Aisha Nieves originally adopted Kovu when he was 7 weeks old
A woman who was looking to adopt a new dog for her family was looking through pictures on her local humane society’s website when she couldn’t believe her eyes: Her lost dog from several years ago was staring back at her.
Kovu, a pit bull-rottweiler mix who Aisha Nieves nearly lost two years before, was now available and waiting to be adopted.
“I thought, ‘Wait, that can’t be him,'” Nieves told The Morning Call. “Then, I saw the little scar over one eye, the scar from when he got caught in a gate, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my baby, that’s Kovu!'”
In June 2019, a car crashed through Nieves’ fence creating a hole that Kovu ran through. He went missing for weeks before animal rescue picked him up as a stray and brought him to Lehigh County Humane Society (LCHS) where they renamed him Ash.
“He was my baby. He would go with me everywhere. He would sleep in my bed,” Nieves told WFMZ.
“Literally, the definition of a man’s best friend,” she said of Kovu, who she searched for months and couldn’t find.
According to LCHS community engagement manager Julie Huber, Kovu had to undergo medical treatment for fleas and inflammation for four months. He was then put up on LCHS’s website, when another family eventually adopted him, she told CNN. Fast-forward two years and the family had to give Kovu back to LCHS after the family faced eviction due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s when Nieves was looking for a new dog and saw her long lost friend.
“After submitting proof of ownership to LCHS the woman came to visit the dog and it was apparent to all that when they reunited Ash was, in fact, Kovu, her beloved pet from years before,” Huber said.
“Their reunion was undeniable and heartwarming to all who were there,” she continued. “The way that Kovu reacted and remembered [his] owner when he saw her made the reunion all the more memorable. It was a moment that gave you all the loving chills.”
“Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and that is likely the first thing that brings the recognition,” LCHS director of development Deirdre Snyder told The Morning Call, telling the outlet it’s not abnormal for a dog to recognize its owner years later. “There are many videos online of military personnel coming home after a long time away and their dog will recognize them with a similar joy and excitement that Kovu had for Aisha.”
For Nieves, she’s just glad the pair were reunited.
“As soon as he started coming, he started squealing and screaming and yelling and jumping on me kissing me,” she said. “I love him so much. I’m just so happy he’s back.”