It’s always heartbreaking when a dog goes missing. Sometimes you look everywhere and there’s just no sign of them anywhere — and sadly, you start to feel that your friend is gone for good.
That was the case recently, after one family found their lost dog 7 years later.
Brigitte Bourgoignie, from Miami, Florida, loved her Maltese dog Sissi like a best friend. So she was left heartbroken in 2014 when the little dog unexpectedly got loose and ran away from home.
She says that they looked everywhere, but Sissi was nowhere to be found. Years passed, and they assumed that their beloved dog was gone for good.
But seven years later, a woman named Kelly Weissinger found a stray Maltese in Rankin County, Mississippi.
The dog was in rough shape, and was taken to the vet: “She was in a little bit of bad shape. She had a lot of fleas. She had a lot of skin problems. We ran some blood tests on her and she was good,” Dr. Richard Kirby of Hometown Veterinary Hospital said.
Kelly shared photos of the dog and shared them on a local lost pet Facebook group, hoping to reunite the dog with her owner.
Little did she know, the dog didn’t belong to anyone in Mississippi — but rather a Florida family that hadn’t seen their pet in seven years.
Even after all that time, and across a state border, vets were able to identify Brigitte Bourgoignie as the owner of the long-lost Sissi. It was a call she never expected.
“I said, ‘Are you sure?’ They said, ‘Yes. We found your dog,'” she said.
After so long away, Sissi was finally going home — and got a little help from a kind stranger. Because the dog was so far away, a man named Brandon Tyler, from North Carolina, offered to transport the pet back to Miami.
He even stopped to get her a toy for the ride. “This little girl has been through so much,” Brandon said.
We can’t imagine what Sissi, now 14 years old, has been through over the past few years. Her owners, who speak French, wonder if she’s picked up any English along the way.
But they’re just happy to have their old dog back, and hope they can make the most out of whatever time they have together: “I want her to live as long as possible,” Bridgette said. “I’m hoping she will get to live five more years.”
We’re so glad Sissi is home after seven years. It’s also a good reminder to get your pets microchipped — they can help you reunite with your lost pets even after years apart.