It's always sad when a dog runs away from home, but it's important not to lose hope of ever seeing your friend again. Sometimes pets return in unexpected ways when we least expect it.
Sometimes they come back to our lives months or even years after they disappeared. This was the case recently, after one family was reunited with their dog, who disappeared seven years ago.
Orange County Animal Services, in Florida, responded to an abandoned dog call earlier this month, discovering a large dog left in a hotel room. She had severe arthritis, and was too weak to even walk.
In a Facebook post, they described her as a "very cute dog" who "allowed us to take care of her as best we could." At first, they were concerned about the dog's future: They knew that finding a new home for an old and frail dog like this would be an almost impossible challenge.
But luckily, it turns out she already has a family — she's been waiting for her return for years.
Orange County Animal Services discovered the dog had a microchip - and was stunned to discover it belonged to a family in Texas. When they called the family, "They gave them the surprise of a lifetime.
It turned out that the dog was a 12-year-old named Jazzy, who went missing 7 years ago after being scared off by fireworks.
"They've searched for her for a long time, and even after seven years, they've never given up hope," Orange County Animal Services writes.
The family has been informed of Jazzy's aging and health problems, but they still don't hesitate to finally get their dog back. One of the owners immediately took a flight from Texas to Florida to get Jazzy.
Finally reunited, it was clear that there was no more love lost over the years: "It was a tear-jerking reunion, and it was amazing to watch Jazzy come to life with her owner's voice," writes Orange County Animal Services.
Jazzy couldn't take her eyes off him. She licked his hand over and over and bit her body as much as she could. After all those years, her heart still remembered, and it finally became whole.
No one knew what Jazzy was up to until the past seven years, or how she ended up in Florida from Texas. But the important thing is that she finally made it home.
For Orange County Animal Services, it was a very happy ending and a glimmer of hope in what could be a business full of "heartache and heartbreak."
"Every now and then, our employees perform a small miracle, reminding us all why we do what we do," they wrote.