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Man Cremates His Dog, Then Finds Out It Wasn't The Final Goodbye

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento man put his best friend to rest, only to learn he wouldn't be grieving for long.

Ralph Johnson and his dog, Cognac, were inseparable eight months until Cognac ran away. Ralph was then struck with tragedy after he found his dog lying dead along the side of the road down the same path they often walked.

Heartbroken, Ralph cremated the dog he thought was his best friend. He took it hard.


"I'm usually a happy-go-lucky person. I didn't want people to think I was being mean," Johnson said.

Then, he got a text from the Front Street Animal Shelter with some incredible news.

"At first he thought we were playing a very cruel joke," said Front Street Animal Shelter Communications Manager Bobby Mann.

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But it was certainly no laughing matter. Believe it or not, Cognac was back and very much alive.

"What do you mean he's alive? Was he in a coma or something?" Johnson said he asked a shelter worker.

The dog Ralph found and cremated, while nearly identical, wasn't Cognac.

What followed was a reunion unlike any other.

"I had been having ups and downs. He's taught me so much about myself," Johnson said.

This story of the underdog was one no one could have predicted -- and instantly, Ralph went from despair to delight.

Both Ralph and the Front Street Animal Shelter say Cognac's microchip played a large role in the reunion. Without it, this couldn't have happened.

As for the other dog Ralph found, it's still unclear if it belonged to anyone or if it was a stray.

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