Shih Tzu missing for 2 years reunited with owner

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. - If she could talk, Nani would have quite a tale to tell.

For the past two years, the 6-year-old Shih Tzu has been, well, no one knows for sure.

Naughty little Nani wandered out of her yard near New Palestine High School back in 2012, sending owner Paula Wilcher of New Palestine into a frenzy looking for her beloved pet.

"We went everywhere - all over town," Wilcher told the Daily Reporter in Greenfield. "We walked the roads looking for her, but we couldn't find her."  

After months of not being able to locate the dog, Wilcher said her heart was broken and that she had even given up hope of ever seeing Nani again. Even though Nani was microchipped, there was no word from anyone around town concerning the dog's whereabouts until a few weeks ago.

On May 10, a day before Mother's Day, Frenzy Animal Rescue owner Betty Wilkins received a call from 24 Pet Watch informing her they had a dog with a microchip registered to Frenzy Animal Rescue in New Palestine.

"I told them, `You know, I think I know whose dog that is,' so we went to get it," Wilkins said.

The dog was found wandering a few weeks ago not far from Sugar Creek Elementary by a good Samaritan who gave the animal to a neighbor to keep. The neighbor then took the dog to a veterinarian to get it checked out.

That's when it was discovered the dog had a microchip, and Nani was quickly reunited with her family.

"When I called Paula, I asked her if she was missing her Nani," Wilkins said. "She said, `Betty we've been missing her for two years,' and I said, `I think I'm going to go pick her up."'

Once Wilcher got the call, after wiping away tears, she immediately made her way to Frenzy Animal Rescue, where she was quickly reunited with her dog.

"I opened the door, and she came out slowly, and all of a sudden she saw them, and she ran right to Paula," Wilkins said.

"I just broke down and cried," Wilcher said. "She came right into my arms and started kissing me."

The dog has quickly acclimated back with the family.

"She's my baby, and it's just like she never left. She knew exactly where her food dish was because it was in the same place," Wilcher said.

Wilcher became Nani's owner when the dog was just a few weeks old and had her chipped at Frenzy Animal Rescue.

"We're so glad I did that," Wilcher said. "From here on out I will get every dog I ever own chipped. It saved her and got her back to me."

Wilcher said she knows how lucky she is to have her pet back and has no plans to let Nani in the yard without supervision.

As for what Nani has been up to for the past two years, it's anyone's guess.

"I would really love to know," Wilcher said, shaking her head. "The very first night she got out it was so cold out there, and I was so worried about her."

When a good Samaritan found Nani a few weeks ago, the dog was heavily matted and thinner than normal, but otherwise seemed in good shape.

"She seemed like she had a rough time out there," Wilkins said.

"But we're going to get her looking better," Wilcher said.

Nani is getting acquainted with a new family member: a cat named Boo.

"She does not like the cat very well," Wilcher said. "But, she's still number one. ... We can't believe she's home."

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