A dog missing for more than half a decade has been reunited with her family, KTRK-TV reports.
Amanda Hulebak and her husband say someone opened a gate to the backyard of their Hockley, Texas, home 6 years ago, which allowed their dogs Rey and Tessa to escape.
Hulebak searched for them for a year but came up short.
“I gave up after then,” Hulebak said.
But then she got a phone call this week from animal control in Missouri City, Texas, a Houston suburb about 40 miles south of Hockley.
“They had a dog with a microchip that had my name and contact information,” Hulebak said. “I knew it had to be Tessa or Ray.”
It turned out to be Tessa. The reunion between the two at the shelter was recorded on video, which Hulebak posted on her Facebook page.
“Tessa had been adopted out at another shelter, and she ran away from that home,” she said. “I don’t know why the shelter never scanned for her microchip.”
A happy ending wasn’t the same for Rey. One day after finding Tessa, Hulebak was able to trace Rey to a different shelter. While the dog had been adopted and then returned, Rey was later euthanized.
Hulebak can’t understand why. She became emotional when talking about the bond between the two dogs.
“They were inseparable,” she said.
Although Hulebak can’t change what happened, she hopes to make a difference for the future. She’s thinking about starting a rescue effort in remembrance of Rey.
“It could start rescuing microchipped animals,” Hulebak said. “There’s a link, a paper trail, and I could tell their owners that your pets didn’t die alone in the shelter.”
In the years she was missing, Tessa transitioned from an energetic pup to a senior dog. Hulebak thinks she’s about 8 years old at present. Still, Tessa recognized Hulebak right away when they were reunited and the dog quickly fell into her lap like old times.
“After being reunited with my sweet girl, we immediately reconnected!” Hulebak wrote in her Facebook post. “If she could talk, I can only imagine the stories she’d tell.”
Tessa’s front teeth are injured, which a veterinarian told Hulebak may have been caused by the dog chewing a fence to escape. But Tessa is on the mend. She had a bath when Hulebak brought her home and she now wears a new collar with silk flowers.
The old dog also has a new role at the Hulebaks as a mother of sorts. The Hulebaks are dog rescuers and have fostered a pair of puppies.
“I never stopped thinking about her,” Hulebak said. “She’s family.”
[Feature Photo: Facebook]