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HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – When Julie Arango’s phone rang on Sunday she didn’t recognize the number, so she let it go to voice mail. When it rang again, she got news she never expected – her Boston Terrier named “Lola,” who ran away seven years ago, had been found.
On Monday evening, Arango and her daughter Celina Papas, 19, drove from Homestead to Fort Lauderdale to be reunited with their long-lost pet.
“I never thought I was gonna see this puppy again,” Celina said.
Arango remembers the day, seven years ago, when Lola escaped from her Southwest Miami-Dade home by digging a hole under a fence. For months Arango said she and Celina searched for Lola with no luck.
“Imagine you lose a member of the family,” she said. “I searched as much as I could. Life does go on.”
The funny thing was, Arango said, Lola had a microchip so she felt sure that someone would find Lola, get her scanned and discover where she belonged. But it didn’t happen. At least not until Linda Gall answered an ad on Craigslist on Sunday.
Gall, an animal advocate and former Veterinary Technician, says someone was giving Lola away for free after lovingly caring for her for almost seven years. Gall took Lola to a vet, discovered the info on the microchip and got in touch with Arango right away.
Arango couldn’t believe it.
“She was adamant,” Arango said. “She goes, “No. You’re Julie. And you had a Boston Terrier and her name was Lola. I was like, “That was so many years…” She goes, “I have your dog.” I go, “No.” I had goosebumps all over.
Julie’s daughter Celina remembers feeling heartbroken when Lola vanished. She’s ready to shower her dog with love and attention.
“I’m definitely gonna be spending every day with that puppy,” Celina said. “Taking her out. Making up for lost days. I’m so happy that it feels like she remembers me.”
And as Lola kissed Celina and Arango, it seemed she was ready to reunite with her original owners and head back to where she belongs.
“Even though it’s been 7 years, we’re gonna pick up right where we left off,” Arango said.
Lola will soon be heading to college with Celina in Orlando but first, Lola will help Celina celebrate her birthday this Wednesday.
Everyone involved agrees that the takeaway is to always get your pets microchipped and if they’re lost flag that information so it comes up immediately once your pet’s microchip is scanned.