It was a reunion Julie Arango had lost hope would ever happen.
On Monday, the South Florida woman drove from her Miami-Dade County home to Fort Lauderdale with her daughter, Celina Papas, to reunite with the family's long-lost Boston terrier, Lola, who ran away seven years ago as a puppy after digging a hole under a fence.
“Imagine you lose a member of the family,” Arango told WFOR-TV. “I searched as much as I could. Life does go on.”
Lola had a microchip implanted with Arango's information, and she hoped the dog would get scanned and returned to the family. It didn't happen until this weekend when Linda Gall, a former veterinary technician, answered a Craigslist ad posted by someone giving away a dog for free after having cared for it for seven years.
Gall took Lola to a vet, discovered Arango’s information on the microchip and immediately got in touch with the former owner.
“She was adamant,” Arango said. “She goes, ‘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 goose bumps all over.”
Arango’s daughter said she remembers feeling heartbroken when Lola vanished, and she says she is ready to make up for lost time.
“I’m definitely going to be spending every day with that puppy,” Papas, 19, said. “Taking her out. Making up for lost days. I’m so happy that it feels like she remembers me.”