Used to be dogs who got lost would use their instinctual GPS to find their way home, even across great distances. Now, thanks to technology, lazy hounds can just wander aimlessly around until someone with a scanner picking reads the microchip embedded in their flesh. Which is how a Long Island dog who went missing back in 2006 found his way back to his owners earlier this month.

The dog, a coton de Tuléar (a small, hypoallergenic breed native to Madagascar) named Cooper, was found by an shelter supervisor wandering the streets 17 miles from Gwynne Wicks's Lloyd Harbor home. Back at the shelter, they found the microchip, traced its ownership to Wicks and called her up. She was understandably shocked, and tells Newsday (paywall), "I said, 'Wait a second, what are you telling me? You found my dog from four years ago?' "

When Wicks arrived at Cooper's cage in the shelter, she says, "He turned around and looked at me and gave me a big lick," she said with a laugh. "I said, 'That's him!' " Miraculously, Cooper was found with matted fur but was otherwise healthy... assuming that microchip didn't give him the cancer.