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Beagle found in Brentwood reunited with Kentucky owners after 17 months

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Ernie and Cindy Romans, of Kentucky, hug their dog, Sassy, for the first time in 17 months after being reunited at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Cindy Romans, of Kentucky, kisses and hugs her dog, Sassy, for the first time in 17 months after being reunited at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Sassy is held by Ernie Romans, as Cindy Romans, of Kentucky, hugs the people responsible for getting her dog back to her for the first time in 17 months. They were reunited at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Sassy is held by Ernie Romans, as Cindy Romans, of Kentucky, right, hugs Hope Wilson, of the Forever Home Beagle Rescue group, one of the people responsible for getting Romans' dog back to her for the first time in 17 months. They were reunited at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Sassy is held by foster family Hope Wilson and April Smith, left, of the Forever Home Beagle Rescue group at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014. The two Brentwood women reunited Sassy with her owner, Cindy Romans, who traveled in from Kentucky to get her dog back after 17 months.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Sassy attracts the attention of local children who came to catch a glimpse of the famous dog at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014. Sassy was reunited with her owner, Cindy Romans, who traveled in from Kentucky to get her dog back after 17 months.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Cindy Romans, of Kentucky, hugs her dog, Sassy, for the first time in 17 months after being reunited at the Brentwood Public Library, Friday, March 28, 2014.

Sassy, a long-lost, brown-eyed beagle, walked slowly toward her owner on Friday.

It had been 17 months since the two had seen each other.

Cindy Romans of Louisville drove with her husband, Ernie, to the Brentwood Public Library to reunite with the seven-year-old family pet. They had been separated by as much as 400 miles.

“This is magic. This is a God moment. This just doesn't happen,” said Romans, 53, as she thanked her “angels” from Brentwood who served as foster dog parents for Sassy.

The dog traveled through several states and lived in Brentwood for the last month with Hope Wilson and April Smith.

The reunion story that has attracted national attention began with a trip a week ago to a north suburban veterinary clinic. There, it was discovered that Sassy had a microchip that identified her owner.

Romans first lived with Sassy in California, where, after suffering a massive heart attack, she got the puppy in an attempt to find some comfort.

It was there that Romans had the microchip implanted in the dog.

Romans later moved to Kentucky, and in October 2012 Sassy ran away.

Sassy's whereabouts were unknown until December 2013, when she was found limping on the side of a road in Kentucky, Romans said.

The dog was taken to a shelter in eastern Kentucky, then was taken with other dogs to West Virginia. That's where participants in Forever Home Beagle Rescue's foster program picked them up.

Wilson and Smith, both of Brentwood, have fostered dogs for three years, and they were connected with Sassy through the Brookline-based organization.

They took the dog they knew as Jenny to their home about a month ago, Wilson said. The animal had fleas, hookworms and tapeworms and developed a cough, and they took her to a vet.

Finding the microchip was a surprise, Wilson said, because she and Smith assumed any chip would have been discovered months earlier.

The dog remembered its name.

“As soon as we said ‘Sassy,' her ears perked up,” Wilson said. “She's been acting different ever since.”

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