Alicia Dausman said the 5-year-old canine, Dauz, vanished from her family's Collinsville home July 20, 2012, and turned up March 6 at a Fairfax, Va., animal shelter, where he was identified via his microchip, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday.
"I was freaking out when I got that call," Dausman said. "I was shaking. I was so excited I had to pull over. I got [6-year-old daughter Lilian] from school and she was walking down the hallway towards me. When I told her we found Dauz, she just stopped dead in her tracks."
"I asked [the animal shelter] is he okay, is he hurt, is he healthy?" Dausman said. "They said he was fine. So I know somebody must have taken care of him. But I just didn't get how he ended up 900 miles away."
Dausman said she suspects Dauz was stolen by a friend's family member who had been visiting.
She said the dog was brought home by microchip company HomeAgain as part of the service to which she subscribes.
"He's the same dog, but he won't let us out of his sight," Dausman said, "as we will not either."