ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Lots of former pets wind up at Arlington Animal Services because they’re simply not wanted. But, that was not the backstory of a matted ball of fur its owner named ‘Suzy Q’.

“She’s a maltese shih tzu mix,” says owner Jaime Templin. “She’s really funny and full of life, very spunky… just the cutest little thing.”

And she’s been on the lam for two years: stolen from the family’s yard in East Fort Worth.

“I called around and I had pictures everywhere,” recalls Templin. “I didn’t hear anything about her for two years. I was really heartbroken. The whole family was devastated when she was taken.”

Then a kind stranger this week spotted the pup in South Arlington, and brought her to the shelter.

“We scanned, found the microchip, called the owner, and she was here instantly,” says Ray Rentchler, Arlington Animal Services, “and was just so excited to see her dog.”

Even if SuzyQ, was, at the moment, unrecognizable.

“I had to ask: wait, what kind of dog is this?” says Templin, “just to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. I didn’t want to get my hopes up after having so many dreams that I’d see her, and this wasn’t a dream, this was real, I just started crying.”

“We get a lot more animals home than we ever did,” says Rentchler. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years now, and we get at least double the amount of animals back home. Tags, the tags come off, or people forget to put them on, but that microchip’s always there.”

Sweet Suzy Q is back home. (credit: CBS 11 News)

‘Suzy Q’ needed a massive makeover. But, other than a good grooming, she appears to have fared okay. And her owner is certain that microchipping made the happy ending happen.

“Please do it, please,” says Templin. “If you love your pets, you owe it to them to microchip them. Anything can happen and if it wasn’t for that microchip, I know I wouldn’t have ever seen her again… it saved her life. ”

Thus, after the heartache…

“It feels like a miracle,” says Templin, her eyes filling with tears, “nothing short of a miracle.”

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