There is nothing nicer than the moment you are reunited with your cherished dog, as anyone who has lost a dog will attest. The reunion was all the more heartwarming for this Baytown, Texas, family because they had to wait a full four years to have that moment with their cherished German shepherd, Sheba.
Sheba’s owner, Stephanie Moore Malmstrom, told Daily Paws, “It’s like she never left. We’re so blessed to have her back.”
In January 2018, Sheba vanished while her family was visiting a neighbor. When the family returned and discovered she wasn’t longer dozing out beneath the patio or answering their calls, they realized something was wrong.
Sheba wasn’t just missing; she had been stolen. The family remembered to view their security footage after looking all day and night and putting flyers. The family reported the dog’s theft to the microchip business and kept looking, but as the years went by, it became increasingly difficult to hold out hope that their stolen canine would return home.
Moore Malmstrom was shocked to see two text messages and missed calls in August this year stating that Sheba had been located. She initially believed it to be a con—someone trying to profit off her love for her missing pet. However, when she called the number, Jerry Harper, an animal control officer, told her that he had indeed located her stolen dog—600 miles away in a place called Borger.
Moore Malmstrom remained doubtful despite her excitement and fear of maybe experiencing another heartbreak. She requested images of Sheba’s face, paws, and anything else that could help her identify the animal. However, Moore Malmstrom and her husband weren’t certain it was Sheba until they FaceTimed Harper the following day and recalled they had given Sheba an identity tattoo.
“After that, I was like, ‘This is her! Y’all have my dog—y’all have my baby!’ I was ready to get in the car and go.” she says.
The family had to wait a week for a volunteer organization to transport Sheba back home because she was a 12-hour drive away (24 hours total!).
Moore Malmstrom claims, “That was the longest seven days of my life.”
Although Moore Malmstrom worried that Sheba might not remember her after all these years, Sheba recognized her family the instant she walked off the plane and smelled them.
Moore Malmstrom claims, “She was pulling at the leash and couldn’t get to us fast enough. And for us—it was just emotional. Excitement is an understatement. There was a missing piece of our family for four and a half years, and now we’re whole again.”
Sheba hasn’t skipped a beat even though the family has grown to include a rescue pit bull named Poppy and a young kid named Mason since she went missing. Even though she’s moving a little more slowly these days, she still enjoys spending time with her family, playing outside, and sharing cheese sticks with Mason, her new favorite youngster.
Moore Malmstrom describes “Sheba is amazing—a once-in-a-lifetime dog. We’re so blessed to have her back. If anybody takes anything away from our story, it’s microchip your animals, and don’t lose hope if they’re lost or stolen because there are happy endings.”
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