A Tyler couple’s Maltese dog named Reese ran away seven years ago and surfaced during the weekend about 1,800 miles away in Tacoma, Washington.
What happened to Reese all this time is a mystery and fairy tale to Dinah and Randy Miller.
The Millers were joyously reunited with Reese on Tuesday.
The saga of Reese began in 2006 when the Millers adopted him from a shelter in Arlington and lost him in 2007.
The couple was visiting her brother in Dallas. She ran an errand and when she returned, Reese started barking so relatives let him out.
“He ran past me so fast and so far I never saw him again,” Ms. Miller said. “I knew what direction he went. I threw my packages down and ran as hard as I could to find him, and it was like he disappeared into thin air. It didn’t take longer than a minute.”
“We looked everywhere for days; we did everything but climb over fences and look into back doors.”
The Millers were consumed with worrying about Reese. They wondered if somebody stopped in the street and picked him up, whether he was cold or hungry, was somebody being mean to him or had he been run over?
The Millers still don’t know what happened to Reese and said it always will be a mystery.
Miller said they felt more responsible for him because he was a shelter dog and had a bad start in life. The couple said they never gave up hope of finding Reese.
On Saturday, the Millers were in Dallas again for a wedding party. The phone rang and a microchip company was calling asking if they had a dog named Reese.
A Good Samaritan had found Reese along a busy road in Tacoma, Washington, and taken him to a vet. The vet scanned Reese and found he had a microchip that was used to trace his owners.
“They said we have your dog Reese,” Ms. Miller said. “You really couldn’t believe it; it was a dream come true.”
She tried to arrange to fly to Washington to pick up Reese, but found all the flights were booked.
That’s when flight attendants for United Airlines stepped in. “It’s a fairy tale,” Ms. Miller said.
They put Reese in a crate on a plane to Houston where he arrived about 10:30 p.m. Monday. In the meantime, Ms. Miller flew to Houston to be reunited with Reese on Tuesday.
The reunion was “very emotional and very touching,” Ms. Miller said. “Everybody was crying.”
When Ms. Miller got Reese back, she said, “He looked like he did when he left. He’s still the same Reese.”
Miller said, “It’s so comforting to know he’s OK. Apparently, he hasn’t been mistreated. Somebody has taken fairly good care of him except they lost him like we did, so it’s wonderful to know he hasn’t been run over, he hasn’t been sick, he hasn’t been mistreated.”
Ms. Miller theorized, “Somebody had to find him, since he is still alive and they moved around and maybe ended up in Tacoma, Washington.”
She said, “It’s a joy” to have Reese home. “We have a full house now.”
The Millers have two other Maltese dogs: Cookie, acquired in 2005 from a shelter for dogs from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and Marlow, acquired in 2009 from a shelter in Grand Saline.
“I think the three of them will be fine together,” Ms. Miller said.
The Millers’ advice to dog and cat owners is to have a microchip implanted and to register their information.