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

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.

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