’s backyard in Alabama. Last week, someone came into the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado, to surrender him, saying that they could no longer take care of him. The shelter did a quick scan for a chip and found that the dog was registered to Goldstone.
“I cried, especially when they sent the first picture of him,” Goldstone told Denver TV station KDVR. “[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?'”
The answer to that question was an unequivocal YES. Goldstone got in the car with his son and daughter and drove 2,500 miles in 18 hours to be reunited with the dog that they hadn’t seen in nine years. According to Goldstone, it was a joyful if a little bittersweet reunion.
“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,” he said to KDVR. “It’s like getting a family member back. It’s that level of emotion.”
The shelter wrote on Facebook, “Even after 9 years, he definitely remembered them!” Lloyd said, “Boozer has always remained in our hearts.” There’s no word yet on how he got from Alabama to Colorado.
It’s little things like that that make me love science and technology. Yes, it has the potential to create dystopian nightmares, and yes, in some cases it does. But in general, our everyday lives contain small examples like this that technology has made us healthier and happier than our ancestors.
In short, get your dog chipped, spayed, and vaccinated if you haven’t already. In the end, it pays off for everyone.
Read more news about dogs on Dogster: