When Katheryn Strang received a call that her lost dog had been found, she was bowled over.
Dutchess, a toy fox terrier, somehow escaped from her home in South Florida in February 2007. The caller told Strang that her now 14-year-old dog had been found more than 1,000 miles away in Pennsylvania.
"I can't believe you're calling me right now. I can't believe this is happening," Strang said.
The small, 8-pound dog was discovered hungry and shivering under a shed in Carnegie, part of the Pittsburgh metro area. The property owner brought Dutchess to Humane Animal Rescue where she was scanned for a microchip. It was traced to her original owners in Boca Raton, Florida.
Her owner was quick to hop in the car and drive more than 18 hours to pick her up.
'Can you tell me some stories?'
What followed was an emotional reunion, which you can see in the video below. Dutchess, rightfully, still looks frightened and may not remember her owner after all those years, but no doubt will relax after getting home and having some time to decompress.
"Where have you been? Can you tell me some stories?" Strang asked, as she tearfully hugged and kissed her long-lost pet.
Dutchess will be making the trip back home to get reacquainted with her family and meet the three cats and a dog she'll be living with.
As many people read her story and watched the live reunion, several commented that they felt the story was a message about never giving up.
"I volunteer to search lost dogs. This is restoring my hope and faith. Wonderful!" wrote Monika Courtney.
Several people said they'd love to know what happened during the years Dutchess was gone.
Wrote Sam Foster Manke, "This is one of those times you would give anything to have the dog be able to talk."
"Moments like these are so refreshing and motivate us to keep working harder every day. We wish Dutchess nothing but the best with her family," Zac Seymour, manager of digital communications for Humane Animal Rescue, tells MNN.
"Many of us have had the opportunity to spend some time with Dutchess over the past few days, and she was always looking for love and attention. We can't help but smile knowing that after all of this time, she's finally going home to get the care she needs, and the love that she has always deserved."