WORCESTER, England, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A dog who ran off from a home in Worcester, England, in 2004 was returned after being found wandering the streets in Salisbury, 80 miles away.
The owner, who wanted to be identified only as Mrs. Mae, told the Worcester News the Staffordshire bull terrier, Niamh, was identified through a microchip. She described getting the dog back as a "Christmas miracle."
Niamh disappeared through a hole in the fence more than nine years ago. Mae said she was convinced someone had taken her, describing her as a "friendly little thing."
When she was found in Salisbury, Mae said, Niamh was thin but appeared to have been taken care of until recently. She said the dog had clearly not been living rough for her entire absence.
Niamh was taken to a shelter where the chip was read, and transferred to a shelter in Bath where Mae picked her up.
"She was very tired for the first few days but now she's much more like herself," Mae said. "She's getting on very well with my children as well -- they were only at primary school when she went missing but they remember her, and I think she remembers them. I keep telling them it's a Christmas miracle."
Niamh has a new companion, Ferny, her own granddaughter.