What marks a joyous reunion for a Tyler family has become a devastating loss for another.
The Miller family, of Tyler, lost their beloved Maltese, Reese, seven years ago. The little white dog escaped while the Millers were visiting family in Balch Springs, just outside of Dallas.
Dinah Miller said she never stopped searching for her pet and never lost hope.
During the weekend, the Millers received a call that Reese had been found on a road in Tacoma, Washington.
A microchip linked the dog to the family more than 2,000 miles away.
The Maltese was flown to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Monday night, where Dinah Miller was waiting with overwhelming excitement.
“How he got to Tacoma, we don’t know. We may never know,” Miller said.
Now, a family from Washington is filling in the blanks.
Kelli Davis of Spanaway, Washington, said her family adopted the dog at a shelter in Mesquite six years ago.
She said the dog they named Harley was marked as an owner surrender.
“Harley is my daughter’s best friend. That’s her little buddy. They do everything together,” Kelli Davis said.
Davis and her family relocated from Texas to Washington. She said Harley quickly become an integral family member. She said the dog recently escaped after her 2-year-old daughter unlatched the front door.
“We were running down the street trying to find him, and she was crying, ‘My Harley ran away,” Ms. Davis said. “Every day, we have gone out and printed fliers and walked around the neighborhood several times a day calling his name.”
Ms. Davis feels the dog belongs to her family. She was heartbroken to learn that he was flown to Texas.
“I don’t know what to do. We just lost a part of our family,” she said.
Ms. Davis said she called the shelter where she had adopted Harley and asked if they had checked for a microchip when they adopted him out. However, she said the shelter purges its records after five years.
Ms. Miller said she won’t send the dog back to Washington.
Miller said the dog she has missed for so many years is back home and being treated like a king.
She told KHOU that her heart goes out to Ms. Davis. She added she can’t give up the dog she has missed for so many years.
KHOU legal expert Gerald Treece said the dog legally belongs to Miller because she registered him first with a microchip.