Frenship resident’s pet makes way home after nearly two years

In dog years, it had been 14 years since Jeter left home.

Jeter, a boxer that was given as a puppy to former Frenship Today writer Zach Tijerina, spent his first two years with the then-college student.

Shortly after Tijerina graduated from Texas Tech, he purchased his first home in Northwest Lubbock. But a dog in a nearby yard terrified Jeter when he was left outside during the days. It wasn’t long after moving in that Jeter ran away.

It’s been two years since then, and a lot has changed. Tijerina has married, is in the process of adopting a son and started working full-time for Tech.

“I wasn’t married. I have an 11-month-old now. I have a full-time job now,” Tijerina said.

He didn’t stop wondering about Jeter through that time.

“He was like a best friend,” Tijerina said.

Last week, he got a call from the Frenship Vet Clinic.

“She told me, ‘Hey, we think we have your dog.’ And my heart kind of skipped a beat,” Tijerina said.

Tijerina called his wife, Liza, to discuss going to get the dog first, but then he went straight to Wolfforth to be reunited with Jeter.

“He ran up to me, and I’m sure he remembered me,” Tijerina said. “He jumped into my arms and gave me a good licking.”

Jeter was apparently found in Preston Manor during the snowstorm last Monday by residents out there. They took him to the Frenship Vet Clinic, where technicians discovered a chip implanted in his back. By calling the company that sells the chip and then calling the vet clinic that implanted the chip, they were able to discover his former owner.

Tijerina was worried that the dog could have been used as a fighting dog, and had decided he could not take him home to be around his son if that were the case. But although Tijerina is not sure where Jeter has been for the past two years, he said it is obvious that the dog was cared for.

“I could almost say that he was even more well behaved,” Tijerina said.

Jeter is now an inside dog in Tijerina’s home, where he has been calm around the baby.

Ashlie Wilkinson, a veterinary technician at Frenship Vet Clinic, said the clinic offers microchips to owners for $32. For an additional $17.99, owners can register with Home Again, the company that sells the microchips. The chips are inserted between a dog’s shoulder blades just beneath the skin, and are about a quarter of an inch long and about as big around as a BB, Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said it is common for dogs to be brought in and reunited with an owner because they are wearing tags or because the vet staff recognizes the pet. It’s a little less common for dogs to be identified with the chip, she said. But she said Jeter’s two-year absence isn’t even the longest they have seen. Just a few weeks ago, she said, a dog was reunited with an owner after a five-year absence.

Tijerina has been very enthusiastic about getting his dog back, Wilkinson said.

“He’s called a couple of times, just thanking us,” she said.

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