By AMY HOUSLEY
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- With technology today, it's not too hard to track down an old friend.
Buttons Ann of Hubbard, however, found an old friend who had moved without consulting a phone book or searching the Internet.
It seems she followed her nose, or perhaps her canine instincts.
Yes, Buttons is a dog -- one who met up with her original rescuer 10 years after the fact.
The story begins over the Fourth of July holiday in 1992.
Joyce Polovischak-Coleman, who was a police officer for Hubbard Township, was on duty when she found a medium-sized black dog. She was known for picking up stray dogs while on duty and keeping them until someone from animal welfare could pick them up.
That night, animal welfare said it had no room for the dog, so Polovischak-Coleman kept her. She ran an ad in the newspaper in hopes the owners would claim her. She guessed the dog had run away because of the holiday fireworks.
Although no owner claimed the dog, Polovischak-Coleman received a call from Denny Boos, who was interested in her if no owner came forward. He was looking for an older dog that he wouldn't need to train.
"When he told me his address, the numbers were the same as mine," said Polovischak-Coleman. "So I thought maybe this is meant to be."
After a couple of weeks, Boos [pronounced "Bows"] became the proud owner of the dog he named Buttons Ann to go along with his last name -- buttons 'n' bows.
When Boos died in 1994, his mother, Marge Berman, kept the dog and now says Buttons is "always with me."
One exception was this past Fourth of July, when Buttons went on an unexpected adventure.
Over the holiday, Berman left her home for a family emergency, and Buttons was left outside. When Berman returned, the dog was gone.
Buttons "can't handle any kind of noise," said Berman, who speculated that noise from fireworks scared the dog away.
When she discovered that the dog was missing, Berman thought, "Oh, she's gone," never expecting what would happen next.
The next day on her back deck, Polovischak-Coleman found a black, medium-sized dog with gray specks. As she spoke, the dog got excited and kept her head against the woman's leg.
Even Polovischak-Coleman's other dogs, who usually shunned strays, seemed taken with the black dog. Hubbard police gave her the name of someone who had reported a missing dog.
Polovischak-Coleman made the call and Berman quickly recognized the name. Polovischak-Coleman was amazed to discover that this was the same dog she had saved a decade before.
Another twist to the story was that Polovischak-Coleman had moved since the first rescue, but Buttons somehow knew to travel the couple of miles to the new house.
The dog also has a record with the police. Once she followed Berman to the bank, where she sat in the drive-through lane waiting for her owner.
Berman went searching for the dog and when she returned home empty-handed, a police officer was there. The officer told Berman that Buttons was in the bank, waiting to be picked up.
Berman calls Polovischak-Coleman the "angel of mercy" for her rescues. In gratitude, Berman presented her with a plaque and a jar for dog treats.
What does Buttons think of all the excitement and travel? She wagged her tail happily as the women relayed the amazing story.