Dog 'hitches ride' in NM, meets owner in Louisiana

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NEW ORLEANS - (AP) — The dogs in New Orleans' Carnival pet parade included a pooch that hitched a ride 1,200 miles from Taos, New Mexico, to the city where his 26-year-old master had hitchhiked weeks earlier. Stephan Soleas came to New Orleans for a few weeks of visits and music. He said his 6-year-old Labrador mix, Charlie, went missing days after he left.

Charlie was found by a couple vacationing in Taos. The couple saw a collarless dog and tried to find its owner, but the veterinarian didn't have a microchip scanner.

The couple gave up their airline tickets, rented a car and made the 3-day drive back to New Orleans with the dog. Incidentally, they also named the dog Charlie.

Soleas and Charlie were reunited 10 days later — Feb. 5 — when Magazine Street Animal Clinic co-owner Teresa Gernon checked a microchip in the white dog's neck. Two days later, they were in the Krewe of Barkus pet parade.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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