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A happy reunion, “Haku” goes home

Haku went missing in late January 2017 and was reunited with his owner at the Seattle Animal Shelter.

The greying black lab was panting and wagging his tail furiously – Haku had just seen Rick Osterhout, and he knew he was going home.

In 2016, the Seattle Animal Shelter reunited 493 dogs with their owners. Haku was one of the first in 2017.

On Friday, Jan. 28, Haku went missing when he snuck out through Osterhout’s back door. Osterhout posted Haku’s photo on multiple websites, including his neighborhood watch in Ravenna.

“A lost dog in an urban setting is really tough because he’s a dark color and it’s dark outside at night,” said Osterhout.

Haku was one of five dogs in the Osterhout family. Sadly, in January the family had to put down three of their dogs due to old age, and losing Haku would have been devastating. As part of his search for Haku, Osterhout checked the SAS “Found Pets at the Shelter” webpage and saw that field officers had picked up a male black lab mix in the Ravenna area.

“I saw the area and his description and knew it was Haku,” said Osterhout.

When the shelter lobby opened at noon the next day, Osterhout was there. He walked through the dog kennels and couldn’t mistake Haku’s excited bark. From the dog’s expression, Osterhout knew Haku was ready to go home.

Osterhout said he and his wife bought a motorhome specifically for their five dogs to take on travel adventures, and he is happy Haku will be able to enjoy these trips again.

“My wife would signal, ‘ready!’ and we would let the door open for all the dogs to run out at once,” said Osterhout. “They were some of my best memories.”

We’re thrilled to have helped reunite the Osterhouts with their beloved Haku, and want to help others get their happy endings. If you’ve lost a pet in or near the Seattle area, list your pet in our Lost and Found Database, and see the found animals we currently have at the shelter. Visit the Lost Pets section of our website for more information and resources.

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