Any dog owner will know that crushing feeling of worry when their canine friend goes missing. Dogs are often treated as members of the family in the same way as their human counterparts, after all. Even Queen Elizabeth II treated her corgis like princes and princesses! So it’s understandable that losing such an intrinsic part of the family can be an incredibly difficult experience.
The Robles family from Texas are all too familiar with the sense of devastation of losing a beloved pupper. They lost their dog, a beautiful golden Labrador called Lola, in the summer of 2016. And in the months that followed, they gave up any hope of seeing her again.
Certainly, in 2017 Icela Robles, mother to Jeslyn and Joshua Robles, had had no expectations of being reunited with Lola. Jeslyn even explained to Inside Edition that she’d assumed that Lola had been run over or suffered some other mishap. The odds were not on the Robles’ side, either.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals conducted research in 2012 into how many missing pets are actually returned home safely, and the numbers were surprisingly low. In fact, although more than 80 percent of dogs are rescued and put into shelters, many owners are unaware that their pets have been found.
Could this have been Lola’s fate? The Robles might never have known – until, that is, Icela received a phone call out of the blue about a year after Lola had gone missing. It was Dallas Animal Services on the other end of the line, and it was phoning with some extraordinary news!
Yes, Lola was alive and well. And thanks to the dog’s microchip, Dallas Animal Services were able to connect the golden Lab back to Icela. What’s more, Lola was in excellent condition and didn’t seem to have experienced any terrible mishaps during her time away from home. Overjoyed, Icela then had to figure out how to tell Lola’s biggest fans: Jeslyn and Joshua.
Fortunately, a family friend took a heartwarming video of the big reveal to Jeslyn and Joshua. The video begins in the Robles’ kitchen with the camerawoman telling the kids to go outside because their mother has arrived home. Suspecting that something is afoot, the duo leave the house and head up the drive.
Once they see Icela, who’s standing outside a large, white SUV on the drive, they become certain that something is going on. Running up to the vehicle, Jeslyn cries, “What the heck? Did you get a dog?” But little do they know that they’re about to be greeted by someone familiar.
And the surprise from the trunk is enough to make Jeslyn and Joshua scream with pure joy. Yes, Lola bounds up to the family that she’s been estranged from for a whole year. Jeslyn is frozen with shock, clutching onto a red inflatable ball that she’s brought out from the kitchen.
Touched by her daughter’s reaction, Icela takes Jeslyn in her arms, saying, “It’s Lola!” Once in her mother’s embrace, Jeslyn starts crying too. Icela grips her even more tightly, saying, “Oh my baby!” while laughing towards the camera. Joshua then entwines himself around his mother as all three gather for a group hug to celebrate Lola’s incredible return.
The trio break away from their embrace as Icela says, “We have Lola back! Do you believe it?” With two sobbing children on her hands, Icela is in high demand for hugs, which she seems very happy to bestow upon her children.
It is clear too that Lola had been well looked after during her year away. When Dallas Animal Services had phoned Icela with the amazing news, in fact, it had revealed that the dog had put on weight. This didn’t escape the trio’s attention in the video, either. Once Icela disentangles herself from her children, the mom says, “Look how fat she is!”
But Lola is evidently delighted to be home. The video even captures Lola galloping across the garden, her ears streaming behind her. The trio then gather round the pooch and give her loving tickles and kisses. “Can you believe we have Lola?” Icela repeats, seemingly in a state of total disbelief herself.
Of course, Jeslyn and Joshua had a few questions about how Lola made her way home. While petting the dog, Joshua enquires, “Where did you find her?” With an enormous grin, Icela explains, “They picked her up, and they found her. Because she has a chip, they were able to call us and say, ‘We found your dog.’”
After a year away, Lola then walks over the threshold of her home into the kitchen. Once inside, the pupper is given all the attention she deserves, especially from Icela who lovingly rubs the dog’s belly. As if Lola wasn’t receiving enough affection already, Icela says, “Everybody rub her belly! She missed everybody!”
The Dodo published the touching video on Facebook with the caption, “This dog is about to reunite with her family after she was missing for over a YEAR.” The clip has since been viewed more than two million times and shared on over 4,000 occasions.
Many of the comments expressed viewers’ happiness at Lola’s safe return too. One user wrote, “Okay, I’m crying but tears of joy. It’s so important to get your pets chipped, that way dogs like Lola can be found & returned to their proper homes.” Another viewer commented, “I’m a HUGE advocate for chipping AND registration.”
Microchipping your pet is certainly useful, as it theoretically ensures that you can be contacted if the missing animal is found. But the fact that Lola had been chipped did raise one question in some viewers’ minds. “Great story, but I wonder…. if Lola had a chip and that’s how they managed to find the owners, why was she gone for over a year??” a commenter asked.
Dallas Animal Services had a possible answer to this. It believes that another family could have taken Lola under their wing for the year that she was missing. Perhaps that would explain the extra pounds too!
But whatever the case, the Robles family are certainly lucky to have their beloved pooch back safely. With a year on the road, there’s no telling what could have happened to Lola. But for this lucky pupper, she finally found her way back home.