Saved by a chip: Crestview family's dog returns after nine years missing

maggie dog returns

April Hight holds Maggie shortly after being reunited with the wayward Lhasa Apso, who was found Wednesday after 9-and-a-half years on the lam. Trimmed, shampooed and home at last, Maggie's family says the wayward pooch is "skin and bones but she's acting like a typical little puppy."

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 at 06:07 PM.

CRESTVIEW — April Hight says that microchipping Maggie, her Lhasa Apso, meant the difference between never seeing her again and reuniting with the wayward dog after nine and a half years. 

Maggie was found Wednesday near Bone Creek Road in Holt, when a Panhandle Animal Welfare Society animal control officer responded to a call about another dog.

"She was just in horrible shape," PAWS animal control supervisor Mary Rudder said. "She was matted to the skin."

Fortunately, Lhasa Apsos are renowned for their hardiness, according to the Dog Breed Info Center.

Plus, Maggie had another factor in her favor: She'd been microchipped.

"We bought her from a pet store in Fort Walton," April said. "She was already chipped and neutered. I never gave it a second thought ... It ended up being one of the best things that could've been done. Now I see the importance of it. We're very thankful."

When Maggie vanished from April and Nathan Hight's Crestview home in February 2005, the couple's daughter, Abigayle, now 13, was just a toddler.

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